Greger, former Logistics Information Services director, added to DLA Hall of Fame catalog

By Christopher Goulait

PRINT  |  E-MAIL
All the accomplishments and firsts tied to Deborah Greger’s legacy are reasons enough for recognition, but if the people who knew her are any judge, it’s her leadership skills that earned her a place in the Defense Logistics Agency Hall of Fame

Speak to Greger’s co-workers, and in the same breath they mention how she ended her 31-year career as the first woman and civilian to lead DLA Information Operations’ Logistics Information Services, odds are they will want to talk about how she supported her team as well. 

Even before she reached her top position with DLA, people like Cris Miranda took notice of the way Greger led. Miranda, now a liaison for national stock number codification with Logistics Information Services, was a self-described outsider about to retire from active duty when he joined Greger on the team supporting the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle program. 

“I was immersed in that program with Deb Greger, from the rapid provisioning of the repair parts to supporting the program in southwest Asia,” Miranda said. “She always supported us 110 percent. And when I say ‘us,’ I mean the DLA workforce and the customers.” 

Anything needed to help the group do their job better, whether it was training, conferences or deployment, got full backing from Greger, Miranda explained. 

Being easily approachable was another valuable resource in Greger’s toolkit, he said. 

“We could reach out to her any time we needed to; there was no red tape or needing to go through anyone else to get to her,” Miranda said. “I could directly connect to the senior management about an issue and have it resolved right there and then, instead of having to go through multiple layers.” 

That sentiment was echoed by Oriel Paulino, a program analyst with Logistics Information Services. 

“Something big and amazing about Deb was that she was a very personal and approachable boss,” Paulino said. “It seems that she knew all of us, what we did, our problems, our abilities and our names.” 

That openness was something Greger said she strived for. 

“We all have many challenges throughout our careers,” Greger said. “To overcome them, whatever they may be, requires an environment that encourages communication…. I tried to be as open, accessible and personal as possible. While not always easy or comfortable, I tried to create an environment of trust and mutual respect, especially during times of disagreement and adversity.” 

Greger began developing those traits in 1982 as she worked in what was then known as the Defense Logistics Service Center and, later, the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service. Her work evolved into cataloging modernization, where a team focus showed its strengths. 

“I learned early on about the value of teamwork during a major cataloging modernization in the late 1980s and early 1990s,” Greger said. “Since that time, I truly embraced the power of teams in meeting diverse challenges, from system implementations to issues such as nuclear weapons identification, process improvement and climate culture.” 

Building on those lessons of teamwork, Greger’s responsibilities grew as she became the first director of the Logistics Initiatives Office, where she managed all developmental logistics information programs for what was then the Defense Logistics Information Service. With an array of programs like the Department of Defense Electronic Mall, the Universal Data Repository, Asset Visibility, and the Cataloging Reengineering System, she had a huge impact, according to Raymond Zingaretti, the current Logistics Information Services director. 

Managing those programs “on time and within budget, has led to important advancements within DLA and DoD in the areas of medical logistics, electronic commerce and environmental controls,” Zingaretti said. “Development of the CRS program turned the estimated long-term benefits savings of the DoD cataloging consolidation in [Battle Creek, Michigan,] into a reality.” 

Then, as Greger scaled the ranks of Logistics Information Services, she became responsible for the overseeing the array of services that fall under the office, such as the DLA Customer Interaction Center, federal and international cataloging, and several cataloging-related logistics applications. She developed an alternative budget strategy with a costs savings of $51 million. She alsoserved as the U.S. representative to NATO Allied Codification Committee 135 to help with the NATO Codification System policy and data exchange standards used by nations around the world. 

“Her outstanding commitment to customer service, resource stewardship and professionalism has enabled her to succeed at each stage of her career, to serve as a role model to future leaders, and to ensure Logistics Information Services and DLA provides dedicated support to the warfighter,” Zingaretti said. 

When it comes to role models, Greger noted that she is especially honored by acceptance into the DLA Hall of Fame because of the reputations of its prior inductees. 

“Many of my mentors are on that wall,” she said. “I am truly honored and humbled to have earned a spot beside them.” 

For those seeking mentorship of their own, Greger offered her own words of advice. 

“It’s not enough to know what you do and do it well,” she said. “You have to know why you are doing it, how it benefits the DLA enterprise and ultimately the support of our military. Make relationships, learn and contribute!”