The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support celebrated the retirement of four civilian employees during a ceremony July 29 in Philadelphia.
Valerie Mitchell of the Subsistence supply chain retired after 41 years of service, Thomas Laursen of the Construction and Equipment supply chain retired after 40 years of service, Joseph Satterthwaite of the Medical supply chain retired after 34 years of service, and Denise Scobee of the Medical supply chain retired after 32 years of service.
DLA Troop Support Executive Director and Head of Contracting and Acquisition Management William Kenny presided over the ceremony and congratulated them on their combined 147 years of federal service.
“It’s been a long year, but I’m really happy that we can get together today,” Kenny said. “We’re all here together, and I appreciate that.”
Each retiree received a certificate of retirement, DLA Troop Support mementos and a commander’s coin. In addition, their spouses or partners received a certificate of appreciation.
Mitchell’s federal career began in the summer hire program at the Defense Personnel Support Center in 1978. After leaving to work for the Philadelphia Naval Base as part of their Stay in School program, she returned to DPSC, and eventually began working in Clothing and Textiles, where she spent 22 years in the stock control branch and emergency operations center. Mitchell received several Federal Executive Board group awards, and she says she is most proud of her work on the award-winning humanitarian blanket program. She graduated from the Defense Logistics Agency corporate intern program and was promoted to a tailored vendor logistics specialist in Subsistence, the position from which she is retiring.
“It has been a privilege, an honor and my pleasure to serve the warfighter,” she said. “Forty-one years is more than half my life, and I certainly appreciate this recognition. I will truly miss all the friends and coworkers that I made over the years.”
Laursen started his federal career in 1981 as an inventory management specialist at the Defense Industrial Supply Center, where he rose to become a supervisor. During the 1990s, he led the team supporting the consolidation of Class IV construction materials, and he was instrumental in writing the doctrine that eventually led to DLA becoming the executive agent for all Class IV materials. Laursen was reassigned to DLA Troop Support Europe and Africa in 2011, where he was a supplier operation division chief. He took a five-month detail to Kazakhstan to assist with DLA’s local sourcing initiative in Central Asia during that tour and returned to Philadelphia in 2019.
“I’d like to thank all of the people who I’ve worked with over the past 40 years,” Laursen said. “You can’t do the job by yourself, and I’ve worked with many, many good people over the years and had a lot of support on the projects I’ve been involved with.”
Satterthwaite, a former warfighter, retired from the Army in August 2001 after 20 years of service. His military assignments included serving as the Public Affairs Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, U.S. Recruiting Command direct mail manager, a photojournalist for the Army Trainer Magazine and editor of the Fort Riley Post. As a civilian, he started the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia’s Corporate Intern Program in 2007 and is retiring as a contract specialist/administrator in the Medical supply chain.
“I’d like to thank everybody for the support and people who I knew that have passed for their support,” he said.
Scobee began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching in East Africa. She started her DLA Troop Support Career as a biomedical engineer in the Medical supply chain’s Capital Equipment Division. In 1999, she started working on a large military sales project with the Army Corps of Engineers, procuring more than $100 million of medical equipment for the Egyptian Army. She left DLA to work for Army Corps of Engineers in Egypt for over two years, then returned to DLA, and most recently worked on several deployable systems to support troops in the field. She said she is most proud of serving as the main trainer for the new biomedical engineers joining her division for the last 10 years.
“I really enjoyed my time working with the government,” Scobee said. “I appreciate my team [co-workers]; they have been the best ever. They’ve been the greatest, and I will miss them.”