History Booklet

Flip through an overview of our history presented in the 50th Anniversary Booklet.

Disposition Services 50th Anniversary 

Throughout the Years


  • Sept. 12, 1972:  Defense Property Disposal Service (DPDS) established. 300 people transferred from DLSC plus 222 installations with over 5,700 personnel in the U.S. and 23 foreign countries.


  • Defense Property Disposal Region Europe became first region activated. 
  • At the time of its establishment, DPDS encompassed 222 field offices and operated in 23 foreign countries and the United States.  The orderly transfer of over 5,000 employees from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to DPDS took place.  It became fully operational in July. 
  • DLA played a dramatic role giving overseas support during the Middle East crisis when it was called upon to deliver, on an urgent basis, a wide range of vitally needed military equipment. 


  • Federal Center buildings listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. 


  • The First National Stock Number of 5977-01-003-0176 was assigned on March 26, 1975, to “Brush, Block-Slip.” The user activity was Germany and the manufacturer was Poly-Scientific Corp., in Blacksburg, Virginia. 
  • The Integrated Disposal Management System is implemented to have an interim mechanized property account system. 


  • The Defense Logistics Services Center completed the Government Accounting Office NSN cancellation project. In all, 34,703 NSNs were cancelled. 
  • Cataloging handbooks H2-1 and H3 were issued on microfiche for the first time. 
  • The Defense Logistics Services Center received responsibility for recyclable materials. 


  • Defense Supply Agency renamed to Defense Logistics Agency.


  • Studies began on a more sophisticated, computerized Defense Automated Information System.     


  • Defense Logistics Services Center received the responsibility for the continuing design, development and maintenance of Disposal Organization Mini-Operational automatic data processing systems. Defense Property Disposal Offices used DOMINO to receive property and HQ DLSC used it for disposition decisions. 


  • DPDS assumed responsibility for the disposal of Defense Department hazardous property, leading to the creation of the Directorate of Environmental Protection. 
  • Defense Department redefined its recycling program - the DPDS Resource Recovery and Recycling Program was created. 
  • DPDS was given the responsibility of managing the disposal of most hazardous waste generated from DOD installations throughout the world.   


  • First year DPDS reutilization exceeded $1 billion. 


  • The Defense Logistics Services Center finished a two-year long reorganization. The reorganization involved realigning offices, assuming new functions, and reclassifying positions. Its goal was to improve productivity, reduce interruptions to operations, increase customer satisfaction, rewrite missions and eliminate duplication of effort. 


  • The Interrogation Requirements Information System became the first online DAISY program activated.  


  • The Directorate of Contracting was created to administer hazardous waste disposal contracts, precious metals recovery contracts and commercial activity contracts. 


  • DPDS was renamed Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service and field sites became Defense Reutilization and Marketing Offices.  


  • DRMS joined the Humanitarian Assistance Program, allowing excess military property donation to partner nations in times of crisis. 


  • The Defense Logistics Services Center embarked on a program to modernize automatic data processing systems. 


  • The agency assumed management of the nation’s stockpile of strategic materials from the General Services Administration. 


  • The Contractor Inventory Redistribution System started tracking redistribution of excess material no longer needed by Defense Department contractors. 


  • The Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act required the Defense Department to establish education and training standards, requirements, and courses for the civilian and military workforce.
  • DRMS discontinued local hazardous property sales at all sites. The restructured program was transferred to the National Sales Office in Memphis. Potential buyer destinations of HM were more carefully vetted though an Environmental Responsibility Determination process which included pre-award surveys. 
  • DLA played a major role in Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, suppling over $3 billion of food, clothing, textiles, medical supplies and weapons system repair parts. The agency earned the Joint Meritorious Service Award in 1991 for the quality of support. 
  • The Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act established policies for the effective management, including accession, education, training and career development of persons serving in acquisition positions within DOD. 


  • 1-800-222-DRMS became the first toll-free number offered for sales information.
  • During Operation PROVIDE COMFORT, DLA provided over $68 million in relief supplies to aid Iraqi refugees. Iraq.


  • DRMS recognized with a Joint Meritorious Unit Award for issuing 1,600 items worth $15 million in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm forces.



  • First "cash and carry" tent sale held at DRMO Belvoir, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. 
  • DAISY fully deployed as the last two DRMOs added their inventory, providing disposal specialists with accurate, real-time information on all property in the disposition process. 
  • DLA’s Humanitarian Assistance Program sets all-time record at $227.3 million from property generated mainly from base closures in Europe. Several complete hospitals went to communities in the former Soviet Union. 
  • The 1993 Base Realignment and Closure Commission created an abundance of excess and surplus property.  


  • New 1-800-GOVT-BUY number began providing information on sale locations and DRMOs. 
  • The first worldwide DRMO website went live.        
  • DLA deployed an initial element to support operations in Haiti and established its first Contingency Support Team. 
  • The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act dramatically changed the way the government performed its contracting functions.


  • First DRMS commodity sale was conducted by contract auctioneering company; first effort to privatize DRMS function. 
  • Searchable database offered on the internet and laid the foundation for DLA's Sales and Reutilization, Transfer and Donation and pages.
  • DLA Contingency Support Team deployed to Hungary to coordinate the delivery of needed agency supplies and services to U.S. military units deployed in Bosnia and other NATO forces. 


  • DRMS National Sales Office in Memphis, Tennessee closed.  National Sales centralized in Battle Creek, Michigan. 
  • DRMS-P was the first government contracting activity to earn the International Standard Organization 9002 certificate. 
  • Online bidding for DRMS sales became possible.  


  • The 1997 National Defense Authorization Act created the Law-Enforcement Support Office, Section 1033. 
  • DRMS helped DLA Headquarters, the joint staff, and Joint Forces Command write a joint disposal operations doctrine.  


  • Disposal Remediation Team developed to ensure worldwide disposal services in the event of natural disasters and military contingency operations. 
  • Adoption of digital photography increased surplus item imagery collection. 


  • DRMS awarded its first Commercial Venture contract, an agreement between government and private industry to sell surplus DOD property.   
  • The General Services Administration presented its first Miles Romney Achievement Award for Innovation in Personal Property to DRMS. The DRMS team – Scott Riddle, Bob Fedyski, Julia Karns, Rod Moskun, Michael Garrahan, Mary Smith, and Mark Vincent – was recognized for developing a web page that allowed DRMS to manage its inventory more effectively, maximize reuse of excess property, and make excess property the first source of supply for DOD. The web page included DRMS’ entire worldwide property inventory. 
  • DRMS was selected as one of five national finalists for the Ford Foundation’s “Innovations in American Government Award.” 
  • The DRMS regional offices in Ogden and Columbus were closed and the regional office in Wiesbaden was moved to Kaiserslautern, Germany.   
  • Centralized demand was instituted, with DRMO Warner Robins opening the first centralized site. 


  • All Defense Department cataloging consolidated in Battle Creek, Michigan. 
  • Centralized demilitarization adopted, web-based property auctions proved successful, and the first scrap pilot contract was awarded to private industry. 


  • Terrorists attacked the U.S. Hijackers rammed jetliners into twin towers of New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A fourth hijacked plane crashed 80 mi outside of Pittsburgh (Sept. 11). Toll of dead and injured in thousands. Within days, Islamic militant Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terrorist network were identified as the parties behind the attacks. DRMS provided humanitarian support.


  • The online Electronic Turn-In Document was implemented at disposal sites worldwide, allowing customers to save time by avoiding handwritten or typed documentation. 
  • Centralization of DRMS Commands into Battle Creek, Michigan. Closure of the Memphis, Tennessee regional office and DRMS international Headquarters  in Wiesbaden, Germany.
  • The first two emergency essential positions were established and stationed at Mainz Kastel, Germany, to support efforts in Bosnia and Kosovo. 


  • DRMS supported coalition warfighters during the invasion of Iraq, where Saddam Hussein was eventually captured, and a new Iraqi Constitution was approved by voters. 



  • The technical management of DRMS’ third-party Superfund sites was transferred from DRMS to DLA Enterprise Support.  Both agencies co-located in Battle Creek, Michigan.   


  • The first permanent disposal site in Afghanistan opened at Bagram Air Base.  
  • DRMS awarded its first Scrap Venture contract to sell scrap from the local DRMOs in the U.S.  
  • Hurricane Katrina made landfall on Florida and Louisiana as a Category 5 hurricane, causing catastrophic damage, particularly in the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas, resulting in more than 1,200 deaths. DRMS provided humanitarian support. 


  • Paul Peters took the helm of DRMS as direction transferred from military to civilian Senior Executive Service leadership. 
  • Battle Creek became one of two hosts for DLA's consolidated customer contact operations to create a "virtual" service for customer calling, emailing or faxing queries to DLA, to include questions on DRMS and later DLA Disposition Services.
  • The role of Disposal Service Representative was born, creating the most visible, forward-facing customer interaction of any job in the organization.
  • A-76 efforts separated the warehouse functions at field sites.   
  • Established Most Effective Organization and Remaining Government Organization.   
  • Transportation Office established in Battle Creek to support impacted customer base. 


  • Twila C. Gonzales served as the first female director for DLA Disposition Services. In 2013, she went on to serve as the deputy commander for DLA Distribution.
  • The Law Enforcement Support Office was established, transferring to DRMS from agency headquarters. 


  • Under the "We Are DLA" initiative, the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service and the local Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office took on a new name - DLA Disposition Services.


  • In Iraq the United States moved from a military-led mission to a civilian-led effort. The Department of State took over the disposal mission in Iraq.


  • DAISY retired and RBI was introduced, fully deploying in 2013.  
  • Hurricane Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane in 2012. It affected 24 states and all the eastern seaboard, causing an estimated $70.2 billion in damages and 147 deaths. DLA Disposition Services provided humanitarian support. 


  • The first DLA Disposition Services safety specialists deployed to southwest Asia.  Safety monitors have remained in U.S. Central Command area of operations since then, identifying and eliminating risk to property disposal personnel and promoting awareness of the importance safety plays in contingency operations. 


  • After serving for seven months as the interim director, U.S. Air Force Col Michael Cannon transitioned from military leader of DLA Disposition Services to civilian SES leader of the organization.  
  • The fourth Commercial Venture contract for private industry to sell surplus DOD property was awarded and split into two functions: rolling stock (usable equipment and vehicles) and non-rolling stock (scrap: ferrous, non-ferrous, and non-metallic material). 
  • DLA Disposition Services at Afghanistan achieved a disposal milestone of 1,023,488,84 accumulative pounds of scrap received since 2006.  
  • In support of the Army divestiture of military vehicles, DLA Disposition Services implemented the first off-site Demilitarization as Condition of Sale for vehicles in the Crane, Indiana, area.  Under this sale, over 2,100 vehicles were processed with revenue exceeding $260,000.  By including transportation with drain and purge requirements, DLA realized a cost avoidance of over $1 million. This groundbreaking sales method paved the way for six additional sales at other locations. 


  • On the morning of June 8th at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Krissie Davis and Robert Delong were wounded in an indirect fire attack. Davis lost her life as a result of the attack. Both DLA team members are recipients of the Defense of Freedom Medal.  
  • After a nearly 16-year hiatus, the first ship recycling sale was awarded for $52,000 and included six ships:  ex-USS Forrest Sherman, ex-USS Sides, ex-USS Jarrett, ex-USS George Phillips, ex-USS Thomas Gates and ex-USS Doyle.  
  • A reverse auction helped award a long-term $8.2 million hazardous waste disposal contract that showed how DLA Disposition Services supports Better Buying Power by promoting competition and improving tradecraft in acquisition through increased small business participation. The contract provided disposal of a variety of hazardous wastes for Defense Department customers around Jacksonville, Florida. It also provided services such as testing and the handling of retrograded waste from Puerto Rico.   


  • DLA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch observed divestiture of property to DLA Distribution and DLA Disposition Services during a visit to Fort Bliss, Texas, one of the first sites to start the process as the Army turns in miles and miles of unneeded vehicles, taking advantage of streamlining DLA Disposition Services personnel have done to expedite the process to make it quicker and easier for individual soldiers as they process more than two million pieces of equipment across numerous installations. 


  • An improved world market on scrap sales and sufficient customer funding allowed DLA Disposition Services to award a service contract to pursue removal of millions of pounds of scrap at Kwajalein Atoll in the remote Pacific Ocean. Contract award involved teamwork between DLA Disposition Services’ contracting personnel, staff from the Pacific region, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and regional Army garrison leaders. 
  • The DLA Disposition Services Network Optimization General Order was approved. 


  • First barge leaves Kwajalein with one million pounds of scrap, followed by another barge a week later with the remaining 5.1 million pounds.  
  • Disposition Services held a Material Handling Equipment Rodeo focused on improving safety.  
  • The first DLA Agency Management Review was conducted at DLA Disposition Services.
  • The United States federal government shutdown for 35 days. It was the longest U.S. government shutdown in history.
  • First DLA Agency Management Review conducted at DLA Disposition Services. 


  • “Excess to Disposal” business process approved, marking the first change in the command business cycle in 12 years.  
  • Disposition Services ended a period of partially combined operations where it shared co-located personnel and equipment with DLA Distribution. Meanwhile, DLA Disposition Services HQ realignment implemented to better serve field sites. 


  • Army Lt. Col. Ryan Mendanhall, Officer in Charge for DLA Disposition Services – Afghanistan, was the last military member to leave the country as the DLA workforce transitioned to civilian only as part of a reduction of U.S. military forces.  
  • Excess medical property worth more than $5.6 million was provided to the military services to fight COVID-19. Another $17.5 million in equipment was provided to U.S. states, and $17 million went to the U.S. Agency for International Development. 
  • Equipment removed from Afghanistan’s Forward Operating Base Fenty and shipped to Bagram Airfield. 


  • The Taliban quickly seized control of Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrew its remaining troops to end the 20-year conflict. Over the years, DLA Disposition Services disposed of more than 1.4 billion pounds of scrap prior to discontinuing support operations there in June.


  • Enhanced workforce development with Foundational Training-Block One. Twenty-four individuals attended pilot session gaining a better understanding of organization and their role.
  • Agency celebrated 50 years of reverse logistics excellences around the world with customers, community, retirees and workforce. 115 stories published, 134 social posts, historical webpage, booklet and documentary video released. 
  • 17 EUCOM nations cleared for in-country hazardous waste disposal, in support of director’s strategic initiative on HW support.
  • Strong customer reuse, with requests for 4.97 million items worth $1.5 billion, including $734 million back to the services, $35 million in border wall material, $7.8 million to Operation Allies Welcome, and $9.23 million to military efforts in Eastern Europe. 
  • LESO implemented stringent accountability requirements of EO 14074, team completed inventory of 117k line items, including 61k small arms, across 6,899 law enforcement agencies.

Reflection Video

View a playlist highlighting DLA's disposition capabilities.

Historic News

Disposition Services | Nov. 30, 2023

Year in review: West region

Customer support efforts across the directorate can vary as widely as the vast West itself.

Disposition Services | Nov. 9, 2023

Year in Review: Resource Management

Every successful organization relies on a team that makes it go, and important aspects of that work take place behind the scenes. For Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services, the Resource Management directorate plays a key supporting role.

Enterprisewide | Nov. 8, 2023

Honoring Veterans: Past and Present

In this year's Veterans Day program video, we bring you a heartfelt message from the DLA Disposition Service Director and hear from several veterans within DLA organizations at HDIFC. With nearly 60% of our workforce having a background in military

Disposition Services | Nov. 6, 2023

Year in review: Business Support

From tech-focused research and development projects to the fielding of DLA’s Warehouse Management System, the Battle Creek-based Business Support team helped bolster mission effectiveness across the spectrum in 2023.