COLUMBUS, Ohio –
Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management – Columbus Deputy Site Director Eddy Poprock retired Oct. 1 after 39 years at the Defense Supply Center Columbus.
The Lorain, Ohio, native began his federal career shortly after graduating Ohio State University when he took a developmental civil engineering job at DSCC – then known as the Defense Construction Supply Center. Over the course of the next four decades, Poprock came to be known as a driving force behind many challenging and complex installation initiatives. In a September DLA Silver Letter award presentation, Poprock was recognized for leadership accomplishments during his tenure including spearheading the successful construction of a new multi-million-dollar access control point at the installation’s main gate to improve installation security.
Other significant accomplishments as deputy site director included the establishment of a DSCC Installation Management COVID Working Group, an Installation Planning Review Board, and Master Planning with Area Development Planning for Land and Maritime shipyards and detachments. As a result of his leadership, the infrastructure of DSCC buildings and grounds sets the example for stewardship and facility codes index in DLA, according to installation management officials.
Sharing his thoughts on impending retirement and the moments he remembers most from his enduring career, Poprock said projects early in his tenure stand out for both the complexity they offered and the wisdom he gained. The demolition of the installation’s old water tower was the first time Poprock worked with contracts and bidding and he said that invaluable experience proved useful on many future projects. Likewise, the time spent planning for a new tenant to move onto the base gave him insight into the many logistical needs of organizations standing up operations.
Poprock said he always took the greatest satisfaction from working as a team to accomplish a goal no matter how big or small.
“There were a lot of long days going well into the evenings, working as a team trying to get designs done and meet timelines,” Poprock said. “It’s getting everybody to work together as a team – that’s what gets things accomplished.”
“It’s time to turn the page on that next chapter,” he added. “The people you work with become your family so I’m sad to be leaving them, but I’m also excited to see what’s next.”
Poprock’s federal career began in 1982 when he took a developmental GS 5/7/9 position at DCSC after earning his civil engineering degree. He worked for then-installation site director Kenny Youn who he said became a mentor to him after OSU’s Placement Office led Youn to call him up and offer him the job.
He worked his way up from civil engineer to various positions including mechanical engineer, engineering and construction office lead, deputy facility engineer and facility engineer. Poprock was named the installation’s deputy site director in 2018 – a position responsible for the direction and oversight of Installation Support services encompassing operational support in business management, environmental management, installation management, multimedia, security and emergency services, and Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation programs.
Poprock offered the following advice for future engineers starting out in their careers: “Be flexible. Expect change because there’s no alternative – needs will evolve, budgets will be tightened. And all you can do in the face of that is support the customer the best way you can and communicate with each other.”