Distribution’s Future Plans director honored with Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service

By Brianne M. Bender DLA Distribution Command Affairs

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In honor of a decade of outstanding service, DLA Distribution’s Scott Rosbaugh received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service, the second highest civilian award in DOD.

Rosbaugh began his civilian career nearly 32 years ago as an intern assigned to the Army Materiel Command in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania. In 1991 he joined DLA as a program analyst in the Comptroller Office at the then Defense Distribution Region East in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.

For the past ten years, Rosbaugh has served as the director of Distribution’s Future Plans and has had a large impact on the operation direction and strategic relevance to Distribution’s worldwide logistics network.

When the DLA director ordered DLA Distribution to build a deployable depot capability that could provide disaster response for the continental United States, Rosbaugh led the mission analysis effort.  From the time he received the tasker to actual operational capability with 75 personnel and the necessary equipment, standing up DLA Distribution Expeditionary took only five months.  He then submitted a package to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for the Expeditionary team to become DLA’s first-ever nominee for a Joint Concept Technology Demonstration: the Node Management and Deployable Depot.

The team first deployed to Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, from April 20, 2007, to May 20, 2007, for the Limited User Evaluation of the JCTD; it later deployed to Marine Corps Base, Camp Kinser, Okinawa, Japan, from March 24, 2008 to April 16, 2008, for the critical Joint Military Utility Assessment. 

Today, the Expeditionary team is a mission partner of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and of U.S. Northern Command, having deployed on real-world missions to deliver hurricane relief in the Continental United States. 

Additionally, the Expeditionary team has made highly successful deployments abroad, including the establishment of a distribution center in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2010, in response to the first-ever Request for Forces issued by the Secretary of Defense to DLA. 

“The Expeditionary team is now referenced in joint publications and joint operational planning documents.  Mr. Rosbaugh’s execution of this directive has given the agency an enduring, powerful instrument to positively influence logistics outcomes throughout the world,” according to DLA Distribution deputy commander Twila C. Gonzales, Senior Executive Service. 

In November 2009, Rosbaugh led the planning for the Afghanistan Assessment Team.  DLA commissioned this cross-functional group of leaders to assess the lines of communication and to identify any logistics gaps, determine solutions and prioritize implementation.  His proposals included the forward-stocking of materiel to reduce airlift requirements, partnering of Distribution Support Teams with Army Materiel Command in order to reduce reliance on overburdened warfighting organizations, and the institution of an enterprise approach for the training of DLA's strategic planners. 

“Mr. Rosbaugh’s operational awareness and thorough knowledge of theater pipelines were critical to DLA Distribution's support of the U.S. Transportation Command’s establishment of the Northern Distribution Network,” said Gonzales.

The NDN consisted of four routes connecting the Baltic and Caspian ports with Afghanistan via Russia and neighboring states, using a rail network that terminated at Afghanistan’s northern border.  From there, cargo transitioned to trucks for onward movement into Afghanistan.  DLA moved quickly to use these routes by shipping construction and barrier material in government-owned containers and by pre-positioning stocks at a contracted facility.

Rosbaugh’s leadership skills were also crucial to the success of DLA Distribution’s support to Operation United Assistance in 2014.  His contributions to the mission in West Africa delivered critically needed humanitarian supplies in the midst of the Ebola epidemic. 

Within 90 days, the team of 28 DLA Distribution employees set up distribution operations in warehouses located in Liberia and Senegal and created an accountable, manual system to receive, store and issue items.  They were then able to unload a contracted Roll-On/Roll-Off vessel in only 24 hours with one working Rough Terrain Cargo Handler, and later executed over 1,300 truck transportation missions on an extremely degraded road network.   

Rosbaugh was a leader of the process team commissioned to revise the 2012 DLA Distribution Integrated Distribution Strategy.  The intent of IDS was to build a framework that would fulfill the requirements of multiple combatant commanders in a sustainable way without allowing geographic boundaries to constrain DLA operations. 

Additionally, Rosbaugh led DLA’s study across the DLA Distribution network of facilities, systems, and installation sites and developed the roadmap for global Strategic Network Optimization, finding new efficiencies in the Global Distribution Network for DoD.  The functional decisions of his IDS/SNO teams built a framework that now provides responsive and reliable worldwide support to any warfighter contingency. 

In 2014, Rosbaugh established and led a team to address U.S. Central Command requirements for General Services Administration materiel.  The team negotiated a Memorandum of Agreement with GSA, providing 25,000 square feet of storage space at DLA Distribution Bahrain.  This allowed GSA to store high-demand items at a forward location to support customers in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates as well as all Navy ships operating in the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility.  This initiative helped increase the operational readiness of the 5th Fleet by reducing the amount of time required in port for local procurements. 

“The innovations and advances DLA Distribution has accomplished in the last 10 years are a direct result of Mr. Rosbaugh’s dedication to excellence.  He has earned a sterling reputation throughout the highest echelons of DLA and the Department of Defense for his knowledge of logistics and distribution,” said Gonzales.

Reflecting on receiving this award, Rosbaugh said, “It is truly an honor to be recognized by [Former] Secretary Mattis, an individual who sets the bar on personal integrity.  This award is a better reflection of my dedicated team, a truly talented group of analysts who are posturing defense distribution to provide contingency response logistics ensuring readiness for our warfighters when it matters the most.  I share this honor with them.  In addition, I would humbly like to thank my leadership and fellow directors for the guidance and support along the way that led to the success recognized.”