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News | Aug. 5, 2020

Marine Corps Customer Facing Division deputy chief receives June Leadership Award at DLA Aviation

By Natalie Skelton, DLA Aviation Public Affairs

Roy Drake, deputy chief, Marine Corps Customer Facing Division, has been named the recipient of the June Leadership Award at Defense Logistics Agency Aviation.

Drake says receiving the award makes him feel very blessed and humbled. “No one does anything alone and the support and the efforts of my team made this happen,” said Drake. “This individual award is a shared award with my teammates.”

Drake, who has served at DLA Aviation for eight years, was nominated by Marine Corps Maj. Paul St. Marie, operations officer for the Marine Corps Customer Facing Division in the Customer Operations Directorate. “Mr. Drake has been a valued asset for our employees and customers alike,” St. Marie said.

“He encompasses every dimension of transformative leadership and every team member would agree he is highly deserving of this recognition. DLA is ‘Warfighter First,’ and Roy is on the front lines,” said St. Marie.

Drake is constantly improving relationships in his division and across the organization through genuine care in the people and the mission, said St. Marie. “During these trying times of a pandemic and social turmoil, transition to social distancing and telework and fiscal constraints, he continues to keep spirits high through sound advice and clear direction.”

Drake’s nomination form outlines his numerous contributions to the warfighter effort. Among them are expertly leading a diverse team of over 50 civilian and military personnel and supervising and actively engaging in support of 22 aircraft variants and engines, where his ability to influence organizational change is noticed and respected among stakeholders.

St. Marie said Roy also headed a complete rewrite of multiple position descriptions and performance metrics that were an immense success.  “From policy and procedural change to the personal and professional development of others, it’s the daily ‘little things’ that make a difference where they matter most,” he said. “We’ve all seen a positive change in the organization since his arrival.”

The nomination was highly supported by Drake’s direct senior and Marine Aviation Logistics Lead, Col. Larry Herring. His nominators also point out that under Drake’s leadership his division contributed to a 22% reduction in national item identification numbers with aged-unfilled orders and a 17% reduction in total unfilled orders—more than doubling the established 10% goal. 

St. Marie said in the Marine Customer Facing Division, they focus on ‘influence in, advise out.’

“We help our customers understand how the entire supply chain works, from flight line maintainer to industry. We advise them on how to best utilize the system,” said St. Marie. “We then help resolve their current problems and mitigate future issues by influencing into DLA. To ensure the level of support that is expected, we must build relationships across all directorates and align them to achieve our customers objectives.  Roy’s ability to build and maintain those relationships as well as communicate and influence have directly contributed to the entire division’s success,” he said.

As a management professional, Drake also has demonstrated a desire to maintain and improve morale among his personnel. He created a daily virtual “fist bump” to share with his teams in order to facilitate motivation and inspiration in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the narrative in Drake’s nomination package, “Drake is a true force multiplier; his genuine interest in professional and personal growth is evident across the division through noticeable increases of enthusiasm and innovative problem solving. He is without a doubt the ideal transformative leader that all organizations and employees desire, and he is highly deserving of this recognition.”

“Currently, I am working to better integrate my team’s efforts across service, departmental and major subordinate command organizations to affect outcomes in support of strategic and aligned departmental goals,” said Drake. “I will also continue to grow talent to enhance command’s outcomes and assist employees in meeting their career goals.”

As the recipient of the June award, Drake will be recognized at an upcoming DLA Aviation Leadership Forum. He also receives a DLA Aviation Commander’s Coin, a certificate and a designated parking space. Recipients may also receive either a cash award or a time-off award.


The Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Leadership Award aims to recognize an Aviation leader who espouses and exemplifies the four dimensions of transformative leadership:

1. Idealized Influence:

a. Builds confidence and trust between leaders and followers

b.   Acts as a role model that followers want to emulate

2. Inspirational Motivation:

a.  Provides vision that gives `meaning' to the work

b. Challenges followers with high standards

3. Intellectual Stimulation:

a. Questions assumptions and beliefs

b. Encourages creative and innovative approaches to solving problems

4. Individualized Consideration:

a. Treats followers individually and differently based on their talents and knowledge

b. Coaches followers to reach higher levels of achievement