DLA employees have tremendous reputation, director says; urges Culture Survey participation

By Beth Reece

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You can compare the Defense Logistics Agency to Amazon, UPS or ExxonMobil, but nobody does everything DLA employees do day in and day out, the agency’s director said during a town hall at the McNamara Headquarters Complex March 7.

 

“If you were to take DLA out of the heart of the Department of Defense, there are a lot of military services, a lot of whole of government partners and a lot of people that would simply go unsupported,” said Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams. “Take pride in the fact that you do a unique mission, that you do it in such a special way that you have become indispensable to what gets done in our nation.”

 

DLA has built its reputation as an enabler of mission success through years of growth and change, he continued, and employees’ contributions during the response to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria greatly highlighted the agency’s capabilities.

 

“Your reputation went to a new level during the hurricane season last year. Through those three hurricanes that affected much of the southern United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, we supported FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency]. But let there be no doubt that those who supplied most of the supplies and material … are the folks sitting in this room and ‘listening on the airwaves,’ ” he said.

 

The agency must continue to lead innovation and embrace change, he continued. While employees should refer to the new DLA Strategic Plan and People and Culture Plan for clear outlines of the agency’s goals and priorities, Williams described areas he considers most critical, from supporting DoD-level reforms in information technology to operationalizing DLA support to warfighters.

 

“One of the things we’re undertaking … is this attempt to marry our material availability to the operational readiness of the military services,” he said.

 

Sustainment of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet will also require major support from DLA. The agency is working to catalog parts for the weapon system and will strive to keep repair costs down, he added.

 

Achieving audit readiness, another key goal, will require input from all employees across DLA, regardless of what type of work they do.

 

“One myth I want to dispel is that audit readiness is a J8 thing. Audit readiness is an everybody thing,” the director said, adding that the agency will continue to make improvements in financial tracking systems until it receives a clean statement of audit readiness.

 

Williams encouraged employees to participate in the 2018 DLA Culture Survey, which runs March 13 through April 17. Communicating with the workforce and ensuring information reaches every level is one of many areas leaders have tried to improve in response to previous Culture Survey results.

 

“That’s one of the reasons one of the first things that I prioritized was our Strategic Plan, and I’ve asked the J-code directors and all the MSC commanders to make sure they talk about this continually in our town hall sessions so everyone understands what our priorities are, what our objectives are, and what your place in the strategic plan happens to be,” he said.

 

Williams also presented his signature “Ya Done Good” certificates to 16 employees and two teams:

 

  • Deborah Parker, DLA Public Affairs
  • Janice Sypolt, DLA Logistics Operations
  • Courtney Gutteridge, DLA Logistics Operations
  • Navy Chief Petty Officer Loreatha Guzman, DLA Logistics Operations
  • Special Agent David York, DLA Office of the Inspector General
  • Tina Chen, DLA Office of the Inspector General
  • Joanna Hays, DLA Information Operations
  • Bill Dasch, DLA Information Operations
  • Donna Estep, DLA Human Resources
  • Deanna Rightmyer, DLA Human Resources
  • Hettie Holmes-Carter, DLA Human Resources
  • Nancy Anthony, DLA Equal Opportunity Office
  • David Nolte, DLA General Counsel
  • DLA Joint Contingency Acquisition Support Office team – Canadian Army Maj. Dominic Adams-Robenhymer, Air Force Maj. Daniel Moline, Alan Arthur and Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Tamalia Adams
  • DLA Information Operations team – Gregg Schrader, Jerry Smith, Brian Palmer, James Cunningham, Peter Haudek, Barry Collins and Adam Parsons

 

New leader announcements included:

 

  • Kristin French, DLA chief of staff
  • Air Force Brig. Gen. Linda Hurry, DLA Aviation commander
  • Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly, DLA Troop Support commander
  • Jean Cox, DLA Finance deputy director
  • Mark Brown, DLA Land and Maritime acquisition executive
  • David Kless, executive director of operations and sustainment, Logistics Operations