BATTLE CREEK, Mich. - After 40 years of dutifully clocking in for the organization now known as Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services, Property Disposal Specialist Carol Fix will soon take her final bow.
Those in the know can attest to the priceless scope of her expertise and the contributions she has made to reverse logistics support to our nation’s warfighters over the years. Reuse, Transfer and Donation Branch Chief Justin Funk provided some insight into some of the more recent impacts Fix had on the organization’s mission.
“Carol’s vast knowledge and dedication in her position as a property disposal specialist made her the go-to person in the RTD office,” Funk wrote. “She’s been invaluable in providing support for natural disaster relief and has worked tirelessly to ensure the DOD, special programs, federal agencies and donees received much needed assistance. Most recently she spearheaded the COVID pandemic for RTD, ensuring customers received the vital equipment needed to protect medical personnel and save lives. Her experience with programs and policies have assisted the office navigate many changes throughout the years. We will miss Carol’s leadership, sense of humor and can-do attitude.
For her part, Fix agreed to share some parting personal thoughts on her lengthy career background and highlights:
“Forty years ago, my mom gave me a small American Greetings plaque. It says, “Each day is a beautiful adventure!” Fix wrote.
“What an adventure it has been throughout my Department of Defense career. It all started in the late 1970’s when I joined the Military Science Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps (SROTC) at Kent State University. When I graduated in 1981, I was sworn in as a second lieutenant one day and reported for duty at Fort Lee, Virginia, the next … a brand-new quartermaster officer who knew nothing.
Joining the U.S. Army was the best decision I made in my life. I didn’t want to make a career of it, but it opened doors for me, including acceptance into the Defense Logistics Agency Property Disposal Intern Program.
I selected Property Disposal Office Hill as my internship site. A few years later, the site became Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office Hill. I noticed the employees were self-starters, hardworking, honest, reliable, proud of their jobs, and willing to share their experiences and knowledge with me.
I learned the value and importance of disposal operations. I worked in receiving, scrap, precious metals breakdown, environmental, sales, and Reutilization, Transfer, and Donation (RTD). I trained in both the Property Disposal Specialist 1104 series and the Environmental Specialist 028 series, so I’ve had the privilege of working with regular items and hazardous property. I enjoyed all aspects of RTD and was the primary national sales writer for hazardous property. Working local sales auctions and the retail store was also rewarding. It was a time when we went from manual typewriters, keypunch cards, and ledger paperwork and switched over to using computers. DRMO Hill was a testing site for the introduction of the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service Automated Inventory System (DAISY).
In the mid-90s, I took a promotion in the DRMS Battle Creek RTD Office that included a temporary assignment to sales, where I worked with a team in Memphis for several months and worked on a national sales campaign for key commodities. Once back in the RTD office, I was assigned to general duties, the services’ educational activities, and many other projects. I provided regular consultations at DLA headquarters, the General Services Administration, the Pentagon, with state government officials and more.
I was assigned to many brainstorming and solution design and site compliance teams and attended numerous conferences to promote DLA Disposition Services. I was lead officer responsible for oversight of the removal of large amounts of DOD excess equipment from private property and I volunteered to work in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
I was asked, what are your fondest memories? Here are a few:
1. The first day I drove from Columbus, Ohio, to Battle Creek and saw the impressive Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center.
2. Assisting with many disaster relief efforts, including distribution of $5 million worth of food after Hurricane Sandy to food banks and soup kitchens across the country.
3. Filling urgent U.S. military needs, including a part for a helicopter used by President George W. Bush.
4. Meeting with Forest Service customers in Roscommon, Michigan. Part of the training included driving converted equipment, including a 2 ½ ton firefighter truck, a former Armored Personnel Carrier, and a HMMWV through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
5. Doing a wall-to-wall inventory at a Boys & Girls Club in Temecula, California.
6. Working with Georgia State Surplus to find a home for two buffalo and one beefalo. The animals went to Noah’s Arc Sanctuary in Locust Grove, Georgia.
7. When retired American astronaut Jim Lovell visited our display booth during the National Red Cross convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, to learn about our RTD program.
8. The many places I visited throughout Europe and Southwest Asia. Dining on the Nile River, fishing on the Suez Canal and touching the walls of the Giza pyramids were highlights.
9. I attended conferences that allowed me to visit the top of Pikes Peak, hike the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, ride the EPCOT Mission Space ride at Disney World Orlando, visit the museums and monuments in our nation’s capital, watch the filming of “Miss Congeniality” in front of the Alamo, and much more.
10. My fondest memories are of the people I have worked with over the years. There are too many stories to tell!
I was also asked, what are you going to do when you retire? COVID-19 does put a damper on some new adventures; however, I do plan on the following:
1. Break the seal on a bottle of 1940’s Haig and Haig 100% Scotch Whiskey to celebrate.
2. Play in the dirt (gardening).
3. Go fishing every other week.
4. Have a reunion with field hockey teammates from Kent State University.
5. There’s a good chance I will volunteer at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center.
6. When COVID gets under control, drive to Montana, Utah, and Northern Arizona to visit friends.
I will be forever grateful to have been part of the U.S. Army and DLA. It has been my honor to serve U.S. taxpayers!