Richmond, Va. –
As if winning two Defense Logistics Agency level awards in the past is not enough, Richard “Rick” Alexander goes on to earn the Leader of the Year Award for DLA’s 53rd Annual Employee Recognition Awards program.
In the DLA Leader of the Year Awards category, Alexander, a contracting officer within DLA Aviation’s Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate, was awarded at the non-supervisory employee level.
He began his military career in 2003 as an Air Force F-15 crew chief. Little did he know then that he would make good use of his experience.
Now, after nine years at DLA Aviation, he currently works as the Pratt and Whitney Strategic Contracts team lead, where he manages a multi-billion dollar overarching contract, supporting two afterburning turbofan engines: F100 [ Air Force F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft] and TF33 [B-52 Bomber] at the depot and in the fleet, respectively.
“Instead of asking “Can we?” it is much more worthwhile to ask, “how can we” and then make it happen.” Alexander said.
To correct a decrease in material availability for the F100 consumable parts, he updated the existing contract with an improved performance-based contract strategy. After 18 months, the supplier initiated ordering contract improved from 84% material availability at the end of the fourth quarter in 2018, to 90% by the first quarter in 2020.
He says it’s a delight to collaborate on solutions, and when the solutions strengthen the contractual arrangements between DLA, the supplier, and the customer to deliver improved support of parts, that reflects positively on DLA.
“I love working on projects that provide meaningful, long-term support to the men and women who sustain our warfighters,” said Alexander. “Being able to do that related to aircraft I used to work on [as an Air Force F-15 crew chief] is particularly satisfying.”
Some say do what you love, and he loves working cross-functionally with high-performance people.
Alexander volunteered in March 2019 to become one of the first DLA Aviation liaison officers assigned on a four-month rotation to DLA’s Agency Synchronization Operations Center at DLA Headquarters, Fort Belvoir from Oct. 1, 2019 to Jan. 31, 2020. The ASOC unifies DLA’s operational and business support functions, allowing agency leaders and mission partners a standard perspective of the agency’s priorities.
Embracing the opportunity to establish ASOC’s processes and standard operating procedures, he created a welcome packet for LNOs that was distributed across the agency to incoming LNOs. Keeping senior leadership up to date on the latest situations of urgency by improving communication with service national account managers, Alexander collaborated with his team to develop and implement standard operating procedures related to the utilization of an environment scan for the Major Subordinate Command of DLA Aviation. He established a high bar of excellence acknowledged and affirmed by his supervisors, peers, and other LNOs.
When asked how he felt about receiving the award, Alexander said, “I wish I could share the award with all the people who made it a reality. An award like this is only possible because a whole lot of people work hard together. I am humbly grateful for every single person who has done exactly that.”
The annual employee recognition awards spotlight leadership and hard work in support of the agency’s mission and includes 54 awards in 14 categories.