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News | March 30, 2018

First female Distribution commander honored with newly named Doornink Executive Conference Room during Women’s History month event

By Brianne M. Bender DLA Distribution Public Affairs

DLA Distribution commanding general, Army Brig. Gen. John S. Laskodi dedicated the DLA Distribution Headquarters executive conference room to the first ever female Distribution commanding general, retired Army Brig. Gen. Barbara Doornink on March 14.

Doornink served as commanding general of DLA Distribution from July 1998 to August 2000.

A Prosser, Washington native, Doornink attended Washington State University. After graduating in 1973, she was commissioned in the Transportation Corps. 

Doornink earned a master’s degree in information systems management from the University of Southern California and graduated from the Transportation Officer Basic and Advanced courses, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

In addition to assignments and commands around the globe, Doornink taught in the Department of Military Instruction at the United States Military Academy.

During Doornink’s time in command at DLA Distribution, she embarked on a depot transformation which improved velocity and visibility of the Department of Defense’s distribution process.  The depot transformation was conceptualized and implemented under the Central Depot Concept, lowering overall costs of distribution. Additionally, it aligned materiel at two Strategic Distribution Platforms to cut the Logistics Response Time to each theater. 

Doornink enabled a partnership between Distribution and the then Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service in the exchange sale program.  In lieu of simply turning equipment that had exceeded its use into DRMS, the pieces were sold at public auction.  DLA then used the money generated from these sales to offset the cost of obtaining replacements.

By reorganizing the distribution headquarters into a “J” staff configuration, Doornink was able to prepare Distribution for future success. She established the J5 strategic plans office to focus on supply chain management, readiness and contingency operations support and to develop long-term strategic plans and coordinate operation planning and support to the combatant commands. 

Under Doornink’s leadership, Distribution was appointed as the lead agent to produce A Joint Distribution Doctrine, an overarching capstone doctrine that defined end-to-end distribution management.   

Upon being presented with the Doornink Executive Conference Room, she said “DLA Distribution is the unsung hero. The warfighters have what they need, and that is what makes this organization great.”

Laskodi thanked Doornink for her dedicated years of service before her former Aide-de-Camp, Joe Faris, the current director of DLA Distribution Business Development revealed the plaque outside the room.

“The hardest moment of my career was leaving this command,” said Doornink. “Never will a one star officer have the opportunity to do the great things available here at DLA Distribution.”