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News | Oct. 22, 2021

Land and Maritime’s second annual leader-led ethics training an interactive affair

By Stefanie Hauck DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

Ethics training is often thought of as a dry and boring requirement, but the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime’s Legal Office livened it up a bit with an interactive hybrid event on Oct. 7 featuring a panel of Land and Maritime leaders from across the enterprise recounting ethical challenges they have faced in their careers.

The panel of leaders consisted of DLA Land and Maritime Commander Navy Rear Adm. Kristen Fabry,  Deputy Commander Kenneth Watson, Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate Director Navy Capt. Joshua Lancaster, Land Supplier Operations Director Army Col. Thomas McFall, Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate Deputy Director Linda Kelly, and Land Supplier Operations Deputy Director Don Schulze.

The panel offered up mostly real-world scenarios encountered in their daily duties followed by an interactive discussion with the hybrid audience led by DLA Land and Maritime ethics counselors Mike Meehan and Christine Roark.

 “Senior leaders set an example and so by participating in this panel and going through their ethical concerns and challenges and kind of how they did it puts that out for the workforce that even they face challenges,” Meehan said.

Areas addressed were gifts from inside and outside sources, post DLA employment, stipulations of the Hatch Act, conflicts of interest and outside employment.

Ethics is directly tied to and intertwined with DLA culture and should be practiced everyday not just once a year.

“It’s not one of those things that’s one and done, you check it, you do your annual ethics training, you wrap yourself in bubble wrap and no more ethical dilemmas come your way,” Fabry said.

“Oftentimes when we think of ethics training, we think oh it’s going to be this dry, boring training where they are just going to tell us what not to do,” she said.

Ethical dilemmas are often not that straight forward and happen on the spur of the moment without the person involved realizing it.

“It’s not a question of can you do it but should you do it and the appearance of doing it,” Fabry said.

Fabry recounted a situation where she had to think on her feet when presented with an unexpected gift right after speaking in front of more than 100 people. After a few tense seconds, she came up with a solution that worked for all while keeping her well within ethical guidelines.

“What I think is valuable in ethics training is not to just focus on what not to do but to hear stories of how we avoid those situations and how to navigate them safely and successfully,” Fabry said.

The training is not meant to be a stand-alone product but to serve as a jumping off point for further exploration and conversations surrounding ethics throughout daily operations.

“My hope is to continue this dialogue throughout the year,” Fabry said. 

The annual training is required for all OGE-450 filers, but all of the DLA Land and Maritime workforce are encouraged to participate. The OGE-450, or Confidential Financial Disclosure Report, is required to be filed annually by employees in certain positions.

The live training was recorded and will be offered for employees who were unable to attend in several live sessions run by DLA Land and Maritime Legal Counsel throughout the rest of October and November to satisfy the annual requirement. Specific dates will be announced in the Command Daily Announcements, on DLA Today and other communications channels.

For more information and answers to other ethics questions, employees and contractors can go to DLA’s ethics page or contact one of Land and Maritime’s ethics counselors: Christine Roark, Mike Meehan, Shy Wang, Darin Morency, Jeff Csokmay or Eric Selke.

Click here to view a recording of the live session.