News | Dec. 30, 2020

San Joaquin’s Boersma retires after 42 years of federal service

By Annette Silva, DLA Distribution San Joaquin Public Affairs

Traffic Manger Kathryn Boersma of the Transportation division at Defense Logistics Agency Distribution San Joaquin, California is saying goodbye to the DLA family upon 42 years of dedicated federal service in support of America’s warfighters and first responders.

“Kathy has seen significant changes at DLA over her 42-year career. She has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and vast technical expertise, both of which will be sorely missed,” said Distribution & Specialized Missions Group Chief Nathan Duffy. “We are grateful for her dedication and commitment to all of our customers here in the States and around the globe. She has left a truly indelible mark on DLA.”

Boersma started her career at DLA as a general schedule 2 rotator and completed her career as a general schedule 12 transportation officer. During her impressive career she held many positions to include serving as the branch chief of Shipment Planning, traffic management specialist overseeing the Dedicated Truck Program and Foreign Military Sales and customer service branch chief.

She is proud of the positive changes she witnessed over her career. In addition to the vast changes in technology, most noteworthy is a very professional approach in motivating employees, working with the local American Federation of Government Local 1546 Union, ensuring all supervisors are well trained in equal employment opportunity, sexual harassment and policies.

Boersma values that the installation readily takes on new projects; projects that she has been a key player in.

“This installation has never said no to taking on new assignments. Every new task or project is accepted with the attitude of we will succeed,” she commented. “We may not know how we will accomplish the task given to us, but we figure it out, together as a team. We have also taken on the National Wildland Fire program, which is huge, as well as assisted with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and emergency shipments, to include the new Coronavirus rapid test kit project.”

Boersma is grateful for the positive experiences she has experienced over her career. She played a vital role ensuring critical mission shipments were received on time and met the required delivery times. She appreciated receiving the thank you from the customers when shipments were received.

In her line of work, she has worked holidays, been called in the middle of the night to get emergency “life or death” shipments out, and ensured supplies for hurricane, fire, earthquake and disease control shipments were processed.

She went on to convey her gratitude of meeting and working with a wide variety of people and cultures to include all modes of carrier providers, foreign military freight forwarders, visiting the National Interagency Fire Centers in Boise, Idaho, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Another highlight was attending the National Defense Transportation Association conference in Memphis, Tennessee, receiving the Supervisor of the Quarter award.

When asked what DLA has meant to her, she simply responded that she considers DLA as her second family. She has spent her entire adult life employed by the Agency and upon retirement she feels that she will be losing part of herself in a small way as well.

The pinpointed highlights of her career were overseeing the Wildland Fire mission and working with military service members on board the installation and worldwide. She went on to convey that you will not find a more dedicated and loyal team anywhere else. Many employees are former military and know who their customer base is. They consider it an honor to serve our warfighters, Wildland Fire Caches and emergency operations.

“I will truly miss working with my “Second Family” and I have made so many friends over the years, and want to thank you all for your love, patience and support over these many years. Thank you, DLA, for the wonderful career and many adventures you have provided me,” concluded Boersma.