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News | Feb. 22, 2022

Dynamic frontline leadership leads to branch chief’s selection as DLA Aviation’s top leader for December

By Leon Moore DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

Selfless attitude and willingness to accept all challenges with confidence are attributes that earned Rodney Dunson the DLA Aviation Leadership Award for December. He’s the Hardware/Nuclear Reactors Program Branch chief within the Planning Material Division of Defense Logistics Agency Aviation’s Planning Programs Directorate in Richmond, Virginia.

The award recognizes DLA Aviation leaders who exemplify the four leadership traits deemed by the agency as the characteristics needed to be a good leader. These traits are referred to as the four dimensions of transformative leadership: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration.

Dunson said he was so busy taking an online exam that he wasn’t paying attention when he got the congratulatory email from Planning Programs Director Kent Ennis. 

“Upon completion of the exam, I opened the email [from Ennis] and was thoroughly surprised with the nomination and selection,” he said.

Material Planning Division Chief Troy Thomas nominated Dunson. He said Dunson stepped up to the challenge of managing the transfer of hardware items between DLA Troop Support and DLA Aviation within his branch.

Thomas said Dunson, in support of this new and unexplored workload, restructured his entire branch to align more effectively with supplier operations while considering workload capacity. The total population received by Aviation was 460,000 items. Dunson’s branch is responsible for roughly 95% of the population (all competitive items).  Of that population, 2,883 qualify as a crown jewels, using the criteria of annual demand frequency greater than or equal to 80. While two-thirds of the total population are inactive (non-stocked) and do not require much manual intervention, there remains one-third that will require heightened management and attention.

Due to the uniqueness of these items, Dunson had to redefine his priorities, establish new processes, implement training, and increase supervisory reviews and cross-directorate discussions. He challenged his team to think outside of the box and tackle problems.

To capture all the issues on those items, Dunson had his branch focused on active (stocked) items, checking that the information on the item’s master record and ensuring header data was correct in accordance with DLA Aviation’s criteria.

He also held stand downs to complete 100% reviews of “unhealthy”/poor stock positioned items to provide our customers with the right item on time and at the correct location(s). His division collaborated with the Joint Commodities/Instrumentation and Nuclear Enterprise/Aviation Commodities Divisions within DLA Aviation’s Supplier Operations Commodities Directorate, ensuring optimal procurement strategies for these items to get the correct quantities for the warfighter, at the best possible price.

“By including his team in decisions and leveraging their talents, he let them know they were in this together and they were all a part of the mission,” said Thomas. “The oversight and attention that Rodney provided his team during the transition of these new and unknown hardware items was critical to the success of these items and DLA Aviation’s sustainment of materiel availability.” 

“My leadership not only talks the talk, they walk the walk.  I’m also very fortunate to have a very supportive group of first-line supervisors that are awesome.” Go Team PABC!” Dunson proclaimed!

Congratulations Rodney Dunson on a job well done providing outstanding support to the nation’s warfighters!