San Joaquin deputy retires after 45 years of Federal service

By Emily Tsambiras DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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DLA Distribution San Joaquin, Calif.’s deputy commander has retired after 45 years of Federal service.  In honor of his dedication to the organization, Paul Balash III received the DLA Exceptional Civilian Service Award.

Balash joined the organization in October 2011.  Prior to joining DLA, he was a member of the Joint Staff J-8, Studies, Analysis and Gaming Division where he served as the deputy chief for eight years.    

Before entering civilian service, Balash spent 34 years of service in the Marine Corps, retiring at the grade of colonel. During his active duty in the Marine Corps, he served in a variety of command, staff and joint assignments including professor of military strategy and warfare and strategic logistics at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He has a wide variety of expertise in national security affairs and logistics at the strategic, operational and tactical levels, and military affairs.

During Balash’s time with the DLA Distribution San Joaquin team, the organization garnered an unprecedented number of recognitions and honors.  In 2011, the distribution center won the Equal Employment Opportunity Program of the Year Award for the highest achievements and accomplishments in fostering a diverse environment.  Other awards included the 2011 Occupational Safety and Health Administration Star Voluntary Protection Program Award for Excellence in Industrial Safety; Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s 2011 Shipper of the Year Award (Medium Category); and 2012 Shipper of the Year Award (Large Category). 

In 2012, under Balash’s leadership, the distribution center received Presidential recognition and was awarded the Commander-in-Chief’s Installation Excellence Award, assigning it the honor of one of the Department of Defense’s premiere installations.

“Always focused on operating at the strategic level, Balash was always able to quickly assess complex distribution and leadership issues and formulate sound, comprehensive solutions.  When change was required, he advocated it across the command and encouraged it through teamwork.  He will be greatly missed,” said Perry Knight, DLA Distribution chief of staff.