News | Nov. 10, 2021

DLA Energy fuel handlers inducted into the Fraternal Order of the SPR

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

Recognized for their safety, professionalism and reliability in the petroleum field, Mike Holgate, Doug Collins, and Rick Vanschoor were inducted into the “Order of the SPR” at the National Petroleum Management Association PETRO 21 Conference in Alexandria, Virginia, Nov. 3. 

The NPMA is a professional “service-oriented” society dedicated to providing professional status for qualified fuel handlers since 1998. The annual conference brings together all facets of the aviation fuels community including engineering, maintenance, and chemists from large and small commercial and military organizations. Induction into the Fraternal Order of the SPR represents the highest award the NPMA bestows on an individual. To date, only about 150 people have been honored with this award named after the universal aircraft fueling adapter, the single point receptacle.

“Thank you for your incredible dedication to service and professionalism,” said Defense Logistics Agency Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Jimmy Canlas. “It is a true honor to be recognized for your efforts by an exclusive group of industry leaders. I’ve personally worked with all three of you, and I know are a true asset to DLA and the warfighters we serve.”

Mike Holgate
DLA Energy employee Mike Holgate was inducted into the National Petroleum Management Association “Order of the SPR” at the PETRO 21 Conference in Alexandria, Virginia, Nov. 3.
Mike Holgate
DLA Energy fuel handlers inducted into the Fraternal Order of the SPR
DLA Energy employee Mike Holgate was inducted into the National Petroleum Management Association “Order of the SPR” at the PETRO 21 Conference in Alexandria, Virginia, Nov. 3.
Photo By: courtesy photo
VIRIN: 211103-D-D0441-302

The “Order of the SPR” was established to recognize outstanding and significant contributions of enduring value to the aviation fueling world, said NPMA President and CEO Jack Lavin. The single point receptacle is an acronym coined by the military when the first large jet aircraft pressure refueling systems were designed and built in the late 1940s. The SPR is embedded in NPMA as Safety, Professionalism and Reliability. 

“The people honored with induction into the order have one thing in common – they have that little extra that is the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary,” Lavin said. “This elite group is called the Fraternal Order of the SPR.”

The three DLA Energy fuel handlers all share a long history working in the petroleum field with a collective 111 years of experience.

As the division chief for DLA Energy International Agreements, Holgate works to negotiate and develop fuel exchange agreements with partner countries all around the world. He has been working in petroleum field for 41 years, 24 in the military and 12 with DLA Energy. 

"My first job at age 14 was pumping gas at a full-service Union 76 gas station and maintenance shop that my father owned,” he said. “I worked at the Union 76 until I joined the Air Force in 1985.”

Doug Collins
DLA Energy employee Doug Collins was inducted into the National Petroleum Management Association “Order of the SPR” at the PETRO 21 Conference in Alexandria, Virginia, Nov. 3.
Doug Collins
DLA Energy fuel handlers inducted into the Fraternal Order of the SPR
DLA Energy employee Doug Collins was inducted into the National Petroleum Management Association “Order of the SPR” at the PETRO 21 Conference in Alexandria, Virginia, Nov. 3.
Photo By: courtesy photo
VIRIN: 211103-D-D0441-301

Holgate has been involved with the NPMA since it started.

“It’s the only organization I know that brings the civilian and military refueling communities together in search of better and safer ways to accomplish the mission,” he said. 

Holgate considers it a very high honor to be included into the Order. 

“I was amazed at how many ‘Order of the SPR’ legends were present, including many I’ve known personally including retired Air Force fuel handlers Col. Frank Rechner, Col. Steven Kephart and Chief Master Sgt. Stan Zaucha,” Holgate said.

Collins is the division chief for the DLA Energy Auditability and Sustainment Division. He has 38 years of petroleum experience, 23 in the Air Force.  

“My petroleum career started in the summer of 1983, with my first Air Force assignment at Howard Air Force Base, Panama,” he said. “My entire adult life has been in the petroleum business, and I wouldn’t change a minute of it.”  

Collins never thought of himself in the category as the Order of the SPR. He’s worked hard by the principles the fuel legends instilled in him: take care of your people, do the right thing all the time with no exceptions, and leave it better than you found it. 

Rick Vanschoor
DLA Energy employee Rick Vanschoor was inducted into the National Petroleum Management Association “Order of the SPR” at the PETRO 21 Conference in Alexandria, Virginia, Nov. 3.
Rick Vanschoor
DLA Energy fuel handlers inducted into the Fraternal Order of the SPR
DLA Energy employee Rick Vanschoor was inducted into the National Petroleum Management Association “Order of the SPR” at the PETRO 21 Conference in Alexandria, Virginia, Nov. 3.
Photo By: courtesy photo
VIRIN: 211103-D-D0441-303

“They’re leaders, trendsetters and the foundation of the petroleum community; I’m extremely humbled to be consider one of them,” Collins said. 

Vanschoor is the deputy chief of Plans in DLA Energy Customer Operations and has 32 years of petroleum experience. 

“I’m truly amazed of this honor,” he said. “Just looking at the names of the 140 other members inducted and the caliber and experience of all, I couldn’t be prouder. This is something that I will always cherish and never forget.”

Congratulations to Mike Holgate, Doug Collins, and Rick Vanschoor on their induction into the Fraternal Order of the SPR!