DLA Historian visits Distribution

By Brianne M. Bender DLA Distribution Command Affairs

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DLA Historian Colin Williams made his inaugural visit to DLA Distribution headquarters in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, March 26.

Williams began his visit with Distribution Commander Navy Rear Adm. Kevin M. Jones and Deputy Commander Twila C. Gonzales, Senior Executive Service discussing Distribution’s rich 27-year history – as well as the installation’s recent yearlong centennial celebration.

Deputy Chief of Staff Stacy Umstead then provided Williams an organizational overview describing how DLA’s 24 worldwide distribution centers store and distribute supplies to troops, foreign military allies and intergovernmental partners.

Following the discussion, Umstead took Williams on a tour of the headquarters building, pointing out different elements of history that have been used in the branding of the new building. The lobby provides a view of Distribution’s past, present and future with displays featuring an original 1918 Studebaker wagon, a display of what a current warehouse looks like and a drone hanging from the ceiling to represent the future of DLA Distribution.

Additionally, Williams toured the Distribution Hall of Fame display, which includes a wall of busts of all individuals who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, as well as an interactive display touting the measures taken by each inductee to improve all aspects of DLA Distribution.

“In order to move an organization forward, you need to understand and appreciate the past. I’m glad to see that we’re reinstituting the historian program within the organization,” Umstead said.

Williams came to DLA from the U.S. Army Center of Military History, where he served on the chief of staff of the Army’s Operation Enduring Freedom Study Group and helped author two histories of the conflict.

Williams retired from the U.S. Army after an eighteen-year career, having deployed to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once. He commanded an artillery battery in combat, served in advising and civil affairs billets, and taught military history at the United States Military Academy at West Point.