DLA Aviation celebrates Resiliency Day, moves into training sustainment phase

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency employees at Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, received a glass pebble as they filled the Lotts Conference Center Nov. 15, celebrating the past year’s accomplishments in training the workforce in resiliency tools to succeed personally and professionally in ever-changing environments.

The day started off with an energetic welcome back for Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Ellwood Tegtmeier, superintendent for the Inpatient Squadron at Joint Base Langley-Eustis Air Force Base, Virginia, who along with Air Force Master Sgt. Shanon Johnson and Tech. Sgt. Janet Pelayo, started DLA Aviation on its resiliency journey a year ago. 

“Resiliency is about you,” Tegtmeier told employees in the audience.  “People are our most valued resource and the fact that DLA Aviation took the time to put this day together shows that we believe it.  Now resiliency is about the sustainment phase.  The goal is to ensure you have what you need to sustain your personal resiliency needs.”

DLA Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Allan Day reinforced that commitment with a few statistics.  He said within the last year DLA Aviation has trained 19 resiliency trainers, presented 125 classes and trained the entire DLA Aviation workforce.

Day said the activity spent the last year training the workforce in the needed resiliency tools to meet the challenges they encounter.

Day said for him, resiliency is about finding his why, “My why is to equip, inspire, and ignite the next generation of servant leaders and families to achieve the extraordinary. Having a clear “why” makes the what and the how easier about life and builds my resiliency capacity.”

“The resiliency journey is like a movement,” Day said.  “I hope we created a sense of belonging to this DLA Aviation team, that you believe the team cares about you and that in turn you will do what you can to build your team up [referring to portraying positive attitudes and actions].”

As part of that inspiration, Day and three other DLA Aviation employees, Angel Rodriguez, Julia Roquemore and Teresa Smith, shared their personal resiliency stories with the audience. These moving stories captured the essence of the everyday resiliency theme.

Employees heard a skit prepared by fellow employees about the DLA Aviation “We Care, Aviation” mobile application providing resources for victims of sexual assault and those who may know of fellow employees or family members in need of assistance.  The We Care, Aviation App is available for download on government or personal cell phones and devices through normal download sites.

Employees also enjoyed, and some participated in, an interactive competitive game enforcing the different components of the four resiliency pillars and the types of adversity employees face in their personal and professional lives.

Carl Allen, a division chief within the Strategic Acquisitions Programs Directorate served as the game host. He left employees with this parting comment, it is up to you to “choose your attitude.”

Going forward this fiscal year, DLA Aviation will focus resiliency sustainment interactive training in small groups specific to the four pillars of resiliency starting with the mental pillar during the first quarter, followed quarterly by the physical, social and spiritual pillars.

And in case you are wondering about the pebbles employees received when they walk in - Day used the pebbles to demonstrate the concept of the passing of time and living a life of purpose in the time we have. He described this as a weekly process.

“Begin with the end in mind and write your eulogy describing how you would like others to remember you. Then make that future vision a reality by living purposely each day,” Day said. “Then as a reminder of your commitment, take a glass pebble out of your life jar and contemplate what kind of purposeful actions you will take in the coming week. Put the pebble in your pocket and as you go throughout the week, the pebble will remind you of your commitments. At the end of the week, take the pebble out and reflect on your actions over the week. Then, throw it away because you can never get that week back and get another pebble for the next week.”

“Resiliency, like love, is a choice … not a feeling and something that can grow each day,” Day said. “In each situation you can choose to be resilient or not, let’s choose to be resilient.”