DLA employees, teams honored during annual awards ceremony

By Dianne Ryder DLA Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency employees from across the enterprise packed the McNamara Headquarters Complex Auditorium or tuned in via video streaming to honor team and individual contributions at the 52nd Annual Employee Recognition Awards Ceremony Dec. 6.

DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams called the award recipients “indispensable.”

“For 58 years, dedicated men and women like you have supported our military through their important work at this great agency,” he said. “Our current DLA team continues to serve with true commitment and purpose, delivering effective and efficient logistics solutions for our warfighters and our entire nation.”

Williams outlined some of employees’ latest accomplishments, which he said make him proud to be the agency’s director.

“We’ve provided $42 billion in goods and services. We increased our overall material availability for weapons systems from 87% to a little above 90%,” the director said, adding that DLA reduced back orders and the number of weapons systems down for DLA parts, and reduced material acquisition costs by reducing cost recovery rates.

The director also praised the agency’s small business achievements, which rank DLA first among Defense Department agencies in terms of dollars spent in small business.

“These numbers translate to outcomes that we really care about and we talk about every single day,” he said. “Our warfighters now have more equipment and weapons systems that are in the fight to execute their missions largely because of the work you do.”

While it’s a challenge to visit DLA’s 26,000 employees at its numerous global locations, Williams said he, DLA Senior Enlisted Leader Navy Command Master Chief Shaun Brahmsteadt and other agency senior leaders do their best.

“One thing that remains constant – and it doesn’t matter where we go – is the strong commitment of our employees providing unparalleled support of our customers,” he said.

The general lauded the teams who won in the small, medium and large categories, including the newly formed Agency Synchronization Operations Center for their support of real world events as well as exercises and simulations. He highlighted the F-35 Sustainment Integration Team, which leveraged strategic capabilities and unique weapons systems sustainment to enhance F-35 joint strike fighter lethality and ensure warfighter readiness. Williams said the list wouldn’t be complete without praising the efforts of the Cash and Obligation Authority Working Group, which has been central to balancing DLA’s requirements and generating cash and obligation authority in a fiscally restrained environment. 

The director said he could easily talk all afternoon about DLA employees’ spirit of cooperation that extends across the enterprise.

“To our awardees, I want you to know we appreciate the positive impact you’ve made on the department and on this great organization. You inspire all of us by your example and your hard work,” he said.

He also thanked agency supervisors who submitted their employees for the awards.

“While today is about recognizing excellence, I’m reminded of the words of Dr. Jonas Salk, who said, ‘The reward for work well-done is the opportunity to do more,’” he said, adding that employees can’t rest on their laurels.

DLA’s employee recognition ceremony was established in 1967 and featured awards for its 10 Outstanding Employees of the Year, a category DLA still recognizes. The program has since expanded to 13 categories and 57 awards. They are:

10 Outstanding Employees of the Year:

  • Army Staff Sgt. Sirlen Arriaza, DLA Logistics Operations
  • Jeremy Beckwith, DLA Distribution
  • Army Sgt. 1st Class Littissia Canete-Harris, DLA Logistics Operations
  • Robert Fagan Jr., DLA Troop Support
  • John Lehman, DLA Land and Maritime
  • Natalia Li, DLA Finance, and Emily Vogeler, DLA Logistics Operations
  • Air Force Tech. Sgt. Lynell McLeod, DLA Energy
  • Navy Lt. Tyler Smith, DLA Aviation
  • Rozenia Thomas, DLA Aviation
  • Guillermo Urrea, DLA Distribution

Leaders of the Year:

  • Daniel Strausbaugh, DLA Logistics Operations
  • Monica Whiting, DLA Land and Maritime
  • Bruce Jones, DLA Energy
  • Bruce Blank, DLA Energy

Annual Employees of the Quarter:

  • Category A (GS 1-6): Ray Laskowski, DLA Distribution
  • Category B (GS 7-12): Patrick Draper, DLA Energy
  • Category C (GS 13-15): Lori Barnhill, DLA Information Operations

DLA Team Performance:

  • Small (25 members or less) – Cash and Obligation Authority Working Group, DLA Headquarters
  • Medium (26 to 50 members) – F-35 Sustainment Integration Team, with team members from Chief of Staff/Business Management Office, DLA Disposition Services, DLA Distribution, DLA Finance, DLA Information Operations and DLA Logistics Operations
  • Large (51 to 125 members) – Synchronization Operations Center, with team members from DLA Acquisition, DLA Finance, DLA Human Resources, DLA Logistics Operations DLA, Information Operations, DLA Aviation, DLA Disposition Services, DLA Distribution, DLA Energy, DLA Land and Maritime and DLA Troop Support.

DLA Service Members of the Year:

  • Field Grade Officer of the Year – Air Force Maj. Charles Morton III, DLA Energy
  • Company Grade Officer of the Year – Air Force Capt. Adrian Buttenhoff, DLA Aviation
  • Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year – Air Force Master Sgt. Dessie Rodriguez, DLA Land and Maritime
  • Junior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year – Air Force Staff Sgt. Sabrina Cayetano, DLA Aviation
  • DLA Joint Reserve Force Field Grade Officer of the Year – Army Reserve Col. Sloane Struse, DLA Energy 
  • DLA Joint Reserve Force Company Grade Officer of the Year – Air Force Reserve Capt. Kellen Curry, DLA Energy
  • DLA Joint Reserve Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year – Navy Reserve Senior Chief Petty Officer Ke Zhang, DLA Distribution
  • DLA Joint Reserve Force Junior Reserve Noncommissioned Officer of the Year – Navy Logistics Spec. 2nd Class Mary Larkin, DLA Distribution

Equal Employment Opportunity Awards:

  • Outstanding DLA Employee with a Disability – Douglas Hurtado Packer, DLA Distribution
  • Achievement in EEO by an Employee – Tonia Washington, DLA Troop Support
  • Achievement in EEO by a Supervisor or Manager – Theodore Hackney, Jr., DLA Land and Maritime
  • Achievement in EEO by an Organization – DLA Energy

DLA Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Excellence Award:

  • DLA Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Facility/Program Excellence Award – Information, Ticketing and Registration Team, DLA Installation Operations, San Joaquin, California

DLA Outstanding Police Officer/Unit of the Year Awards:

  • DLA Police Officer of the Year – Officer Matthew Fishman, DLA Installation Management, Susquehanna
  • DLA Lead Police Officer of the Year – Sgt. Noe Hernandez, DLA Installation Operations, Fort Belvoir, Virginia
  • DLA Supervisory Police Officer of the Year – Capt. William Woodman, DLA Installation Operations, San Joaquin
  • DLA Police Unit of the Year – DLA Installation Management, San Joaquin

DLA Outstanding Fire and Emergency Services Personnel of the Year:

  • DLA Firefighter of the Year -- Firefighter/Inspector Jose Lucio, Jr., DLA Installation Management, San Joaquin
  • DLA Fire Officer of the Year – Assistant Fire Chief Paul Alexander, Jr., DLA Installation Management, Columbus
  • DLA Fire Service Instructor of the Year – Training Chief Carl Weiss, DLA Installation Management, Susquehanna
  • DLA Emergency Communication Center Dispatcher of the Year – Kimberly Hartman, DLA Installation Management, Susquehanna 
  • DLA Fire Prevention Program of the Year – DLA Installation Management, Susquehanna 
  • DLA Fire Department of the Year – DLA Installation Management, Columbus

Enterprise Safety Excellence Awards:

  • DLA Safety Professional of the Year – Carlton Slater, DLA Distribution
  • DLA Safety Champion of the Year – Jun Higa, DLA Energy
  • Employee Safety/Voluntary Protection Program Team Award – DLA Distribution 

Acquisition Excellence Awards:

  • Excellence in Acquisition – Norman Mitchell, DLA Energy
  • Acquisition Support Professional of the Year (Individual) – Todd Minke, DLA Energy
  • Acquisition Support Professional of the Year (Team) – DLA Energy Jet Fuels Qualification Team, DLA Energy
  • Acquisition Workforce Team Achievement – DLA Land and Maritime Global Tires Program, Integrator Acquisition Team 

Information Technology Awards:

  • Information Technology Person of the Year – Seth Bova, DLA Information Operations
  • Information Technology Program Manager of the Year – Ralph Colavita, DLA Information Operations
  • Information Assurance Professional of the Year – Joshua Boisvert, DLA Information Operations
  • Information Technology Small Team of the Year – Defense Property Accountability System Program Office, DLA Information Operations
  • Information Technology Medium Team of the Year – User Managed Computer Deployment Team, DLA Information Operations 

                                                                                                 View video of the ceremony on DVIDS