Medical’s new director speaks about joining DLA Troop Support

By Shaun Eagan DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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For the first time since 2014, the workforce that procures pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and equipment for the Defense Department has a new leader.

Army Col. Matthew Voyles became director on June 11 after completing an assignment with U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida where he served as a medical logistics planner.

The Medical Service Corps officer, who is a Missouri-native, has only known the agency as a customer throughout his 22-year career. He says he is ready and eager to gain a new perspective in medical logistics.

In the following Q&A, Voyles talks about his first visit to Philadelphia, working in a joint environment, his expectations as the Medical director and his thoughts about joining the DLA Troop Support team.

Have you ever been to Philadelphia?

I came here as a [United States Army Medical Materiel Agency] student back in 2003 and we did a tour, but I was a captain back then. That was the only time I’ve been here before. I’m very excited to be here in Philadelphia.

What were your thoughts about coming to DLA Troop Support when you received orders?

Coming here to DLA Troop Support Medical, it’s really kind of the pinnacle of assignments. Just outside of being in command, this is a very overarching, strategic assignment. To come here was definitely a privilege and an honor to get the opportunity. Even in just the short time that I’ve been here, whenever I think I might know a bit about something, there’s a whole lot that I’ve yet to learn. So coming here has been eye opening and great.

What is your goal for your time as the Medical director?

You know, it’s already a great team. So, my goal is to do whatever I can to be a part of that team and take it to the next level. I want to try to not get in the way too much, but actually enhance it and help build upon the great work that’s already being done.

What is one lesson that you learned from CENTCOM that you are bringing to DLA Troop Support?

I think that being at a big four-star general command headquarters makes it easy to feel like you get lost in the day-to-day operations. But the reality is what you do day-to-day, even here stateside, can have an impact on what happens to the warfighter far forward. So never lose sight of that. Coming here to DLA, it’s a great organization here at Troop Support and within Medical. A lot of good work is done right here, but never lose sight of the fact that it’s affecting a warfighter somewhere far forward.

What is your favorite aspect of the joint environment?

Lately, my favorite aspect has been harassing Navy officers about each Army win in college football (laughs). All jokes aside, it’s a lot of fun. I had the pleasure at CENTCOM getting to understand what the other services bring to the table and what they do. As well as when I was at [United States Army Medical Materiel Center-Europe], we had Air Force and Navy officers there, and you just continue to learn and get that perspective and background. I actually really enjoy that.

What are your thoughts on having a primarily civilian workforce?

I actually had the opportunity to be in those types of organizations before, once being at a hospital where we’ve had primarily full civilian workforce. Before I was in CENTCOM at MacDill, I also had the opportunity to serve four years at the USAMMC-Europe, which is largely a civilian workforce and has a local national German civilian workforce. So it’s not too unfamiliar to me. In my eyes, everyone is trying to do a great job. It doesn’t matter what your uniform is or what you put on every day. People are just trying to do the best they can and we’re all in it together.

What is one thing you would like to see the Culture Improvement Team focus on that brings value to the workforce?

I’d say just overall teamwork. You can always continue to work on getting to know your coworkers and building that teamwork each and every day. Whether it’s project based or just normal customer interactions, just continue to learn and appreciate what everyone is doing because everybody is leaning far forward to do the best that they can.

What is something you wish people would ask you?

It’s good to ask, ‘How are you doing,’ whether that’s coming towards me or someone else. I think it’s easy to forget that people are in certain roles, but it’s always good to ask people how they’re doing. Ask something as simple as that.

Do you have a favorite sports team?

This is tough one to answer living in Philadelphia now (laughs). I think I’m pretty safe, but I’m a lifelong Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals fan.

What do you do to relax?

I enjoy being with the family. I enjoy getting out and being out. I enjoy just having fun, whether that’s going to the beach or just enjoying each other.

If you want the employees to know one thing about you, what would it be?

I’m just part of the team. I’m looking forward to working with everyone. I know many people do a lot of great work. Coming to work should be a good and enjoyable thing. I think that if you’re coming to work, you want to be at work and you’re happy at what you do. Being happy where you’re working at is only going to enhance the team and the agency overall. I’m a big part of work hard, play hard.