DLA Distribution Commanding Officer addresses DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania leadership

By Diana Dawa, DLA Distribution Public Affairs


Navy Rear Adm. Kevin M. Jones, commanding officer, DLA Distribution, presented his command brief to the leadership of DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, during their Strategic Planning Conference.


During the brief, Jones shared his two-prong approach to command philosophy and guidance. 


Under philosophy, he listed the following: develop and cultivate a culture with teamwork, trust, and respect. Know that people are the most important, and build empowerment.


“Ensure our customer and warfighters know we are here to meet their needs and build supporting relationships. Know your mission, build your reputation, maintain readiness, and foster pride and esprit de corps,” said Jones.


Jones listed the following accountabilities under guidance; improve on individual and team performance; execute to standard, maintain standards, then improve; and execute leader responsibilities.


His objectives are a safe, healthy and secure environment, while providing the highest possible quality of work and acknowledging that customer relationships add value.


“Start the conversation with the customer,” said Jones, adding, “It’s not no, but yes, if.  No just shuts down the discussion. Yes, if, starts the dialogue and then it becomes a two-way street.  Yeah, I can do this, if you do this. If we have this … let’s figure this out. So, start thinking about that— asking ourselves if we’re meeting the customers’ needs.”


However, said Jones “It takes years to build a reputation … it only takes 5 minutes to ruin it. We can’t rest on our laurels.”


On his Back2Basics approach Jones described his take on executing leadership fundamentals—keeping employees safe, doing things right the first time, following processes and procedures, managing work performance and reducing waste to gain efficiency.


Jones challenged those in the room to develop leaders in the workforce and be responsible. He encouraged them to learn by solving problems and being responsive to changing needs.


DLA Distribution’s fiscal year 2019-2021 priorities were shared with the group, which emphasized accountability and further defined the priorities as clear commitments that, in the eyes of others, have been kept.


Jones stated that commitments establish the following expectations: what you will do, how you will do it, and by when, and requires a willingness and obligation to accept responsibility for achieving those commitments. Under commitments lie the commander’s specific priorities: reform; warehouse management systems; audit readiness; and command and control.


“I guarantee you everybody in this room knows somebody or is related to somebody who either has served or is serving.  That’s what it’s all about. We enable the warfighter.  It’s all about power projection. Within 24 to 48 hours, we can reach out and touch anyone and we do that.  We enable that here. Especially at the EDC.  Over a third of DLA material flows through this distribution center, that’s a big deal, that’s a lot of material. Be proud of what you’re doing.”