Land and Maritime Academy provides workforce education

By Craig M. Rader DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime held a series of information sessions this month aimed at improving workforce culture, organizational structure, interoffice education and continued process improvement.

The inaugural Land and Maritime Academy offered employees a selection of six all-day sessions held during the second and third weeks of February. Each day presented the same course material to fit the schedules of attendees.

The Academy included introductions from command staff members and presentations from all directorates and executive programs at DLA’s Major Subordinate Command in Columbus as well as representatives from detachments and shipyards located across the United States.

DLA Land and Maritime Deputy Chief of Staff Donald Schulze said the unique culture of DLA Columbus makes it unlike any other agency MSC. He said the organizational culture is driven by a shared commitment to values and a focus on the people that make up the workforce.

During his kickoff remarks to start the Feb. 15 Academy session, Schulze said “We strive to uphold the values and tenets outlined in the system we call the Land and Maritime Way. As each of you review the course material presented today, look for how you can apply our values to your own place in the organization.”

The Land and Maritime Way offers a framework of institutional principles that guide organizational policy. It presents a system which enables the workforce to “provide Warfighter logistics excellence through accountability, teamwork, urgency, agility, and innovation built upon a commitment to integrity, diversity, and mutual trust and respect.” The Academy’s concept started as a learning initiative to educate and promote workforce performance for associates with less than three years tenure with the agency. However, due to an overwhelming interest from personnel at Land and Maritime, the sessions were opened up to the entire labor force.

Deanna Blesch, an order fulfillment chief in the Business Process Support Directorate, discussed how customer support encompasses three major levels of engagement. She said communication support includes strategic, operational and transactional interaction. 

The Human Resources office spoke about the variety of resources available through programs such as employee benefits, payroll services, training opportunities and personnel management.

Mary Beth Caine said her team from the Employee and Labor Relations Office remained committed to providing the highest levels of HR support for all DLA Columbus associates who provide support for Warfighters around the world.

The Academy included presentations from directors, program managers and supervisors representing each of the major directorates, including supplier and customer operations for both Maritime and Land-based clientele. These directorates make up the bulk of logistics support from DLA operations in Columbus.

Other courses provided instruction on installation operations including support activities at Defense Supply Center Columbus, union representation, Office of Counsel, information operations and the Equal Employment Opportunities Office.

Associates who successfully completed the Academy received educational credit through the agency’s Learning Management System.