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News | July 31, 2018

Yokosuka’s Kojima-san to retire after 35 years

By Brianne M. Bender DLA Distribution Public Affairs

DLA Distribution Yokosuka, Japan’s, Akimasa Kojima will retire from federal service after more than 35 years of service, 19 of which have been with DLA Distribution, on Sept. 30, 2018.

Kojima, an administrative management officer at DLA Distribution Yokosuka, began his career in January 1983 as a distribution process worker with the Military Sealift Command, Far East and over the years served as traffic coordinator, safety program administrator and administrative officer with various Naval Supply offices in Yokosuka before joining the DLA Distribution team in April 1999.

“The start of my government career in the early 1980’s coincides with the introduction of personal computers in work places,” explained Kojima. “In the beginning, I worked with electric typewriters and opaque screen microfiche readers which were replaced with computers after a couple of years.”

Kojima goes on to explain “the change aided by the new information technology was an evolution that brought tremendous improvements and speed to administrative processes, data processing, communications, information accessibility (intranet and Internet) and operational systems, which further resulted in enhanced support for the customers’ mission accomplishment.”

Having spent 35 years in federal service, Kojima has enjoyed many opportunities to work with a wide variety of people. He has been influenced and inspired by many of them. As he himself is a wealth of knowledge, he would tell those currently working for the federal government, or those looking to begin the journey, “take every opportunity to gain knowledge and skills to perform your duties, specifically the purpose of the process, procedures, use of tools and equipment and safety guidance.”

Additionally, he recommends they “have a good understanding of the organization’s mission, vision and guiding principles. Be familiar with the DLA strategic plan, goals and objectives.  Ask yourself ‘What can I do in my position to contribute to the success of organization?’” 

Throughout his career, Kojima has had the opportunities to learn new things, such as new technologies including personal computers and various operational systems, as well as technical and business skills and the knowledge to utilize newly introduced advanced high-tech equipment and machines.

“Working for DLA Distribution and the federal government has allowed me to be exposed to new paradigms, values and point of views,” explained Kojima. “The scope of my world has been broadened through the wide variety of training programs provided to me. Those programs have ranged from technical skill and professional development to personal development.”

Furthermore, Kojima has relished the opportunities to travel to other areas in the world. “These opportunities have enabled me to see various functional areas in the organization and gain knowledge to appropriately provide advisory capability for command management.”

When asked what the highlight of his career would be, Kojima reflected on his appointment as an honorary member of the faculty of the United States Army Logistics Management College. He translated student manuals and slide presentations of a Defense Distribution Management Course into the Japanese language and conducted the training for all local national employees in the organization.  

Kojima has been a critical member of the DLA organization for nearly two decades. “When I think back over my career with the Defense Logistics Agency, I consider this to be the place where I can find things to learn, things that motivate me, things I challenge, as well as things that develop and protect me.”

“The men and women of Defense Logistics Agency are honest, responsible, diligent, skillful, and dynamic,” said Kojima.