Thetford recognized for achievements as commander of Norfolk distribution center

By DLA Distribution Public Affairs DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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Navy Supply Corps Capt. Harry T. Thetford has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal for his achievements while serving as commander, Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Norfolk, Virginia.

Thetford assumed command of the distribution center in April 2015, a critical time of exponential growth in the scope and velocity of DLA Distribution Norfolk operations.

In a period of dynamic change, his dynamic leadership consolidated operations and increased effectiveness. Thetford ensured all personnel were taken care of during the transfer of DLA employees from the Dahlgren, Virginia and Indian Head, Maryland, sites to Naval Sea Logistics Center in October 2015, resulting in a seamless transition.

When DLA commenced operations at the Norfolk navy shipyard, Thetford successfully led the change management that resulted in a compliant operation that saved the Navy customer millions of dollars annually.

A strong advocate of increased interaction between the DLA and Navy, his participation in numerous conferences, panels and meetings highlighted best practices and conveyed information on DLA operations and services.

His leadership produced a culture of excellence, evidenced by outstanding performance by his organization in Audit Readiness audits and verifications by both Headquarters and Independent Public Auditors. Norfolk stood out as a shining star in the effort, and was the first distribution center to achieve first pass 100 percent inventory accuracy on a floor-to-book inventory by independent auditors.

Thetford also enhanced an already high level of safety awareness and training to lead the command to recertification as an Occupational Safety and Health Administration Voluntary Protection Program star site in October 2015. The OSHA inspectors noted several “safety best practices” that were shared with other organizations within the federal government, DOD and private sector.

Thetford will retire from the United States Navy following 30 years of service during a July 14 ceremony.