News | Aug. 13, 2020

Barstow customer rep goes extra mile

By Jake Joy DLA Disposition Services Public Affairs

Property Disposal Specialist Nuhu Kashalla was recently honored as a DLA Disposition Services Employee of the Quarter for his contributions during the second quarter of fiscal 2020.

Kashalla, who is also a medical sergeant in the Army Reserve, has served the Defense Logistics Agency in Barstow, California, for the past five years. He started as an accountable property officer and currently works as a disposition services representative to the site’s customer base. He said he enjoys helping people prepare for their visits since ensuring their items are properly identified and paperwork is prepared correctly makes things easier for everyone.

“When describing my job to people, I tell them, ‘I assist service members, civilians, and anyone in DOD to turn in anything, from something as small as a pin to as big as an airplane.’ It’s like what Forest Gump described life to be – ‘like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.’”

Kashalla said he was surprised to see his name among Employee of the Quarter winners, as he did not know he had been nominated. He thanked site leadership for the recognition and praised the teamwork, flexibility and resilience shared by his area team.

“We share ideas, seek solutions to some of our challenges, and help each other answer some of the questions or concerns that get thrown to us by customers,” Kashalla said. “I cannot downplay the teamwork … and the enormous support I get from my leadership.”

Kashalla said he really appreciated the nomination. He said he told his leaders it is easy to put in hard work and dedication, “knowing how supportive they have been. It does feel good to be recognized.”

In the award nomination, Barstow’s Lead Property Disposal Specialist Heath Buswell wrote that in addition to taking care of his normal customers, Kashalla volunteered to help identify critical mission essential medical equipment held by the agency’s commercial sales contract holder for possible reincorporation into DLA’s excess property stores for pandemic relief. Buswell said Kashalla used his experience as an Army medic and his knowledge of medical equipment to build a list and validate the stock numbers.

“Nuhu was also responsible for taking photos of the property to immediately provide headquarters critical information to effectively identify quantities, condition, and usage to maximize the [pandemic response] effort,” Buswell wrote.

Buswell also cited Kashalla’s critical role in an ongoing multi-agency criminal investigation into the whereabouts of export-controlled DOD property and items that had not been properly demilitarized. His assistance in visually identifying property for confiscation from among some 150,000 items was crucial law enforcement efforts to recover and safeguard government assets. 

“Kashalla is one of the most selfless individuals that I have had the pleasure to have on my team,” Buswell wrote. “He consistently goes above and beyond to complete any mission assigned and to assist any customer no matter how difficult. He always maintains professionalism. He continues to excel every day, making Disposition Services better.”

As for the future, Kashalla said he would like to eventually retire from his part-time Army service not as a medic, but as a chaplain. He’d also like the opportunity to travel and show his growing family of five some new places and experiences.

“I am hoping to eventually get a position that offers a three-year tour to somewhere in Europe,” he said. “So we can explore, expand our love for travel and knowledge of other people, cultures and foods. My kids would really find this experience ecstatic.”