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News | Nov. 9, 2016

Troop Support Academy shows workforce their impact on warfighter

By Shawn J. Jones DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

On a base with no tanks, ships or jets, and while tucked away in office cubicles, many Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support employees rarely encounter the military might they help provide.

That is why more than 100 employees attended Troop Support Academy, a three-day course aimed at providing an expanded perspective of the organization and its impact on its primary customer - the warfighter.

Two days of the course were devoted to presentations and discussions by senior leaders and representatives of DLA Troop Support’s five supply chains and other support offices.

“Troop Support Academy reinforced the magnitude all the supply chains take part in, regarding the safety and sustainment of our troops,” said Henia Montague, a purchasing agent in the Subsistence supply chain. “It's a concerted effort by everyone at DLA that keeps the cog operational.”

Army Brig. Gen. Charles Hamilton, DLA Troop Support commander, told the class about a logistics-related predicament he faced as a combat-zone commander. He explained how his soldiers needed more tents in order to better execute their mission.

One call to DLA Troop Support got it done.

“Within weeks, we had equipment that saved lives,” he said. “It’s not just a transaction. It’s the real thing.”

Montague said Hamilton’s story was one of her favorite parts of Troop Support Academy.

“There is a quote from John Quincy Adams, ‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’” Montague said.

When measured against Adams’ quote, she said her commander met the mark because his story made her feel more inspired about her role within the organization. 

The presentations provided a big-picture perspective of the organization, but the academy’s planners decided that no Troop Support lesson would be complete without a visit to the troops themselves. The class visited Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey Nov. 2.

They toured two mobility aircraft, a firehouse, a crisis-response unit and a dining facility, talking with service members at each stop.

“Meeting with many troops and having the privilege of seeing how they live and how they defend us, and also seeing how the job I perform impacts their life, it really was incredible,” said John Procopio, a contract specialist in the Subsistence supply chain. “The role I perform day-to-day, and the efforts I put into carrying out my duties, is satisfying because it is going toward a great cause, and that is to support the real superheroes in this world, our warfighters.”

Procopio said that both the presentations and the base tour were enlightening.

“Troop Support Academy was a great experience and taught me a lot about both DLA and the warfighter,” Procopio said. “It brought the knowledge and experience I have obtained working here full circle, and I now better understand the crucial role we play in supporting our customers.”