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News | Oct. 28, 2020

DLA Distribution recognizes Distribution Sigonella Deputy Commander with Jerri L. Taylor Award for Individual Outstanding Contributions

By DLA Distribution Public Affairs

Michael Watt, deputy commander, Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Sigonella, Italy, received the DLA Distribution Jerri L. Taylor Award for Individual Outstanding Contributions 2019.

Watt is responsible for directing, managing, supervising and the technical and administrative planning and execution of a strategic Distribution Center in Italy, with a satellite location in Djibouti, Africa, which was directly responsible for the generation of $17.5 million in revenue, processing of over 200,000 lines, including 65,000 Materiel Processing Center transaction lines, and over 140,000 transshipments in the global distribution of critical material for the warfighter.

Watt established and maintained excellent relationships, earning the absolute trust and respect of DLA Distribution Headquarters and 41 Naval Air Station Sigonella tenant and local commands. He maintains an exceptional organizational culture, which resulted in a top tier score and 122-point improvement on DLA's Culture Survey for 2019. Further, he championed a Culture Action Team to work on identified deficiencies discovered during the survey, directly improving morale, and working conditions for the employees. He empowers and motivates both local national and U.S. government employees at all levels while upholding the DLA core values. Watt follows through on his commitments and holds personnel accountable in everything they do.

With a team of 114 government, 10 military and 25 contracted professionals, Watt leads by example, driving excellence while successfully sustaining remarkable performance throughout all DLA's critical metrics, including all 13 acceptable performance levels. DDSI led all of DLA Distribution in inventory accuracy, completing the fiscal year 19 mandated 100% inventory with an incredible 100% accuracy rate against a goal of 98%. 

Watt established a unified joint team to focus on the multiple quality aspects throughout the command using his Inventory Action, Inventory Management and Stock Readiness teams by motivating them to work collaboratively. With his effective oversight, the combined Quality Focused team contributed to the year-to-date denial rate of 0.00% for calendar year 2019, far below the headquarters established goal of 0.40%. The joint team directly contributed to warfighter readiness in meeting operational commitments within the area of responsibility. During 2019, 16,000 inventories were completed for DDSI and DLA Distribution Djibouti, Africa, material, including classified, sensitive, radioactive, and physical inventory for the year, with no denials.

Watt tirelessly reminds all members of the organization of the critical role each team member plays in the context of supporting the larger mission set. DDSI participated in Exercise Trident Juncture 19, which centered on Allied Command Transformation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization response force, consisting of five major joint operations. Watt's team supported the exercise with over 500-line items to 10 different customers out of the 18 participating units. Secondly, during BALTOPS19, in conjunction with Saber Guardian 19 and the European Command Southern Exercise Campaign, DDSI supported the 16th Sustainment Brigade in the development and execution of a Proof of Principle test for the "White to Green Truck" transfer procedures, moving sustainment cargo from DDSI through DLA Distribution  Europe to the Port of Kiel, Germany. Lastly, DDSI supported Saber Guardian 19, which tested the implementation of the DDSI Theater Consolidated Shipping Point, opening alternative transportation sustainment nodes while providing operational flexibility to the Combatant Commander. All material was expedited within expected timelines with zero discrepancies.

Watt's leadership at DDSI truly sets the standard for other Distribution Centers. Under his guidance, DDSI collaborated with the Air Mobility Command and Fleet Logistics Center Sigonella to reenergize the TP- 4 Program, utilizing vacant space on regular channel flights for low priority cargo. This program moved a significant amount of material via airlift utilizing respective ground transportation cargo rates. AMC assets capabilities were maximized, additional transportation costs avoided and cargo expedited to the warfighter.

Watt transformed the leadership model at our site in Djibouti by staffing hard-to-fill USGS positions with a team of qualified and vetted military reservists. He staffed the technical point of contact, accountable officer and quality assurance evaluators positions, reducing permanent change of station costs and maximizing overseas readiness by filling positions that had been gapped for more than a year in many cases. The Djibouti team actively engaged with customers and established an outreach program to communicate with all commands on-site as well as working with United States Army Africa Vicenza to account for over 2.5 thousand Sub-Saharan Africa owned lines of more than $5 million. Closely working with U.S. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapons System Support, DDSI has reduced suspended stock from 1.4 thousand lines to well under 140, improving available stock and freeing up valuable space for ready for issue material. He possesses an innate ability to train and develop leaders, manage and enhance their potential talent, reward high performers and build a solid network of connections and contacts.

Watt is an unwavering leader who sets the bar all should strive to achieve. He welcomes all challenges while ensuring that value is added to the organization. He personally instituted a reward program for employees of the month and quarter and created an annual recognition program for local national employees. He planned and enacted a non-monetary award program for immediate recognition of small DDSI monogramed awards as immediate appreciation tokens to the workforce. He believes in empowering leaders, fostering personal and professional growth with an internal mentorship program, while developing succession plans for the organization to ensure mission accomplishment. He selflessly serves his workforce, embracing his leadership philosophy of CORE – character, ownership, respect, excellence. Watt embodies bold vision, empowerment and truly cares for people as he has developed and supported a team that trusts him and can take on any challenge due to their confidence and his support.