Employee Spotlight: Andres Gerena

By DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

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Employee spotlight regularly features outstanding non-supervisory personnel from throughout the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation and other DLA employees on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia. Organizational directors may submit names of employees they wish to feature in this column to DLA Aviation Public Affairs. For more information, call (804) 279-3139.

Name: Andres Gerena 

Organization: Material Requisition Branch, Material Management Division, DLA Aviation-Cherry Point

Years of Service: Five years federal service, with six months at DLA Aviation

 

What is your job title, and what do you do, specifically? I am a customer support technician. My job duties consists of researching funded requisitions for the Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center East to fill material needs that are necessary for aircraft, engines, transmissions and many other types of aviation equipment. I accomplish this by exerting all available efforts to include requesting lateral support from other commands world-wide as well as finding surplus material that may be available through outside vendors. When possible, I will request expedite of material from vendors to ensure that our customer, Fleet Readiness Center East, has the material available to provide much needed resources to the warfighter.

What is your fondest memory of working for DLA Aviation? Having only been here a short period of time, my fondest memory would be how welcoming my co-workers were when I came aboard. They made it a very seamless transition and have been very willing to assist me in learning as much as possible to be able to perform my duties. They are a true team-oriented group of people that I have the pleasure of working with.

What kind(s) of training and education helps your work performance in your current role? In my current role, I have had classroom training to help in performing my duties, but the on-the-job training that has been provided by the people around me has been most helpful. I am lucky that in this requisition cell, we have a good diversity in knowledge that allows many people to provide a wealth of diverse knowledge to the team. Everyone here is willing to give of themselves for the team and not worry about just themselves.

What would you say has been your major contributions to your organization this year in your job? My major contribution that I have been able to provide would be my desire to want to be able to provide for the warfighter. I also bring the knowledge of having turned wrenches on some of the aircraft that we provide materials for that can be beneficial to the team. I also bring with me 20 years of military experience that allows me to work well as a team member and allows me to do my part in making this team one of the best possible.

What aspect(s) of your current job gives you the most personal satisfaction?  Why? Being able to directly effect the warfighter and their readiness gives me pride. Knowing that every time I am able to find a hard to get piece of material that allows the warfighter to have a needed asset is why I do what is necessary every day.

If you could speak directly to the warfighters you support, what would you tell them? I would tell the warfighter that I appreciate everything that they give of themselves every day for our freedom. I would let them know that what they do does not go unnoticed and that we are here to support them in every way that we can. 

What was your first job? My first paying job was as a United States Marine. I enlisted straight out of high school at the age of seventeen and have not looked back.

What advice would you have given yourself 10 years ago? The advice that I would give myself would be to not take anything for granted. Life is too short and enjoy every day like it’s your last.

What’s your biggest pet peeve? My biggest pet peeve is laziness. I believe that everyone should be doing their part daily. Never allow anyone to pick up your slack because you didn’t want to do what was required of you.

What are some of your passions outside of work? My passions outside of work are family and traveling. I love visiting exotic places and seeing what this wonderful world of ours has to offer.

What’s the most thrilling/adventurous thing you have ever done? The most adventurous thing that I have done was on my 21st birthday. I went skydiving for the first and the last time.

If you could pick a personal motto, what would it be? “Throw me to the pack of wolves and I will come back leading them.” and “A mind is like a parachute: It doesn’t work if it isn’t open”

Who is the most influential person in your life...past or present? I don’t want to sound like a cliché, but my mother is my most influential person. She is a strong woman that gives of herself daily for others.

What is your favorite military aircraft?  Why? I am biased when it comes to military aircraft as I have spent a large portion of my life working on a recently retired aircraft, the CH-46 Sea Knight. Love that aircraft.

If you could start your life over again, what would you do differently? I would not change a thing, I believe that I have lived a good life and it has made me the man that I am today.

What is/are your favorite book(s), television show(s) or movie(s)?

Book: “Don Quixote”; Television Show: “Dexter”; Movie: “The Godfather”.

Have you had a mentor that helped you grow in your career?  If so who, and how did they help? In the short period of time that I have been with DLA I have learned so much, and there are a few people that should be acknowledged for their time and effort. Mike Henderson was my first lead and he took the time to take me under his wing and get me started down this path. Trang Ho Nguyen who took the time to show me the little things that make this job go, for showing me how to use all the different systems that are necessary for us to help the warfighter, and Stewart Young, who decided that I was worth taking the time to mold into productive member of the DLA Aviation team.

Have you ever been a mentor to a co-worker or other employee?  If so, how did you help them grow? I would like to believe that I just give of myself to whomever needs help. I don’t see myself as a mentor in general just as a team player that is willing to help in any way possible.