News | March 10, 2022

Employee Reflection: Michael Rook

DLA Disposition Services Molesworth Environmental Protection Specialist, United Kingdom

A man poses in front of a skyline
DLA Disposition Services Environmental Protection Specialist Michael Rook.
A man poses in front of a skyline
220302-D-D0441-1238
DLA Disposition Services Environmental Protection Specialist Michael Rook.
Photo By: Courtesy photo
VIRIN: 220302-D-D0441-1238
Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in central Minnesota. Spent 20 years in the active Army, mostly at Fort Bragg. Have a degree in conservation biology and environmental science from North Carolina State University. I started my career with DLA at Defense Logistics Information Services as a Navy new items researcher; moved from there to the Provisioning Team and then to the DLA Disposition Services Compliance Team. My move to Molesworth was to gain a better understanding of field operations and how as a member of headquarters (when I return CONUS), I can make decisions based on my experience.

Describe your job.

As the Molesworth Environmental COR I assist in planning, organizing, managing and coordinating hazardous materials/hazardous waste removals at six large Royal Air Force Installations across the United Kingdom.

How long have you worked for the federal government including military service?

28 years.

How long have you worked for DLA Disposition Services?

8 years.

Any favorite memory with DLA Disposition Services?

This is a hard question as there many. I love to travel, so my previous position in Battle Creek offered excellent opportunities, which was great. I was able to see how many our different organizations across the enterprise operate, meet many of our DLA teammates and, of course, explore new places, but a recent drive to Loch Striven, Scotland, to remove HW from one of our Navy customers was a stunningly beautiful trip that I will always remember.

What aspect(s) of your current job gives you the most personal satisfaction and why? 

Mostly the everyday challenges that I’m presented with. These challenges vary widely from simple email fix issues to problems that if not addressed correctly could present significant environmental impacts.

Best piece of advice someone has given you?

Stay humble and never quit

What kind(s) of training and education helps your work performance in your current role?

Interesting question as I feel DLA Disposition Services (as compared to Logistics Information Services) lacks somewhat in the training and education offered (including knowledge sharing across the organization). The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) course is very comprehensive as is the ADR Dangerous Goods Course and both of those are useful in my everyday duties.

If you could speak directly to the warfighters you support, what would you tell them?

I speak to them nearly every day during HW removals and property turn-ins. A couple of things I try to convey: If you need help with any part of the turn-in process or have questions about what to do please contact us, our staff is professional and knowledgeable and if we don’t have a solution for your question/problem we will find someone who does. In addition, I like to hear about their military experiences and speak to them about continuing to serve either in the military or in seeking positions with DLA.

Where do you see yourself five years from now? 

Me: Retired on a lake in Southwest Michigan. My wife: Working as an environmentalist at DLA Disposition Services headquarters supporting our field sites.

Tell us something that most people might not know about you.

I can sew almost anything, and I have 4100 (+/-) freefall parachute Jumps

What was your first job?

I worked at Kavanaughs Lake Sylvan Resort in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Who’s your biggest influence?

My parents were always big influences, always stressing me to seek out opportunities and do my best. My wife influences me as well, she’s an extremely hard worker and keeps things on track.

What are some of your passions outside of work?

Harder to do in the United Kingdom, but I love to hunt (waterfowl) and fish.

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be? 

Probably take more than a day, but my bucket list item is a Yukon Territory bull moose hunt.

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DLA Disposition Services is celebrating its 50th Anniversary by reflecting on its mission, culture, and workforce. This series is highlighting leadership and employees throughout the agency, across the globe. Visit the historical page to learn more about the MSC and its history.