In the contracting career field an unlimited warrant is the highest expenditure authority and is rarely granted to enlisted members.
Tech. Sgt. Michael Jakubec, 56th Contracting Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of services flight at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., became one of two enlisted members within the Air Education and Training Command to receive an unlimited warrant, Sept. 26, 2019.
Maj. Barbara Divine, 56th CONS commander, explained an unlimited warrant is a special authorization that allows an individual to spend money on behalf of the government without a financial limit.
Airmen beginning a new career in contracting have a monetary ceiling within which they can operate.
“Starting off in the career field you are a contract administrator or specialist,” said Jakubec. “Typically Airmen start off with a [simplified acquisition threshold] warrant, which is currently $250,000.”
As Airmen progress and gain knowledge in contracting they advance to warrants with larger dollar amounts, seldom above $5 million, and rarely earn an unlimited warrant.
“Tech. Sgt. Jakubec is one of five personnel here at Luke that has an unlimited warrant,” said Divine. “He is the only military [member].”
Because civilians are typically only granted unlimited warrants, if there was a civilian furlough, Jakubec is the only contracting agent who can award a contract at any amount, Divine said.
To receive an unlimited warrant, an individual must have a bachelor’s degree, complete a 10-week study group that covers federal acquisition regulations and be approved through a warrant board.
Divine explained that a warrant board is a closed-book evaluation where participants are provided funding, legal and ethical questions and scenarios related to the contracting career field and given 20 minutes to answer. They present their answers to a board of contracting professionals and explain their responses.
“A series of 10 questions were asked among the five board members,” said Jakubec. “They’re scenario-based questions; you explain your thought process and support or defend your solutions. It was challenging, I guess I carried myself very well, but, on the inside I was very nervous.”
After the individual passes the board’s evaluation, the individual is then granted an unlimited warrant.
“A larger dollar contract will obviously involve more quantities, hours of labor or complexity,” said Jakubec. “Here at Luke AFB, unlimited warrants are required for the Barry M. Goldwater Range maintenance contract, base custodial services and several construction renovation projects exceeding $5 million.”
Jakubec’s new qualification will further bolster 56th CON’s ability to help Luke AFB to continually produce combat ready Airmen and the world’s greatest fighter pilots.
“Our mission here at 56th CONS is ‘Procure, Prepare, Deploy,’” said Divine. “Tech. Sgt. Jakubec took me up on my challenge to be the first enlisted contracting officer at 56th CONS to get his unlimited warrant. As a contracting change agent and unlimited contracting officer, he can now deliver optimal warfighting capability through agile and innovative contracting support at any value, at any time, and anywhere in the world. He is changing the Air Force from the 56th Fighter Wing.”