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News | March 10, 2023

Leadership Spotlight: Charles Rice

DLA Disposition Services

DLA Disposition Services Resource Management Directorate Workforce Management and Culture Division Chief

Battle Creek, Michigan

Charles Rice official photo
Charles Rice
Charles Rice serves as the chief of Workforce Management and Culture Division for the Resource Management Directorate in DLA Disposition Services. In this role, he is responsible for leading the Workforce Development, Workforce Support and Funds and Agreements Branches and their day-to-day operations.
Photo By: Jace Armstrong
VIRIN: 230309-D-D0441-500
Can you tell us about yourself?  
I currently serve as the Chief of Workforce Management and Culture Division for the Resource Management Directorate in DLA Disposition Services. In this role, I’m responsible for leading the Workforce Development, Workforce Support and Funds and Agreements Branches and their day-to-day operations.  

As Michigan native, I enlisted in the United States Army in 2000.  My military assignments include Battle Captain and Battalion Operations Officer in Baghdad, Iraq;  Observer Controller, Fort Polk, Louisiana;  Company Operations Officer, Republic of South Korea and Instructor for the Military Police Basic course, Fort Custer Michigan. Before coming to the Defense Logistics Agency, I served as a law enforcement officer with various federal and state agencies. 

I have served with the Defense Logistics Agency since January 2014 within the Installation Management organization, Battle Creek. During my tenure I served as a Physical Security Specialist in addition to my most recent role as the Division Chief, Plant Property and Equipment. In this role I was responsible in a direct support role for the worldwide support of Disposition Services in Property Accounting (Accountable and Real), Equipment Procurement and Management, and Non-tactical Fleet Management.  I was further responsible in a general support role as the DLA Facilities Chief for the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center, located in Battle Creek, Michigan.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Ashford University and a Master of Science in Safety, Security and Emergency Management from Eastern Kentucky University. I am also a graduate of the Villanova University, with a certification in Lean Six Sigma.

Describe your job in a sentence or two.  Division Chief, People and Culture Division, Resource Management Directorate, DLA Disposition Services.  I will provide leadership for the People and Culture division, leading the Workforce Development, Workforce Support and Funds and Agreement Branches.  

How long have you worked for the federal government including military service? 20 years

How long have you worked for DLA Disposition Services? Just started with Disposition Services in February, with Installation Management since January 2014.

What is your favorite thing about your line of work? Leading people to achieve great things in their personal and professional development.

What is the best piece of advice someone has given you?  “Charles, you need to become comfortable, with being uncomfortable.”

Awards/Recognition: Army Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters)  Army Achievement Medal (four Oak Leaf Clusters), Sergeant Audie Murphy Club inductee, Department of Veterans Affairs, National Police Office of the Year award recipient

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess? Possess self-awareness. Leaders must know and understand the impact of their words and actions on those vertically and horizontally.

How would you describe your leadership style and why has it worked so well for you? I lead by coaching and mentoring my staff to achieve their highest potential.  I have found great success, with my staff who really embrace coaching and mentoring.  They often move on to do bigger things for themselves.  

What do you look for when evaluating top talent?  When evaluating top talent, I look for the key ingredients to the next leader in my organization.  Whether I am hiring a first line supervisor or entry level employee, I am always looking for the attributes that could be refined and cultivated to become a future unofficial or official leader in my organization sometime in the future.  I am on the lookout for those who build trust and that others trust, demonstrate emotional intelligence, a desire to mentor and possess intrinsic motivation to not wait to be asked or tasked.  These four attributes are key indicators for me, that this is a high performing candidate, and I should continue my consideration of them in the application/interview process.

Why is networking to build professional relationships so important in achieving success?  Very little happens independent of other people or organizations. I have found the greatest success professionally by leveraging my informal professional relationships for the benefit of the Agency. If you think of it this way, you can row a canoe by yourself, but it is a lot easier if you have a team to share the workload and all rowing in the same direction.

What mistakes have you seen individuals make that prevent them from being successful?  This one is easy, focusing on being right.  Dying on a hill, just to be right, will never serve a long-term purpose and will only stunt your long-term effectiveness.  One singular issue, conversation, project is never worth a professional relationship.  Start with the items where you agree, and you will be astonished how my times you find the real disagreement was not all that significant.  

Name the most recent book you have read. Leadership on the Line: Staying alive through the dangers of leading   by Ronald A Heifetz and Marty Linsky. It was recommended to me by a mentor.

What is your best memory of working here?   My best memory of coming to DLA was my first day.  I have worked in a lot of places and never did I feel like my employer really cared about me as a person as my first day with DLA in 2014.

What is your favorite quote?  “If your action inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”   John Quincy Adams