Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly held his final town hall as the commander of the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support June 11 in Philadelphia.
In his farewell meeting, the commander took the employees down memory lane by reminding them of his initial expectations of trust, discipline and commitment. Simerly connected the themes of the Philadelphia professional sports teams to the actions displayed by the employees during his tenure before leaving them with his parting words.
“My signoff to you is to ’Stay Gritty,’” Simerly said. “Stay in the fight. Stay tough. Stay disciplined.”
Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers mascot, was on hand to drive the sentiments home, provide cheer and take a few photos with employees.
Throughout the town hall presentation, Simerly highlighted several of the agencies recent accomplishments to commend the employees on their efforts.
“I want to thank Medical for accomplishing $1 billion dollars in cost reduction through their Pharmaceutical National Contracts program,” Simerly said.
He also lauded DLA Troop Support Europe and Africa’s establishment of Class 1 [Subsistence] support in Egypt to better enable the Navy’s freedom of movement through sustainment support.
During his discussion on the people and culture line of effort associated with Troop Support’s fiscal 2019 campaign plan, the general highlighted progress made in the Defense Performance Management and Appraisal Program, a standardized way to rate civilian employees’ performance.
“We have just completed our second year of DPMAP feedback,” Simerly said. “If we continue to execute DPMAP the way it is designed, it is going to deliver a lot of great outcomes in terms of performance feedback but also [in the areas of] coaching, teaching and mentoring.”
To celebrate the accomplishments of a few employees, Simerly presented the individual and team Innovation Award.
“We have to view innovation as the oxygen of change,” Simerly said. “We need innovation throughout our ranks to focus on continuing what we do, to be relevant and provide the level of the support that we need.”
Winners included Troop Support Industrial Hardware quality assurance specialist Andrew Nemeth and the IH Supply Chain Point of Contact team for streamlining data and processes for the supply chain.
Jessica Wallis, IH Traditional Supply Division chief, received the team Innovation Award on behalf of her employees and considered the team’s accomplishment a rewarding experience.
“Being relatively new to [Traditional Supply], I immediately recognized that this group had a great new approach to weapon system support that needed be showcased,” Wallis said. “I am beyond proud of their accomplishments and thrilled that they were recognized by the Commander for their efforts to challenge the status quo.”
Wallis’ biggest takeaway from the town hall was that Troop Support’s people are its “secret sauce.”
“No idea or initiative is too big or too small, and it’s so important that we take the time to recognize outstanding efforts in warfighter support,” she said. “And when all else fails, stay gritty.”