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News | Jan. 13, 2017

DLA Distribution Joint Reserve Senior Leader Conference

By DLA Distribution Organizational Management/Expeditionary Logistics DLA Distribution Public Affairs

A group of military reservists newly assigned to leadership positions in the Defense Logistics Agency Joint Reserve Force (JRF) got a crash course in the agency’s mission, organization and operations at the 9th annual New Leaders Conference, held at DLA Distribution in New Cumberland, Pa., from Jan. 6 to 8.

The agenda included an overview of the DLA and joint force mission, information about training and mobilization, and service-specific briefings by Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Reserve representatives.

According to the event’s organizer, Navy Supply Corps Lt. Justin Champine, more than half of DLA’s military force is made up of reservists from all branches of the service – about 650 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.

“Most DLA field activities have an attached reserve unit to provide support,” said Champine who also serves as DLA’s JRF Joint Operational support officer.  “We were fortunate to have representatives from each of the agency’s Primary-Level Field Activities participate in the conference.”

The guest speaker for the event was Navy Supply Corps Rear Adm. Deborah Haven, DLA JRF director.  She offered encouragement and thanks to DLA reservists, saying “You have a proud legacy.  That speaks volumes.”  

However, Haven cautioned those in attendance that expectations are high for leaders in DLA. “New leaders in particular should remember that they are on display all the time,” she said. “Set your standards high. Your team looks to you for training, leadership and knowledge.  In return you also have expectations for your team, and you need to communicate those expectations.”

Haven also urged her new leaders to consider the responsibility they assumed by joining the DLA Joint Reserve Force. “This is not the reserve force I joined – the ‘two days a month, two weeks a year’ reserve.  It’s an operationalized reserve now. “

Originally, Haven had requested that the conference be designed to give new leaders some insight into the challenges they would face while assigned to DLA.  Champine said that he kept Haven’s intent in mind as he organized the conference, and is satisfied the event exceeded expectations.  “I think we hit a home run.  We offered a unique opportunity for new leaders within the reserve community to see how we operate, and get a first-hand perspective from the Admiral.”