DLA Distribution San Joaquin’s Deputy Commander Susan Earle is saying goodbye to the DLA family

By Annette Silva, DLA Distribution San Joaquin Public Affairs

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Be present. Be pleasant. Be productive. These three actions are what led Susan Earle, DLA Distribution San Joaquin deputy commander to excel through her 41 year federal career that is coming to an end in January.

“If you do these three simple things consistently, you will succeed,” stated Earle.

Earle said good bye to her DLA family during a morning ceremony Dec. 7 celebrating over 41 years of federal service. She was honored to have Twila Gonzales, senior executive service, DLA Distribution deputy commander to preside over her ceremony. The room was filled with family, friends and colleagues who were on hand to wish her well in her retirement.

Marine Col. Andre Harrell, distribution center commanding officer, took the opportunity to share with the crowd the legacy Earle is leaving behind in her absence. He discussed how she inspired the senior leadership and employees on a daily basis to perform at the best of their abilities.

“Thank you for being a friend and embracing our shared vision for the distribution center and taking care of our team,” said Harrell. “Susan worked hard and gave everything she had to the organization and she will be missed.”

Gonzales took the opportunity to speak about Earle’s accomplishments during her remarkable career. She spoke of her time when she led the public private workload competition for DLA and how Earle contributed to requirements documents as a packaging specialist during her tenure with DLA Distribution’s J3/J4 organization.

Earle’s career took her to Washington State where she was selected to lead the first government-won contract at Defense Distribution Center Puget Sound, Washington as the deputy commander. Gonzales went on to say that she and Earle coached and mentored one another.

At the Puget Sound distribution center, Earle successfully stood up a materiel processing center capability within the Distribution Standard System to tailor materiel delivery to homeported ships. She was the first to execute the Navy Warehouse Transfer Initiative, adding the Naval Station Everett MPC to the Defense Distribution Center Puget Sound, Washington area of responsibility.

Gonzales went on to mention a few of her accomplishments at DLA Distribution San Joaquin. During Earle’s first two years at San Joaquin, she led the initiative to add a 15 million dollar capital investment in narrow aisle racking. Further she led the redesign of the Receiving Small Parcel Sortation system for the command.

A true highlight of Earle’s career as the deputy commander, was her passion with the culture of the distribution center. This was evident with her leading first level supervisor mentoring sessions and has remarkably led the improvement of the distribution center’s climate culture indices by over 140 percent.

“And so today, we look back on a lifetime in the federal service – 41 years – a career full of service, full of memories, full of friendships, and we recognize Susan for her extraordinary dedication to DLA Distribution, the Defense Logistics Agency and our Nation,” commented Gonzales. “Susan, you made a big difference and we will miss you.”

Upon hearing laudatory remarks and receiving her awards and recognition, a teary eyed Earle made her way to the podium to share her remarks.

Earle took the opportunity to sit a group of ladies at the front of the room that represented lower and middle responsibility. She personally spoke to them in her remarks and let them know that they are the leaders of today and tomorrow. She told them to keep reaching for the stars.

Of the blue collar employees at the distribution center only 27 percent are female and of the supervisors, women account for 20 percent. She mentioned that women are still underrepresented and she would like to see that change in the future.

“You need to support each other and raise each other up. I want to encourage you to be the very best leaders, coaches and mentors. The workforce needs leaders they can relate to and I believe you all have the talent that is needed to keep San Joaquin a high performing workplace,” said Earle.

She went on and let everyone know that she was honored to serve as the deputy commander and appreciated all of the opportunities that DLA had given her over the course of her career. 

Earle went on to thank her leadership team, and her colleagues in attendance. “Every one of you has the power to make a positive impact on the people we serve. Be good to one another, work to build people up, be compassionate in your actions and decision making. God bless you and thank you all,” concluded Earle.

Prior to coming to work for DLA Distribution San Joaquin, she served as the Deputy Commander of DLA Distribution Puget Sound, Washington. As the deputy commander, where she was responsible for leading the organization through a post A-76 role as a Continuing Governmental Activity / Most Efficient Organization. Further, the distribution center established and maintained an excellent performance record and fielded the Quality Management System and was the first to deploy the Defense Transportation Coordination Initiative.

Early in her career, Earle worked her way through the ranks of federal service from her initial position as a general schedule two clerk typist at McClellan Air Force Base, North Highlands, California serving as an aircraft freight loader and warehouse worker, Consolidation and Containerization Point supervisor, and Receiving, Packaging and Warehousing general foreman.   Upon her departure from California, she started her career with the DLA family at the Defense Distribution Center in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania serving as Lead Packing Specialist in the Operations Division before her selection as the deputy commander at DLA Distribution Puget Sound.

She joined the San Joaquin team in 2010 where she served as the deputy chief of the Support Services group. In 2012 she was promoted to the Warehousing Group chief responsible for 17 warehouses and outside storage lots and a staff of nearly 300 employees engaged in receiving, stowing, picking, packing and shipping a wide range of materiel in support of our Warfighters, DoD, interagency partners, foreign allies, and first responder customers. In 2016, Earle brought all of her logistics expertise and was selected as the deputy commander of the second largest strategic distribution platform in the DLA Distribution network.

Earle received her bachelor’s degree in Business Information Systems in 1998 from University of Phoenix at the Sacramento campus. In 2004, she was awarded the title of Military Packaging Professional by the DoD School of Military Packaging Technology and was selected to attend the Gateway to Management course at the Tuck School of Business of Dartmouth College located in Hanover, New Hampshire. She has also participated in the Executive Development program and has attended courses at Dartmouth, Pennsylvania State University, University of North Carolina and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Earle received the highest DLA honor in receiving the DLA Exceptional Civilian Service Award upon her retirement. Her other awards include her selection as the recipient of the DLA Distribution High Performing Senior Leader of the Year for 2017 and the Jerri L. Taylor Award for Individual Outstanding Contributions in 2014, many sustained superior achievement awards, two awards for Meritorious Civilian Service, a Humanitarian service medal, a DLA Environmental Protection Award and a DOD Meritorious Achievement Award.

Earle is looking forward to traveling during retirement and will continue to serve as a Volunteer in Policing with the Ripon Police Department.