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News | March 8, 2016

DLA Land and Maritime associate draws on military experience to excel in acquisition field

By Craig M. Rader DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs Office

During her two tours in Afghanistan Deonna Coleman witnessed firsthand the importance of supply acquisition and distribution. As a Soldier responsible for the safe detention of suspected Taliban fighters, Coleman saw the results of contract development and supply chain management.

Now a Level II Purchasing Agent for Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Coleman no longer wears a military uniform but remembers well the necessity of efficient supply logistics.

“Supply is a huge function over there. It’s not like we can just go to the store and get something. We have to rely on our supply chain the entire time we’re deployed,” Coleman said.

Coleman tells part of her story in the latest installment of a nine-part acquisition professional video series highlighting the contributions made by a variety of DLA associates in the acquisition field.

Her position as purchasing agent requires her to scrutinize vendors through various tools including the Vendor Performance History (VPH) and Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS) to help identify the best products on the market. In Coleman’s case, that includes specialized micro-circuits.

With no formal background in circuitry or electronics, it may seem unusual to chose this field to specialize in, but she credits her training and team with her success in the industry.

“Without their help, without their knowledge, without their expertise from doing this for so long, it would’ve been much more difficult,” Coleman said. “Working alongside product specialists and with guidance from my supervisor though, it was a group effort. It was tough, but I wanted the challenge.”

Coleman acknowledged she continues to learn and improve through training and working with those associates on her team. Drawing on the expertise of those around her and through her own experiences as a Soldier on the battlefield provides the Columbus, Ohio native with the skills to execute her mission.

“Somebody’s out there protecting us. That used to be me,” Coleman said. “Now their safety is in my hands.”

To view Deonna Coleman’s video, visit
DLA’s YouTube page or the DLA Facebook page.