EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: Patrick Upton

By DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

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Employee Spotlight regularly features outstanding non-supervisory personnel from throughout the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation and DLA Installation Support at Richmond teams. Organizational directors may submit names of employees they wish to feature in this column to DLA Aviation Public Affairs. For more information, call (804) 279-3139.

Name: Patrick Upton.

Organization: DLA Aviation at Oklahoma City, Engines Branch

Years of Service: 38 years (combined Navy and civil service)

What is your job title, and what do you do, specifically? I’m lead customer support specialist in a customer facing section, responsible for material support on all General Electric engines and F100/TF 33 gearbox maintenance facilities.

As a lead CSS, I guide and lead subordinates, providing input on performance and assigning tasks within the team. I identify areas of deficiency and assist the supervisor in developing a plan of corrective action. I train all new employees assigned to the section and help further the professional education of veteran team members using formal and informal methods specific to the job.

What do you like most about your job? The most satisfying part of my job is to train new employees and help them become productive team members, valuable assets to DLA Aviation and to the mission. The maturation of a customer facing CSS takes about a year, and I am privileged to take part in this evolution. Working on an Air Force base, you can hear and see the results of the work done daily by watching and listening to the tankers and bombers flying.

If you could speak directly to the warfighters you support, what would you tell them? Speaking directly to the warfighter. I would want them to know that we have the same dedication and pride in our support efforts as they have in their fulfillment of the mission. They should expect the best, and it is my job to make sure they get it. Many of us are veterans and understand.

What’s your biggest pet peeve? A particular pet peeve of mine is “assumptions,” made with no information or thought behind them. Before coming to a conclusion, I urge folks to take time to gather information or get to know someone before taking a plunge. This will save you some embarrassment later or in making a mistake.

What was your first job?  My first job as a civilian employee was as an equipment cleaner, stripping the paint from tankers, bombers and A7 attack aircraft. It has been a diverse road to get to where I am now in my professional life.

Who is your favorite actor or author? My favorite actor is Charlton Heston with my favorite movie being “Ben Hur” with the original “Planet of the Apes” running a close second. My favorite author is James Clavell and his books “Shogun,” “Tai Pan” and “King Rat” are among my favorites.

If you could pick a personal motto, what would it be? As a personal motto, I would choose “Every wall is a door.” – Ralph Waldo Emmerson, which is particularly noteworthy because of some of my life experiences.