News | April 15, 2022

Leadership Reflection: Arthur Yri

Area Manager, DLA Disposition Services Camp Kinser, Okinawa, Japan

A man poses in front of a flag.
DLA Disposition Services Okinawa Area Manager Arthur Yri.
A man poses in front of a flag.
DLA Disposition Services Okinawa Area Manager Arthur Yri.
Photo By: DLA photo
VIRIN: 220403-D-D0441-111
Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up on a farm near Minnewaukan, North Dakota. I joined the Marine Corps at age 17, got married and have three kids and one grandson. In January 2013, I retired in Hawaii after spending 29 years in the Marine Corps, only to come out of retirement to join DLA in June 2013.

Describe your job.  

I oversee the receipt, reutilization, transfer, donation, sales, and demilitarization of used and excess government property from all DOD agencies on Okinawa.

What is your area of responsibility?

Okinawa, neighboring islands, and Australia.

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

38 years.

How long have you worked for DLA Disposition Services?

Eight years, eight months.

What is your favorite thing about your line of work?

The daily challenge. I never have a boring day.

Ever get any good advice worth sharing?  

Take care of your employees and they will take care of you. I work for my employees, getting them the equipment and training they need to perform their work.

Any noteworthy DLA memories? 

In 2018, I spent 30 days assisting the Army with the removal of six million pounds of scrap from the Kwajalein Atoll. For more than six years, the Army garrison on Kwajalein had been planning to rid the atoll of the unwanted metal with the help of DLA Disposition Services. I was so glad when the first barge arrived, and the first truckload of scrap was dumped on its deck. 

Is there a characteristic every leader should possess?

Unselfishness, “Others first,” taking care of the employees that you work with. They do not work for you; it is a team effort.

What do you look for when evaluating top talent? 

Willingness to take on a challenge. If staying in your comfort zone, you are not improving yourself or the others around you.

Any best practices for achieving goals or accomplishing tasks?

I have at tracker for managing daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc., tasks. Establish steps with due dates to ensure goals are reached. You cannot just say ‘I am going to hike to the top of Mt. Fuji’ without a plan. You probably will not make it without a plan, or, if you do, you probably will experience much more pain and aggravation than if you took some time and put some planning into the hike.

Any big challenges right now? 

Getting a used oil disposal contract for our customers on Okinawa. Due to COVID-19, the resorts have greatly reduced operations or closed. The resorts were the #1 user of used oil, which they use to operate their boilers. 

What’s the importance of networking? 

You do not know everything. Having the ability to ask for advice from others that have more experience and/or different perspectives provides many opportunities for professional growth.  

What was your first job? 

I grew up on a farm, so I had chores from the time I could walk. We had dairy cows so there was never a day off.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  

I wanted to join the military.

Any hobbies?  

Before moving to Okinawa, it was aquaponics in my back yard. I grew several varieties of lettuce, kale, spinach, tomatoes, and even tried strawberries. Now, here in Okinawa, due to the small yard, I have settled on tending to orchids and camping when it is not too hot.