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News | March 10, 2022

Four DLA Energy employees earn agency annual awards

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

Recognized for their exceptional leadership and hard work, four Defense Logistics Agency Energy employees were selected for the agency’s prestigious 54th Annual Employee Recognition Awards for the calendar year 2021.

A pre-recorded ceremony honoring the recipients is was release March 10. There are three ways to watch DLA Facebook, DLA YouTube or on DVIDS.

“Congratulations to all the winners as well as to those who were submitted for competition!” said DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Jimmy Canlas. “I offer my personal thanks to everyone who was part of the larger team that continues to make us successful day-in and day-out.”

The DLA Energy recipients are:
Sloane Struse, DLA Leader of the Year
Air Force Maj. Charles Morton III, DLA Field Grade Officer of the Year
William Kennedy, Top 10 Outstanding DLA Personnel of the Year
Jaron Tyner, DLA Employee of the Quarter

Sloane Struse earned Level 3 Leader of the Year award as the deputy director at DLA Energy Middle East where he co-led a diverse, geographically dispersed workforce of 42 military and civilian experts. Struse expertly led the team during the Afghanistan mission withdrawal and Iraq’s Erbil Strategic Storage Reserves draw down. His previous foreign affairs and embassy experience was an asset in resolving diplomatic issues and building forums for engagement among partners in the region. Additionally, he volunteered and was appointed the Chairman of the newly created DLA Energy Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.

“I believe this award is more a reflection of the outstanding contributions from the employees of the DLA Energy Middle East Office,” Struse said. “Collectively, we had to overcome the challenges of being overseas, operating in a global pandemic, and always been short in our assigned staffing, yet never failing to deliver bulk petroleum support to the Warfighter in the only active combat theater in the world.”

Over the years, Struse volunteered to deploy twice to Afghanistan and earned the DLA 2019 Outstanding Field Grade Reserve Officer of the Year award. In 2021, Struse was selected for the Defense Senior Leadership Development Program. The recognition has pushed him to greater levels of performance and success, he said.

“My formula is to follow your passion and chart your own course to success,” he said. “Second, take the chances on opportunities that are presented to you, they could lead to surprising outcomes. Third, nothing beats hard work, striving for excellence, building trust, and demonstrating strong ethical values. Fourth, step forward and lead!”

Air Force Maj. Charles Morton is the DLA Energy Americas East operations officer. Morton’s leadership was instrumental during a historically challenging year that included threats to the regional supply chain during a busy hurricane season, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Colonial Pipeline cyber-attack.

His expertise was pivotal in analyzing crisis vignettes during Joint Concept of Contested Logistics working groups, planning large scale exercises, and executing fuel contingency support in response to devastating natural disasters according to his commanding officer. Morton’s contributions extend to the local community where he leads as a church music director, a band booster club officer, and mentor to junior high students.

Morton also received the 2020 DLA Individual Logistics Readiness Award.

“Logistics is a team sport, and this mantra undergirds the fabric of DLA operations,” Morton said. “I firmly believe that individual awards represent a microcosm of the larger team accomplishments.”

William “Titus” Kennedy is the DLA Energy Japan sole resolution specialist. He earned a Top 10 Outstanding DLA Personnel of the Year award for his oversight of 16 Defense Fuel Support Points, analyzing thousands of transactions on a daily/weekly basis and tens of thousands of transactions on a monthly/annual basis. During 2021, he reestablished staff assisted visits with DFSP partners throughout Japan using virtual tools when necessary to foster engagement and education opportunities.

After listening to his customers problems, Kennedy identified and resolved a network issue, identifying deficiencies and coordinating with the Help Desk and DLA Energy Headquarters to obtain the software and resolve negatively impacted locations.

He said earning the award prompted him to reflect on the past year.

“An individual does not achieve recognition of this scale without the help and support of everyone around them, including strong leadership,” Kennedy said. “This award was empowering, proving that hard work does not go unnoticed.”

Jaron Tyner is a quality assurance representative assigned to the DLA Energy Americas West team in Seal Beach, California. He earned DLA Employee of the Quarter for his efforts in providing quality assurance over the day-to-day management of over $2 billion in bulk petroleum contracts supporting over 130 customers in Colorado and Wyoming.

His initiative, dedication, and expertise were decisive in responding to fuel quality issues and ensuring on-specification fuel and Warfighter safety. On several occasions Tyner responded to potential fuel contamination reports. He quickly investigated the situations, work with the customers and vendors, and ensured lab analyses and results were expeditiously completed to support investigations and alleviate quality holds to return to normal operations. As part of his mission, he performed pre-award surveys for bulk petroleum terminals, bulk fuel additives, cryogenics production, and Into-Plane sites for Into-Truck operations and rapid refuel capabilities.

“The greatest satisfaction is that my supervisor and my immediate leadership recognized my efforts and thought highly enough of my performance to take time from their busy schedule to write up the nomination,” Tyner said. “I continue to give my best at work, because that’s just in my DNA.”

The 54th Annual Employee Recognition Awards included 55 employees from across the agency who earned awards in various enterprise-wide categories.