Former Land and Maritime acquisition leader to be inducted into DLA Hall of Fame

By Kristin Molinaro DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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Former Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime Acquisition Executive Milton K. Lewis will be inducted into the 2020 DLA Hall of Fame Sept. 29. Lewis led Land and Maritime’s acquisition force from 2008 until his retirement in 2017.

Lewis is one of nine former associates across the agency to be honored for his many contributions to the nation. Lewis joins the ranks of 126 people across DLA’s 26,000-strong workforce ever to be inducted – and only the 16th selected from Land and Maritime.

“The DLA Hall of Fame recognizes former DLA civilian and military team members who made significant and lasting contributions to this agency and its mission, and represent the core DLA values and ideals we strive to uphold today,” Williams wrote in a memo to DLA senior leaders.

Lewis’ Department of Defense career spans 42 years, including 29 years of service as an Army officer and several years in the defense industry sector before joining DLA Land and Maritime as its first acquisition executive.

His defense career began in 1975 when he joined the Army after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. His assignments included leadership position across the United States as well as in various locations in southwest Germany.  His final military assignment was as the Director, Land-Based Weapon Systems Group with Defense Supply Center Columbus, beginning in July of 2001 and ending with retirement from the Army in 2004. 

Following the brief shift to the commercial side of warfighter support, Mr. Lewis returned to DLA as a member of the Senior Executive Service in 2008.  His following nine years with DLA L&M yielded a series of significant and long-term contributions. 

“Milt Lewis understood the importance of human capital and was committed to the development of the Acquisition workforce,” officials stated in his nomination package. “He was a strong proponent of establishing meaningful performance standards for the acquisition community.”

During Lewis’ tenure, hundreds of Land and Maritime associates achieved professional certification in their respective fields, including nearly 350 earning certification in contracting through the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act from September 2012 to October 2016. In additional 400 associates received DAWIA certification in purchasing and 22 were accepted into the Acquisition Corps.

Lewis championed the large-scale First Destination Transportation and Packaging Initiative and under his leadership the FDTPI team leveraged multiple functional disciplines to perform coordination and integration across multiple DLA supply chains, US Transportation Command, Defense Contract Management Agency, the military services, and the contracted transportation provider.  The team’s efforts resulted in the adoption of a DLA Enterprise model comparable to commercial best practices that leverages DLA’s buying power to secure more favorable transportation rates and consolidate shipments under existing centralized freight contracts. Additionally, the enterprise shifted packaging standard for the DLA supply chains to further align with commercial practices, reduce unnecessary additional cost and increase packaging efficiencies. 

Lewis’ involvement with the establishment of DLA Land and Maritime’s Strategic Supplier Alliance programs demonstrated his commitment to collaboration. These SSA relationships led to superior customer support on many of the major weapon systems supported by DLA and strategic partners.  He also successfully executed Depot Level Reparable transfer initiatives, as dictated by the Base Realignment and Closure process. These BRAC efforts paved a path to the significant Tires Contract wrought under his oversight.

Lewis was also involved with a project to develop new Deoxyribonucleic Acid marking processes to prevent counterfeit material from entering the supply chain and was helping to build support for a new initiative involving 3D printing prior to his retirement. 

“The success of many projects will long be tied to his name, and they will contribute to agencywide and DLA Land and Maritime mission success for years to come,” his nomination stated.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the honorees will be inducted at a date to be determined. For more information on the DLA Hall of Fame, visit the DLA Hall of Fame webpage.