Comptroller steps down to further military education
Story and photo by Sgt. Keith Vanklompenberg
139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — Maj. Brian Steele, the assistant chief of staff comptroller with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Pittsfield, Mass., native, stepped down from his position April 14 to continue his military education.
Steele will attend the Defense Comptroller Program at Syracuse University in New York, said Capt. Shaun McMurchie, the 13th SC(E)'s deputy comptroller. The program is a 14-month, dual-masters program that provides a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Public Administration degree.
McMurchie, a Tigard, Ore., native, who will step up as the 13th's comptroller, said it was a pleasure to work with Steele during the course of their deployment.
"We worked very close," he said. "He will be missed."
McMurchie said Steele's contribution to the 13th's mission saved taxpayers millions of dollars.
Steele terminated, transferred or closed recurring contracts, starting with 73 in August and trimming them down to 32 presently, saving more than $27 million, said McMurchie.
McMurchie said Steele processed more than 500 purchase requests and closed out a $94 million budget for the 2009 fiscal year.
"He was a very competent, knowledgeable resource manager," he said.
Sgt. Shavokia Jamison, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the resource management office with the 13th SC(E) and a Philadelphia native, said Steele was a good officer to work for.
"It was great," she said. "He was always coaching, mentoring and training his peers and subordinates alike."
Before Steele left Iraq, Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz, the commanding general of the 13th SC(E) and a Mansfield, Ohio, native, presented him with a Bronze Star Medal for all his hard work and dedication.
Wentz said Steele was an asset to the command and a great player to have on his staff.
"There are some people out there that can hit the ball far, and those are the people you want on your team," he said. "Brian Steele is one of those people."
Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz, commanding general of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Mansfield, Ohio, native, presents a Bronze Star Medal to Maj. Brian Steele, the assistant chief of staff comptroller with the 13th SC(E), April 14 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Steele, a Pittsfield, Mass., native, stepped down as comptroller to attend the Defense Comptroller Program at Syracuse University in New York. (U.S. Army photo by Keith S. VanKlompenberg)