DVIDS – News – New director of subsistence navigates the organization through the COVID-19 filter

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Army Col. Larry Dean joined Defense Logistics Agency troop support as the new director of the livelihood supply chain in July.

In addition to the daily challenges of providing food support to military personnel around the world, Dean faces the unique challenge of joining in support of the troops during a global pandemic.

“We currently have over 370 people in Subsistence. I’ve met maybe 20 people, in total, face to face (so far), ”Dean said. “Every time I meet one, I’m more excited to meet someone else because they’re awesome. Every time I meet someone I’m like, ‘Wow, you’re as advertised. Your reputation precedes you.

Staff can expect clear guidance, transparency and predictability wherever possible from them, Dean said. In return, he expects the workforce to continue their dedication to the DLA troop support mission.

“Our civilian workforce is formidable,” he said. “They work long hours, a lot of them are veterans, and they raised their hands and took the oath. So I expect them to stay professional. I expect them to do what they did [which is] great work to support the mission. I want to make sure that I give them the best advice and the best support possible.

Dean’s goal as the Director of Food is to provide the best possible support to each member of the military, as well as other clients such as school children and Native American clients who are provided with fresh fruits and vegetables. One way to improve this service, he said, is to modernize the way Subsistence serves its customers, from software to communication.

“I want to find areas where we can capitalize on modernization and even use artificial intelligence where [and if] possible, ”he said.

In addition to a remote workforce and empty workstations, COVID-19 still poses challenges for DLA Troop Support vendors, Dean said.

“As we are lagging behind COVID with vaccinations, salespeople are still struggling to replenish their workforce, and we are very aware of that,” Dean said. “While there are contractual obligations we intend to keep, we understand that we need to be good stewards with our industrial partners. There are times when we can work with them in case they can’t meet the challenges.

Dean said that despite the challenges, many vendors have stepped up to help Subsistence meet unexpected demands, such as developing resources for items such as halal protein for Afghan allies.

“They are absolutely great partners and absolutely support us in what we need,” he said. “I have no doubts that the American spirit and work ethic will get all of our employees back to work, and we will get through this pandemic.”

The desire to serve his country began when he was little. Dean’s two grandfathers served in the military and his father was a Marine.

“I wanted to serve, it’s that simple,” he said. “I was very proud of them and their service, and at a young age I knew I wanted to serve. It was a fairly easy decision.

Being involved in the development and growth of junior leaders is something he has invested a lot of time in throughout his career.

“From officers to enlisted soldiers and civilians, I take great pride in how I am invested in the careers of others,” he said. “To see those who have grown up to be company commanders, to become majors, to become GS-15s, is just amazing. “

A self-proclaimed extrovert, he enjoys getting to know people and learning new things wherever he can.

“It’s one of the best parts of our service and the Department of Defense as a whole – we can travel around the world to different places,” Dean said. “Every time you go somewhere it’s a new experience. I love it, and this experience at [DLA] The support from the troops has been phenomenal.

Dean said he didn’t like to “think in a group” and preferred creativity and creative ideas.

“I like that everyone knows that I am always open to new ideas,” he said. “I’m always open to hearing people’s voices and hearing their opinions. Everyone has a voice.

He also enjoys getting to know his team and their families, which has been more difficult in today’s more virtual world.

” That’s what I like. I want to know if your kid plays softball, if your daughter plays soccer, or if your daughter plays soccer or if your son plays soccer, ”he said. “It’s the human aspect of the job that I really appreciate. Sadly, COVID made us give this up, but we’ll get it back. “

An athlete in his spare time, Dean said he and his wife were active together, running marathons and biking on weekends. He also enjoys traveling with his family, making one big trip a year with their three adult daughters.

Dean, originally from Chicago, and his wife are already immersing themselves in the culture of Philadelphia, visiting several of its museums and tasting the local cuisine. He said they’ve tried the city’s two famous cheesesteak stands, but they’re no fan of canned cheese, or “whiz.”

Date taken: 20.10.2021
Date posted: 20.10.2021 14:59
Story ID: 407637
Site: PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, United States

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