News | Jan. 15, 2020

Employee Spotlight: Robert T. Dickerson, Jr.

By Dominique J. Shelton DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

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:  Robert T. Dickerson, Jr.

Organization:  DLA Aviation at Cherry Point

Years of Service:  15 years

What is your job title, and what do you do, specifically? As an equipment Specialist for the AV8 Harrier program, I certify and approve parts using the procurement process to ensure materials are tested and inspected in accordance with DLA procurement procedures including quality assurance, test and inspection requirements. As part of my job, I also review technical data, drawings and specifications to determine and establish sources of manufacture or supply.

What do you like most about your job? As corny as this sounds, what I like most about my job is feeling like I’m making a difference.

What aspect(s) of your current job gives you the most personal satisfaction?  Why? The aspects of my job that bring me the most personal satisfaction is conducting research (which I am pretty good at) and being able to find alternative solutions to problems that others might not see. These things provide me the most satisfaction because it’s a great thing to be able to offer a completely different perspective that the customer can still use.

If you could speak directly to the warfighters you support, what would you tell them? I know your story because less than 10 years ago, I was right where you are. 

What was your first job? I began working at a young age. I started my first job at age10 when I worked at a corner grocery store (handing out penny-candy to all the girls). However, I didn’t begin what I would consider my first real job until some years later when I began working with my dad as an offset pressman.

What advice would you have given yourself 10 years ago? The biggest piece of advice that I would give to a younger me would probably be to join the Defense Logistics Agency or government sector a whole a lot sooner than I did.  

Where do you see yourself five years from now? Where I see myself five years from now is still working for DLA or possibly even retired. At this moment, I’m not quite sure where I will be.

What is the most surprising/unexpected thing others don’t know about you? Most people don’t know that I worked as a professional musician for nearly 10 years.

What’s your biggest pet peeve? I don’t have pet peeves that come to mind. I am a “live and let live” type of person.  

What is your favorite military aircraft?  Why? My favorite military aircraft is the Harrier. This is my favorite because I feel it is most like myself, “over 50 and still kicking.”

If you could start your life over again, what would you do differently? If given the opportunity to start my life over again, I would change nothing. I had to learn some things the hard way. With that said, the only thing I might change is not getting married so early. Nevertheless, I have a beautiful daughter whom I’m very proud of.

What type of music do you most enjoy? Jazz

Have you had a mentor that helped you grow in your career?  If so who, and how did they help? I would consider my ex-wife my mentor. Despite working in planning, she helped me to understand the different processes and why some things are done the way they are done.