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News | July 14, 2022

Employee Spotlight: Charles Luhiau

By Leon Moore, Public Affairs Specialist 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: Charles Luhiau

Organization: DLA Aviation at Oklahoma City

Years of Service: 24 years

What is your job title, what do you do specifically?  I am a general supply specialist. In this capacity, I monitor the aviation inventory/care of supplies in storage workflow for requests from Air Force customers here on Tinker Air Force Base to correct erroneous transactions for due in from maintenance/due out to maintenance and days inventory on hand.

What do you like most about your job? I enjoy working on a winning team here at DLA Aviation at Oklahoma City! We are passionate about serving the warfighter, and we are highly effective stewards of the public’s trust.

What kinds of training and education helps your work performance in your current role? In my 24 years, I have picked tickets in the warehouse, delivered hazardous and explosive materials, led teams in the service shop centers and written job aides as a business process analyst. All of this training, education, and experience makes me the subject matter expert I am today. It facilitates me in being the best general supply specialist, and the best supporter of the warfighter that I can be.

If you could speak directly to the warfighters you support, what would you tell them? I would like to express my deepest appreciation for your bravery, your valor, and regretfully sometimes your sacrifice for my freedoms as an American citizen. My family and I can enjoy life, liberty, and our pursuit of happiness because of the efforts and sacrifices of you and your families. I am deeply honored to serve and support you. Thank you for your service and God bless America!

What was your first job? Back in 1985, when I was 15 years old, I got my first job as a bagger at a grocery store in Oklahoma City. This is when I discovered that I liked helping people, and my profession in customer service began.

What advice would you have given yourself 10 years ago? Expectations are premeditated disappointments. If you are disappointed, it’s your own fault. Take personal responsibility and manage your expectations wisely.

What is the most surprising/unexpected thing others don’t know about you? When I was 19 years old, I answered a help wanted ad for “Ballroom Disco” and I became a ballroom dance instructor at a dance studio in Oklahoma City. I am now trained in the Foxtrot, Walse, East Coast Swing, Tango, Cha-Cha, Meringue, Rumba, Mambo and Samba.

What is your proudest accomplishment? The accomplishment I am most proud of is an automated Excel workbook I created for the DLA Aviation Storage and Distribution Branch on Tinker Air Force Base. I named it the Compliance Portal. It tracks license expiration and vehicle usage. I taught myself Visual Basic for Applications by watching tutorial videos on YouTube.

Have you had a mentor that helped you grow in your career? If so who, and how did they help? The mentor that has had the most impact on me so far has been my former supervisor Brenda Price, who is now retired. It was very important to Brenda that her employees be treated fairly and with kindness. She taught me that no matter how I was treated or what was said to me that I should always conduct myself in a professional manner and be kind and understanding. This training has helped me work through difficult situations at work and my personal life as well. I will always appreciate the way she taught me to always do things “by the book” no matter if someone was aware of it or not. I will always appreciate how she taught me to interact with people, no matter how they had treated me or how they had spoken to me. I am a better DLA Aviation employee, and a better person because of the things she taught me. I appreciate her every day.