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News | April 7, 2020

San Joaquin employees rising to the occasion despite global pandemic

By Annette Silva, DLA Distribution San Joaquin Public Affairs

The men and women of Defense Logistics Agency Distribution San Joaquin, California, are a resilient workforce and understand the importance of providing world-class support to the warfighters and first responders during this coronavirus pandemic. The team is working in unison with U.S. Northern Command, in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency who is leading the federal government response to COVID-19 efforts in the continental United States.

In a message to the workforce, the distribution center commander Marine Col. Tiffany Harris put out guidance during this uncertain time. She reminded the workforce that this trying time is a team effort with the leadership team, union and employees.

“It is my responsibility to keep the DDJC team safe during this pandemic while still supporting the warfighter. We must triumph in our no fail mission here at San Joaquin,” commented Harris.
She understands COVID-19 information is coming constantly and it changes daily, if not hourly.
“[AFGE Local 1546] President Maggio and I appreciate your patience, positive attitudes, and flexibility while we work through this at a very fast pace. We know you have many questions and we are putting information out as fast as we get it.”

Harris went on to remind employees that DDJC must continue to support all mission assignments in support of the warfighter with the minimum workforce required.

“Planes still have to fly, weapons still have to shoot, and troops still have to eat. We cannot drop the ball on any support to the field,” she concluded.

The leadership team is doing their part in helping the dedicated workforce to make their jobs easier while supporting the critical mission here at San Joaquin.

With day cares closed, including the day care on the installation, the management team is working with the employees directly to alleviate the stress of no child care at home. As a direct result, management have altered employees’ work schedules to afford them the opportunity to be at home with their children and still be able to give a day’s hard work in support of the mission.
Further, employees who can telework are taking advantage of the guidance that was released from our DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams.

Matthew Woodruff, general supply specialist with the Inventory Team is an employee that understands his importance in supporting the mission during this pandemic in uncertain times.

“No matter what happens in the world, the need to support the warfighter never stops. The warfighter risks their lives every day so I can enjoy the freedoms that I have, and it is my duty to return the favor so they can complete their missions,” said Woodruff. “I am the third generation in my family to work at DDJC, this isn’t just a job to me, but my family’s legacy to serving this great country.”

Further, he understands the risk of being deemed an essential employee and takes the necessary precautions to protect his family at home.

“Protecting my family means I am the one to go out and get necessary supplies, I call everyone at every store I go to ensuring we all have what we need, and no unnecessary trips are made. When I get home the first thing I do I clean my hands with hand sanitizer before taking all my clothes and putting them in the washer. I then wash my hands again and put on new clothes before I go and greet my 8-month-old son. His smile when he sees me every day is what keeps me getting up in the morning, keeps me taking the utmost precautions, and sometimes that means using every minute of free time I have to clean and disinfect the house.”

The leadership is extremely thankful for the willing and able employees that are supporting the warfighter daily.

“From our perspective, we are thankful to each of you for the hard work you do every day. You are on the “front lines” for DDJC and are the ones keeping our mission going,” said DLA Distribution San Joaquin Deputy Commander Ms. Jodie Johnson-Micks. “For this and so much more, we’re thankful to each of you for all that you do. If you need anything from us to make your job easier, please let us know.”