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News | Feb. 28, 2023

Black History Month Spotlight: Theodore “Ted” Jones Jr.

By DLA Energy Public Affairs

Editor’s Note: Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

In this spotlight of a Defense Logistics Agency Energy employee, we honor Ted Jones’ 33-year career at DLA and his contributions both in the workplace and community. Jones has been a supervisor since 2005 and has worked in contracting, DLA Energy policy, DLA Acquisition and now in the DLA Energy Strategic Policy & Programs Directorate where he supervises seven employees.

What is your name and where is your hometown? Theodore “Ted” Jones Jr., Queens, New York

How did you get into this career field? I applied for a professional government job series during my senior year in college, however many positions were cut under the Ronald Reagan administration, so I entered the Federal Government in a clerical support position in 1988. After working 90 days, I became eligible for a professional series and was hired under the 1102 series in June 1990.

What do you do and what makes you proud about your job? I am an analyst in the Strategic Policy & Programs Directorate. I like working in policy because of the ability to implement changes to improve the acquisition workforce.  I am proud to be supporting the Warfighter and their families across the world!

What was the biggest influence on your career? Easy answer, the leadership that I’ve had the pleasure of working under for the last 33 years at DLA Energy. I’ve had some of the best supervisors/managers. Several of them are not only in the DLA Energy Hall of Fame but also the DLA Hall of Fame. I’d hate to name anyone because I’ve had so many and don’t want to leave anyone off the list!!

What advice do you have for others who may want to follow in your footsteps? Learn your job and be patient, understand the positive efforts your leadership provides and take note of what you think may be ineffective. Develop your own approach and use those positive examples when you enter a leadership position. Don’t be afraid to offer new initiatives that will help your organization to accomplish their mission efficiently.

According to this year’s Black History Month theme isBlack Resistance,” and explores how "African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms and police killings," since the nation's earliest days. Why do you think this theme is important to emphasize?

Resistance can be a good thing if done in a positive way. Resistance can encourage change and sometimes change is needed to improve or correct something. Of course, you must accomplish this in a peaceful, legal way. Think of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for example, he resisted and sacrificed so much for injustices. We’ve come a long way but still have some work to do. I think African Americans’ strong faith in God and their sense of purpose have kept us going through many forms of oppression we suffered and endured; negative stereotypes, misrepresentation, and degradation.

How do you honor this theme? I address any form of negative comments or behavior in an adult, intelligent way and follow procedures that will help me correct injustices if need be. I encourage youth that I mentor to understand how they should behave if they feel they have been mistreated. There’s a right way to accomplish anything.

Are there any other ways you contribute to your community or workplace? Absolutely. In the workplace, I contribute my time and efforts to programs that I think will bring to light legitimate concerns that not only African Americans have but all Energy employees may have. In my community, I serve on my Homeowners Associations Architectural Review board and volunteer as the announcer at our high school boys basketball home games. I am a certified swimming referee, and I coach a girls travel volleyball team. I am active in my local fraternity, Prince William Omicron Zeta Sigma chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, the largest graduate chapter in the state of Virginia. The Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., is built on the motto of "Culture for Service and Service for Humanity." The men of OZS strive to grow and expand Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., into Prince William County due to the need for a more visible presence and commitment to the education, scholarship, and mentoring of male students.