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News | June 20, 2018

Whittacre recognized for achievements as commander of Korean distribution center

DLA Distribution Public Affairs

Army Lt. Col. Gary Whittacre has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his achievements while serving as commander, Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Korea, from June 2016 to June 2018.

As commander, Whittacre led a diverse team of soldiers, DOD Civilians, and Korean Nationals that provided reliable, best value distribution support to warfighters across the Korean Theater of Operations.  Over the course of his command, he raised standards, empowered people, and extended trust - hallmarks of Strengths Based Leadership.  He enforced safety, created a transparent organizational culture, and brought DLA Distribution Korea to the forefront of sustainment operations in Korea. 

Whittacre focused the distribution center on Audit Readiness, Quality Assurance, and Continuous Process Improvement.  He assembled a team of dedicated professionals that implemented Audit Readiness processes and standards.  With active leader involvement and extensive training, the workforce achieved a 99 percent success rate during the 2016 J3 Mock Audit. 

In testament to these results, the DLA Distribution Korea Audit Readiness Team was awarded the Mission Impact Team of the Quarter Award for the first quarter of fiscal year 2016.

The DLA Distribution Korea workforce set the standard for Process Excellence by transforming their work stations based on local conditions and space limitations.  Employees also developed scanning procedures for evidential matter which saved hundreds of hours, tens of thousands of dollars, and has since become a best practice at other distribution centers. 

Whittacre fostered a command climate based on trust, respect and Positive Mental Attitude (PMA).  The PMA initiative has since blossomed into a full-fledged Resiliency Program and stands as another example of DLA Distribution Korea pro-actively implementing the DLA Director’s guidance down to the section, team and individual level.   

Additionally, Whittacre fostered strong relationships with the United States Forces Korea, the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Army Material Command and other stakeholders.  He spearheaded contingency planning and articulated requirements for building a new depot, and expanded the theater consolidation shipping point.  USFK has since allocated $75 million in Republic of Korea Funded Construction to build a brand new, state of the art distribution facility in order to expand distribution throughput in the event of hostilities, ensuring DLA Distribution Korea can effectively and efficiently support the warfighter during Contingency Operations.