Black History Month Spotlight: Bernard Stokes

By DLA Energy Public Affairs

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Editor's note: This year's national Black History month theme is “Black Migrations” honoring African Americans in motion. Just like their ancestors, these DLA Energy employees are driving forward, progressing their lives and careers in positive ways.

My name is:

Bernard Stokes

I am:

A Quality Assurance Specialist at DLA Energy Middle East in Bahrain.

Describe your job in a sentence:

I perform quality oversight functions in accordance with applicable DLA regulations and policies on bulk fuel delivery contracts, storage contracts, pipeline operating agreements, into-plane and missile fuels/propellants contracts awarded in the DLA Energy Middle East Bahrain area of operations.

How long have you worked at DLA?

I worked for DLA Energy as a military quality assurance specialist in Wiesbaden, Germany, from 2010 to 2013. During my tour, I was nominated for DLA Energy’s Europe and Africa Employee of the Quarter. After I retired from a successful 29-year career with the U.S. Army, I started working for DLA Energy as a civilian in 2016.

What is your favorite thing about working for DLA?

My favorite thing about working for DLA is supporting the Warfighters in the theater with quality logistical commodities. In addition, I have received great mentorship from my quality managers and advice from my co-workers to ensure the Warfighters are receiving quality petroleum products.

What are your best memories of working here?

My best recent memory is receiving recognition from DLA Energy Middle East Commander Army Lt. Col. Henry Brown. He presented me with a coin for providing quality oversight function to a newly assigned DLA Energy contract at Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center in Iraq for 69 days, ensuring no off-specification products could prevent or even hinder our Warfighters from completing their mission.

How do you make a difference?

I make a difference by sharing my knowledge and expertise in petroleum and chemical assurance with my coworkers, contractors and other government agencies in order to provide our Warfighters with quality fuels within specification.

How are you driving forward and progressing in your life and career in positive ways?

I grew up on a farm in rural southern Georgia. After graduating high school, I worked as an industrial maintenance worker. I will never forget the day when the factory security guard told me that his experience in the Army is what helped him get hired as a security guard. He encouraged me to join the military. I can still picture his face today. Sometimes, it just takes that one person with a few simple words to make a difference in your life. His words encouraged me to join the Army and move forward in my career.

As an Army leader, I encouraged my soldiers to think positive and positive things would happen. I believe the tedious hours spent working on the farm helped me build a strong work ethic that carried over in my Army career. I excelled in my military career by educating myself on and off duty. I am currently working to achieve level III certification and obtain my commodity certifications. I believe learning is a continuous process. I continue to share my knowledge with co-workers and learn from my supervisor’s experience to gain knowledge and introduce myself to other opportunities within DLA Energy. I want to be in a position to add value to the agency.