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News | Oct. 7, 2021

C&T welcomes new leaders to continue warfighter support mission

By Mikia Muhammad DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

Continuing a legacy of warfighter support is just one of the shared goals of the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Clothing and Textiles’ two newest senior leaders.

C&T Director Air Force Col. Matthew T. Harnly and Deputy Director David Johns head a workforce of 300 acquisition and customer support professionals who provide clothing and equipment valued at $2 billion dollars annually in support of both America’s warfighters and civilian agencies throughout the United States and around the world. 

“My goal is to continue C&T’s long history of meeting the needs of the warfighter while ensuring a safe and rewarding experience for our great workforce,” Johns said.

Johns joined the supply chain early September, following the retirement of former deputy director Roy Dillard. Johns previously served as the Subsistence supply chain deputy director where he was responsible for overseeing the procurement and management of subsistence-related products ranging from operational rations to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Harnly took the helm as the C&T director late-June, following his previous assignment as commander of the 86th Logistics Readiness Group, 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Harnly oversaw the supply, transportation, and readiness requirements for the largest Department of Defense community overseas, comprised of 1,030 military and civilian personnel and a munitions stockpile valued at over $359 million.

“I have two goals at the moment,” Harnly said. “The first is to keep the team safe as we continue to navigate COVID.  The Command is looking hard at what the ‘future of work’ looks like, and I’m eager to see how this shapes the future for DLA. The second is to ‘keep on keeping’ the customer in our acquisition crosshairs. Troop Support has a great reputation for their support to the warfighter, and it’s my goal to stay consistent with the trend.”

One lesson Harnly learned from his time at the 86th LRG is that challenges come in many shapes and sizes, and often without notice. 

“Professionalism and a steady hand go a long way in staying focused on the tasks that need to be done during chaotic times vice being distracted by the din inherit in chaos.”

Harnly also said he sees the continuity and subject matter expertise of Troop Support’s predominately civilian workforce as a force multiplier.

“What I appreciate are those who have seen past failures and successes and use that wisdom to craft better ideas from the ashes of the old,” Harnly said. 

Johns has nearly 30 years of DLA experience throughout various roles and supply chains including C&T, Subsistence and Medical.

“I was excited about the opportunity to come back to the C&T supply chain having started my career in C&T as a contract specialist intern,” Johns said. “After spending time as the deputy director of Medical and Subsistence it feels like things have come full circle.”  

Johns’ leadership philosophy emphasizes team effort, as he believes all members of the supply chain have strengths and skills that benefit the entire organization. 

“While I understand the importance of meeting the mission, I truly care about the well-being of each and every employee within the supply chain,” Johns said. “I believe all employees should be treated with respect and dignity.”

Harnly’s leadership philosophy evokes courage.

“Don’t be afraid of ‘it,’” Harnly said. “The ‘it’ can be anything. Fear and uncertainty are not uncommon to any of us, but don’t let those things rule over you.”

Harnly also said employees can anticipate him asking a lot of questions as he learns the “ins and outs” of the supply chain. 

“It’s often a mix of curiosity and my desire to understand as many sides of an issue as I can,” he said.