FORT BELVOIR, Va. –
Inspired by John Wayne on a Navy recruitment poster, Mike Hooth joined the Navy and soon realized he was about to open the door to a life-long career as a Navy fuel logistics officer.
Retired Navy Captain and civilian leader Michael Hooth was among four inductees honored during the 2017 annual Defense Logistics Agency Energy Hall of Fame ceremony.
Hooth served in a dual role as the director of both the Facilities Management directorate and the Supply Operations directorate for the Defense Fuel Supply Center from 1990 to 1993.
“I’m honored to be part of this group and extend my thanks to everyone involved in this process and ceremony,” Hooth said during his remarks. “I’m very pleased and proud to see new and older people here today.”
Hooth’s military career in the fuels community allowed him the opportunity to be a part of the evolution of DLA Energy.
As the director of Facilities Management, Hooth was responsible for the transfer of funding for Service Owned Bulk Petroleum Infrastructure Maintenance, Repair and Environmental from the military services to DFSC.
Hooth said this was important for the military services to know that DLA Energy would manage and fund all distribution and sale of fuel, removing the responsibility from the service installations. In the end, DLA Energy would own all bulk petroleum products from the point of purchase until their final point of issue to power aircraft, ships and ground equipment.
During this transfer, he initiated a comprehensive supply chain study to optimize the bulk fuel supply chain, which resulted in the closure or consolidation of more than 40 Defense Fuel Support Points. This also meant DFSC assumed funding responsibility for an additional 319 bulk and retail DFSPs.
As the director of Supplier Operations, Hooth directed petroleum support during military operations including Operation Restore Hope (Somalia), Operation Provide Promise (Bosnia) and Operation Southern Watch (Iraq) as well as military support to civilian authorities in response to Hurricanes Andrew (Florida) and Iniki (Hawaii).
He said he was fortunate to work with great people, especially his two deputies, John Bartenhagen (1981 to 2007) and Bill Robinson (1971 to 2001), also DLA Energy Hall of Fame members.
“Any success I had here (Energy) was certainly due in large part to them,” Hooth said.
During his distinguished career, Hooth was a leader in the Department of Defense worldwide conversion of JP-4 aviation fuel to JP-8 aviation fuel. While the overall conversion took a number of years to accomplish, he was responsible for laying out the road map and moving the project forward.
His tireless efforts led to a flawless conversion in what’s accepted as one of the largest and most far-reaching modifications to the DOD bulk fuel supply chain, according to his nomination letter.
Hooth was instrumental in expanding the MRE program – the precursor of today’s Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization program, which provides maintenance and repair support to the DOD’s fixed fuel infrastructure.
The MRE program initially focused on DLA-operated bulk fuel facilities, but it significantly expanded under Phase IIB of the Integrated Material Management Plan. This expansion added maintenance funding responsibility for more than 300 additional service-operated DFSPs to DFSC’s portfolio.
Through process improvements and developments in support of the warfighter, the SRM program expanded from a $100 million budget in 1992 to a $600 million budget today.
“Hooth’s innate ability to anticipate logistical challenges allowed him to implement initiatives that greatly enhanced the effectiveness and efficiency of the program,” said DLA Energy Supply Chain Deputy Director and nominating official Dan Jennings.
“I worked as a staff engineer for Mike when he was the commander of the Navy Petroleum office in the mid-1990s,” said DLA Energy Installation Operations General Engineer Dave Tourtellott. “He was a man of integrity, fairness, an excellent communicator and worthy of common sense and respect … as good as they come.”
After retiring as the commander of the Navy Petroleum Office in 1995, Hooth established his own company, Petroleum Management Consultants, at the urging of Calvin Martin, a fellow 2017 DLA Energy Hall of Fame inductee.
“This is what I am most proud of in my career,” he said. “I always felt that PMC was part of DLA Energy, and I’d like to thank all (DLA Energy) former employees, subcontractors and organizations that we supported. It was such a special time, working with these people.”
His company provided training and consulting services to the Defense Energy Support Center and military service Energy offices for more than 18 years.
“I worked for him for 15 years until he decided to close the company, and I then became a DLA Energy employee,” said DLA Energy Acquisition Workforce Development & Intern Center Trainer David Herrick.
One of the first PMC employees, Herrick said he never worked for anyone who had higher integrity and concern for their employees than Hooth.
“I have great memories of working with Mike, consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to do so, and probably wouldn’t be where I am today had I not,” Herrick said.
Other colleagues said he is a man of unquestioned integrity whose dedication to excellence was demonstrated by the initiatives he implemented that continue to have a positive impact on the fuels and logistics communities to this day.
“His ability to react to short-term or long-term requirements as needed made his PMC team an indispensable part of what is now DLA Energy,” Jennings said.
The Navy veteran credits his wife and his family for their support through the years.
“It’s not easy being a military family,” he said to his family in attendance.
His wife, Lourdes Hooth, attended the ceremony with the rest of the family.
“We met in Guam 29 years ago,” she said. “I’m so proud of him; he’s worked so hard for Energy. We support him, he supports us.”
His daughter, Shana Conley, and sons, Chris and John, said they were very proud of their father. They echoed sentiments of passion, dedication to the military and the hard work of their dad.
“He valued relationships,” Conley said. “That’s why he was good with clients; he was a people person.”
A respected leader, Hooth’s legacy endures and represents the standard for fuel support to the warfighter.
“All in all, life around DLA Energy has been a great run … thanks again for everyone involved,” Hooth said.