BATTLE CREEK, Mich. –
Material Examiner and Identifier Michael Vasquez was recently named Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services Employee of the Quarter for his stellar contributions to the property disposal mission at Fort Carson, Colorado.
Vasquez was cited for his positive attitude, outstanding customer service and willingness to cover additional shifts in the face of operational challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
For his part, Vasquez, who has been with DLA for about a year but said he has worked in warehousing all his life, just appreciates a role where he can clock in, work hard, and then clock out and go home.
“It’s what I like to do,” Vasquez said. “I look at it as being a property detective. When stock numbers don’t match up, you’ve got to go in and figure it out. It keeps things interesting.”
During the reporting period, Vasquez performed over 1,200 receipts and achieved a greater than 35% “on-the-shelf rate,” meaning that more than a third of the turn-in items he processed were later made available for reuse.
Vasquez’ award nomination said “his ability to work both accurately and independently were paramount to DLA Disposition Services Colorado Springs being able to accommodate 100% of all mission essential requirements during the heart of the pandemic. His willingness to be present daily ensured the mission could be met without recall of higher risk personnel. … Mike is tenacious and vigorously works the entirety of his shifts while exceeding the standards that local management and the agency has set for him.”
Vasquez praised his colleagues for their attitude and the camaraderie that he felt was rare in a workplace.
“It’s like a brotherhood,” he said. “We make each other laugh, we try to keep everything upbeat, we’ve all got each other’s back, and no one feels that a particular job is beneath them. I’ve worked places where that wasn’t the case, and it didn’t make for a cohesive unit.”
His supervisors and colleagues kept the award nomination a secret. Vasquez said that when site leadership recently called everyone together to congratulate him, he jokingly asked if they finally had decided to give him a pink slip and send him packing. Instead, they gave him something else entirely.
“It was a big surprise for me,” he said. “It’s like a little self-confidence boost. It’s a kind of reassurance, like maybe you’re doing something right.”