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News | Aug. 5, 2021

Employee Spotlight: Aaron Collins

DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

Employee spotlight regularly features outstanding non-supervisory personnel from throughout the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation and other DLA employees on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia. Organizational directors may submit names of employees they wish to feature in this column to DLA Aviation Public Affairs. For more information, call (804) 279-3139. 

Name: Aaron Collins

Organization: DLA Aviation at Jacksonville

Years of Service: Four.

What is your job title, and what do you do, specifically? I am a customer support technician. My team receives and exchanges carcass material turn ins for customers here at Fleet Readiness Center Southeast. We also handle the processing of quality deficiencies. Along with quality deficiencies and carcass exchanges, we also facilitate the disposal of material.  

What do you like most about your job? First, I just want to say that working for DLA Aviation has been amazing. The best part about my job is that every day, I get to interact with different customers from different backgrounds, with different sets of knowledge and overall different perspectives. Something you all will get to know and learn about me is that I love talking to people, having genuine conversations and overall, just enjoying time spent in the moment with others. Being in the younger crowd, I truly appreciate any chance I have to gain knowledge and wisdom from those around me.

What was your first job? My first job was working for the Cumberland Island National Seashore in Saint Marys, Georgia, as a volunteer park ranger during their summer high school job campaign. It was hard, physically draining work, but well worth it. It taught me a lot about pushing forward and the value of hard work.

What advice would you have given yourself 10 years ago? I would tell myself to never give up. As cliché as that sounds, it’s the truth and I don’t think I heard it enough as a kid. I would also tell myself that when you’re about to quit, when you’re at your lowest low and you’ve had enough, that’s when you’re the closest to success that you’ve ever been. You just must keep going.

Where do you see yourself five years from now? Traveling the world, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and overall learning more about the world around me.

What is the most surprising/unexpected thing others don’t know about you? When I was around 5-6 years old, my family lived in La Maddalena, Italy. Well, one day, they were having a body building type contest with military members. They were all on stage, taking off their shirts, flexing and doing their thing. What was the first thing I did? I ran and jumped up on stage, ripped my shirt off and started flexing beside them. At my age, I didn’t know any better and apparently it was the first thing that came to mind. Lol. Because of it, they jokingly nick named me Mr. La Maddalena.

What are some of your passions outside of work? Outside of work, I like spending time with my golden retriever, Lily. I also truly appreciate hanging out with my dad as much as I can. I don’t get to spend as much time with him as I’d like, so every chance I get, that time is extremely valuable to me. Other than that, if I am not doing any of these things, you can find me studying finance as I am trying to push for my master’s degree.

Who is the most influential person in your life...past or present? That would be my father. His determination, strength, courage and bravery to never give up, inspires me every day. He influenced me to be a better person, stay true to myself and always be genuine. He engrained in me the value of honesty and without all these things, I wouldn’t be who I am without him.