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News | March 9, 2017

San Joaquin’s Pine retires after 35 years of dedicated service

By Annette Silva DLA Distribution Public Affairs

Cheryl Pine, formerly O’Brien, is saying goodbye to the DLA family upon her retirement from federal service after 35 years of dedicated service to the nation, DLA Distribution San Joaquin, California and the warfighter. She is leaving her systems team where she has served as the Systems Division chief for the Inventory and Support Services Group since 2014.

“Cheryl’s distinguished herself during her career by consistently performing her duties in an outstanding manner and exhibited the traits throughout her tenure that were highly desirous as a federal employee,” said Matthew Wadleigh, Inventory and Support Services Group chief. “Her loyalty and high degree of professionalism are readily apparent and her motivation and enthusiasm made her one of the most valuable team members here at DLA Distribution San Joaquin.”

She has encountered a plethora of change during the span of her career. She started her federal service at the Sharpe Army Depot in Lathrop, California in 1982, and the DLA Distribution consolidation brought her to Tracy in 1991. 

“I think the biggest changes supporting our military have come in the past ten years,” said Pine. “We have been working harder to compete with the private sector and bring our distribution center into the 21st century systemically and with our warehouse layouts.” 

Pine credits the success of her career to her positive attitude and the support from her mentors. “I started working here at a time when you were just thankful for having a job.” She commented that she kept that outlook throughout her career. 

"I have always felt like what we do here is very important.  I have always tried to learn as much as possible and do the best job that I can.  I have never worried about what other employees were or were not doing.  I always knew that I would go home every day knowing that I did everything to the best of my ability,” she concluded.

She sought out hard working people that excelled in their jobs and often looked up to them for guidance and mentorship. Mentors that were instrumental during her career include: Frances Placeres, former Stock Positioning Branch chief; Louie Avila, former Systems Division chief; Mike Ruth, Warehousing Group deputy; and Kathy Brown, former Inventory and Support Services Group chief. 

Pine is thankful for being part of the DLA team. Previously, as a single parent, her job gave her a career that she has enjoyed and enabled her to support her family. Further, she was able to have the opportunity to guide her career on the path she desired.   

She offered sound advice to the workforce of San Joaquin, including both seasoned and incoming employees. “Never take your job for granted.  Come to work every day ready to give it your all.  Remember why you are here and who our customers are.  You [the workforce] perform a great service to our country and they deserve our best.  Be true to your work and your word.”

Pine has served in various jobs throughout her esteemed career.  She started in the Typing Pool in 1982 and remained there until she received an assignment with the Box Shop in 1984.

From 1986 to 1990 she worked in the packing warehouse as a packer and then a leader. She also worked as a temporary supervisor on the MRE (Meals Ready To Eat) Project during Desert Storm.  She interviewed over a hundred people for the project, and some of the people that were hired still work at San Joaquin.

Between 1990 and 1995, she served on the Distribution Standard System (DSS) Cadre for the Packing Area and spent a great amount of time at DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania and DLA Distribution Hill, Utah learning the DSS programs and testing the processes.  Pine also trained all employees at Sharpe and Tracy in the Packing programs. 

From 1995 to 1997, she worked as a project leader for the deputy commander and worked on many open lines teams, and, from 1997 to 2004, she served as a leader in the Air Lines of Communication area of the Consolidation and Containerization Point and in the Retrograde and Household Goods area.   

She then went on to serve as a transportation analyst in the Transportation Division from 2004 to 2008 and worked from 2008 to 2014 as a supply systems analyst with the Systems Division. During this timeframe, she received a temporary promotion to branch chief of the Transportation Division.

In 2014, she received a permanent promotion to chief of the Systems Division.

Pine says she is very appreciative of all the people that have guided or helped her during her career.  “I just really want to thank all of the people that have guided me or helped me in any way.  There are so many that it would be hard to name them all.  I appreciate the fact that so many people saw potential in me and gave me the opportunity to do work that I thoroughly have enjoyed.  I am thankful for that.  I am very thankful to my parents for raising me to have a great work ethic and working hard for what you want.”

Upon retirement, she is looking forward to spending time with her new husband and family. Their plans are to move to Santa Cruz and then settle in Oregon after a few years and travel.