Former employee receives DoD leadership award

By Elizabeth Stoeckmann DLA Energy Public Affairs

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A former Defense Logistics Agency Energy Bulk Fuels Contracting division chief earned the 2015 Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Acquisition and Contracting Legends Award during a ceremony at the Pentagon Jan. 12. 

Donald Peschka, the first DLA Energy employee to receive the award, was recognized by Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy Director Claire Grady with DLA senior leaders, fellow co-workers and his wife, Claudine, in attendance.

“I had no idea,” Peschka said when he was called in for a DLA Energy meeting to discuss the nomination package. “We didn’t have much time … so we said we’d see what happens.”

The award, established in 2013, honors contracting legends who embody leadership and mentorship in executing the defense mission.

Peschka was selected from a list of nominees as the individual Energy leaders believed best exemplifies the contracting wisdom and values that characterize such inspirational leaders.

According to the award citation, Peschka’s commitment to the professional development and mentorship of the workforce, effective collaboration and creative leadership made him one of the most influential and respected leaders within the DoD acquisition and contracting community.

“Mr. Peschka was an instrumental part of the DLA Energy program and quite frankly the reason so many DLA visitors are here today.” Grady said. “It’s … Mr. Peschka’s influence, mentoring, coaching and standard for excellence that inspires others in excellence.”

“He fueled the future,” she added. “There were tremendous challenges that he took on, overcame and found solutions for … one of my favorites was when Iraq invaded Kuwait and all of sudden we didn’t have access to JP5 [jet propellant fuel], … people would say that’s horrible … and Mr. Peschka would pick up the phone and call Mr. Hess of Hess Oil [Corporation] and find a solution to get the fuel flowing.”

It’s examples like this that speak to the relationship, knowledge and influence Peschka had with the industrial community he worked with, Grady said.

“Setting the standards for excellence and expecting people to step up is one thing, but what Mr. Peschka did is empower people, and not just with the confidence, but with the professional competency and capability to step up and take those challenges while he supported their superior performance,” she said. “That’s a role model we all would like to become and that is why Mr. Peschka was selected for this particular legend’s award.”

A humbled Peschka said he credits his success to the relationships he established and the proud team he served with during his career at DLA Energy.