Commander hosts informal lunch with Troop Support employees

By Alex Siemiatkowski DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support commander hosted his first brown bag luncheon with employees Feb. 23.

Army Brig. Gen. Charles Hamilton said it was a “good way to get a reasonable pulse of the organization.”

A group of nine employees, from different supply chains and staff offices, volunteered to speak with Hamilton about working at DLA Troop Support and what changes they would like to see.

Colleen Lyons, from the Internal Revenue office and a DLA employee for 27 years, thanked Hamilton for having lunch with the group.

“This is a first-ever,” said Lyons. “In all the years I have been here, I have never been asked to meet with any commander. General Hamilton has a great way about him of putting people at ease.”

Hamilton asked the group to think about how Troop Support could be more innovative, more relevant and evolve.

“I want feedback from you guys as you work in your particular area,” said Hamilton. “I want your feedback to see if we are innovative enough and how can we innovate more.”

The workforce here is made up of seasoned employees and younger employees, said Hamilton. This puts him in a position where there’s a lack of employees in the middle to grow supervisors and have a more experienced workforce.

Hamilton asked the group to help him in recruiting people who they think would be great additions to Troop Support.

“Troop Support (employees) really genuinely love their jobs,” said Hamilton. “I think that is unique, because I have worked in other places where that is really not the case.”

Some changes attendees said they would like to see include improving the onboard processing, more mentorship opportunities and more training. The group also expressed that they would like more opportunities to see the products they provide to customers  up close and in action.

“It was a great opportunity for the everyday workforce to voice their suggestions and opinions,” said Monica Lopez, a contract specialist in Subsistence. “The fact we had a diverse group of ages, gender and job specialty made it a stimulating experience.”

Hamilton listened intently to each employee’s suggestions and concerns while taking notes.

“These are all good items that I can take back,” Hamilton said. “To me, there was nothing bad said here, just good constructive things about our organization, because it is our organization.”

Hamilton ended the luncheon by saying that DLA Troop Support has some things to work on, but that for the most part, employees are happy to work here.

“No organization is perfect. But I am looking to put folks in a healthy environment where they like coming to work every day,” he said.

The commander will host future brown bag lunches with various groups of employees, including GS-12s and non-supervisory GS-13s, GS-13s – 15s, and employees in the Pathway to Career Excellence program.