2012 Stan Arthur Logisticians of the Year
Military and Civilian Award Winners
2012 Military Logistician of the Year
By Tonya Johnson, Defense Logistics Agency Public Affairs
Navy Cmdr. William "Jack" May has been fascinated with logistics since he was a teenager.
"I learned a lot about it while working in warehouses while I was in high school and college, and I have enjoyed logistics since then," May said. "But many people don't understand logistics until they need to eat or get paid."
It was May's passion for logistics that led him to a career as a Navy Supply Corps officer. May, a Defense Logistics Agency reservist, was chosen as the Military Logistician of the Year for the 2012 Admiral Stan Arthur Award for Logistics Excellence. The annual award recognizes military and civilian logisticians who excel in logistics planning and execution.
May is scheduled to receive his award July 11. He was nominated based on his accomplishments while deployed to Afghanistan from October 2012 to April of this year. May, who has served in the Navy 24 years, including four years on active duty, said he was surprised to win the award because of the stiff competition.
"I am surprised, yet honored and humbled to win this award," he said. "This award actually belongs to the people who were part of my team and helped me support the warfighters in theater. There are a lot of great people doing work over there."
As a career logistician, May said his deployment emphasized the importance of his logistics training.
"I was a part of the DLA support team in Afghanistan and was the officer in charge of DLA Disposition Services-Afghanistan," May said. "The experience changed my life. DLA is tasked with supplying items for one of the world's largest military."
His staff was responsible for removing specific military capabilities from equipment no longer needed in theater and getting it ready for use by others. To help foster teamwork, May created a two-week course called Expeditionary Disposal Remediation Team University at the DLA Disposition Services site on Bagram Air Base to better prepare DLA military and civilian personnel for their mission. In addition, he created a partnership with 1st Theater Sustainment Command to dispose of and sell excess shipping containers, saving an estimated $440 million.
"I was always marketing DLA's capabilities to the units," May said. "When I got there, we were demilitarizing 200,000 pounds of scrap at forward operating bases per week, then later a million. Since I left, they are up to scrapping about 5 million pounds of equipment a week. We want to make sure we get rid of items that our enemies can't later use against us."
He said expeditionary disposal remediation teams constantly travelled to forward operating bases throughout Afghanistan to remove excess equipment.
"My crowning achievement is that we kept a lot of trucks off the road, and because of this, I slept good at night," he said. "At the end of the day, the warfighters were supported, and their risk of injury and death were reduced."
May recalled being on a flight with an Army sergeant escorting a fallen Soldier and wondering what could be done to reduce the loss of life.
"That is why we set up more sites at the forward operating bases to collect unneeded equipment," he said.
May said he is proud of what his team accomplished in Afghanistan.
"We worked hard to get units the dire equipment they needed," he said. "I always let troops know that DLA Disposition Services needed to be their first stop for supply because the items cost nothing to them. One time, I talked to some troops who had been waiting to get generators for three months and after they contacted us, we found them some generators in three days. I also worked with the National Guard and reserve units to get them surplus equipment they could use at their bases stateside to maintain mission readiness."
Carl Dakin, a DLA Disposition Services property disposal specialist and disposal service representative based at Fort Knox, Ky., who was a part of May's staff in theater, said May always kept the mission first and was a leader many could relate to.
"He should be commended and recognized for what he did in Afghanistan," Dakin said. "He understands logistics, and he ensured the warfighters were taken care of there. He's a personable leader who always went the extra mile for his customers. He also was good at making sure his staff was kept informed, and if we needed to discuss anything with him, he was always available to help us."
May, who was recently selected for captain, is currently the commanding officer of DLA's Disposal Reutilization Team 2, located in Bessemer, Ala. In his current assignment, he supervises almost 50 reservists who reutilize or demilitarize excess military equipment by augmenting staff at the DLA Disposition Services site at Anniston Army Depot.
"We may serve one weekend a month, but we are actively engaged in what we do," May said. "We are important to Sailors in the fleet because we enable units to get rid of property they no longer need legally, and we help them clean house whether we destroy what is no longer serviceable, give it to other organizations, including schools or law enforcement agencies, or have a contractor sell it and the money goes back to the U.S. government."
Navy Capt. Paul Hanson, executive officer of the DLA Joint Reserve Force, which oversees the administration of the military reserve program for the agency, said 57 percent of the approximately 1,300 service members assigned to DLA are reservists.
"Currently, 137 reservists are deployed in support of DLA missions, with 119 of these serving in Afghanistan and the rest scattered throughout the world," Hanson said. "Reservists are often used by DLA to provide critical support for a variety of missions and were involved in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, provided critical inventory support at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, and provide leadership at DLA.
"We are exceptionally proud of what Cmdr. May accomplished by winning the Admiral Stan Arthur Award and recognize that his performance is representative of the type of work that is done every day by DLA reservists around the world," Hanson added.
During his Navy career, May has served in a variety of assignments and deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
May said encourages Sailors to find mentors and take on challenging assignments to advance their careers.
"Throughout my career, I have had some great officers and senior enlisted Sailors who trained me," he said. "I encourage junior officers and senior enlisted Sailors to take on more joint assignments. Be yourself, take calculated risks, and always do what is right. I also encourage Sailors to consider the Navy Reserve because there are many opportunities for training and advancement, plus it is a change of pace from their regular job."
One of May's mentors is DLA's director, Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek.
"Vice Adm. Harnitchek has been a huge influence on me," May said. "He taught me to think big, always find a way to say yes, and to remember my customers first and get to know them better and understand their requirements. I also learned from him to ask for the necessary support and don't get hamstrung by the past."
May said that logistics will always be an important profession, and the Admiral Stan Arthur Award for Logistics Excellence highlights logisticians who work behind the scenes to get things done.
"Rewarding logisticians makes good sense operationally, because you cannot sustain the fight or the reset without logistics," he said. "Supply Corps officers are a part of the team, and on a ship we basically run a store, providing everything from food to parts. I always knew going into this career field that I wouldn't command a ship, but I would do my best to support those who would."
In his civilian career, May is the small-business owner of W. J. May & Associates, which sells engineered equipment to chemical and power plants.
2012 Civilian Logistician of the Year
By H. Sam Samuelson, NAVSUP GLS Office of Corporate Communication
If Navy logistician Greg Butler came with a slogan, it might read: "Nothing is too hard."
Butler, director of the Fleet Movement and Systems Support Division with Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Global Logistics Support, has been named the 2012 Admiral Stan Arthur Civilian Logistician of the Year. His passion for delivering the goods anywhere in the world - equipment, parts, tools - remains key to all three legs of the Chief of Naval Operation's sailing Directions: Warfighting First, Operate Forward, Be Ready.
And for Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsman, Butler's message is: "If you need it, I will try and get it to you no matter where you are in the world." More than that, Butler has devised a system that not only gets crucial parts and equipment anywhere, but does it in the most cost- and time-efficient manner possible.
"Think of commercial transportation and delivery systems, such as Orbitz or Kayak," he says. "We've developed a web-based transportation delivery system, along those business models that employs existing air and surface platforms, to get parts and equipment anywhere to include off the beaten path."
It is called the Transportation Exploitation Tool (TET), which leverages existing military and even commercial transportation assets to move goods literally to every corner of the globe. Butler conceived the idea and pitched it to the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Granted Science and Technology funding, Butler, along with his ONR partners, engineered TET and aligned it with the Navy's Lifts of Opportunity Program (LOOP), and then integrated it with the Department of Defense's (DOD) Financial and Air Transportation System.
Complexities aside, the system uses a shockingly easy to use web-based, menu-driven interface to get parts, equipment, tools - goods of any nature - delivered worldwide so efficiently, it has already saved the Department of the Navy more than $30 million. The system is projected to save the DOD $200 million over the next 10 years.
"I don't mind saying that is a phenomenal return on investment," Butler said. "And, those are dollars that go right back into the naval coffers for things like training Sailors and Marines, and operations."
The Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps have certainly earned a return on investment on Butler himself. A self-described, multi-generational patriot, Butler follows generations of family members who served during World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars.
"I always knew I was destined for the military; it was hardly a question. And I knew by eight years old it would be the Marine Corps," Butler says. Armed with just a high school education, Butler left his hometown of Fairdealing, Mo., (population 62) and initiated a career with the Marine Corps that saw him rise from a pre-GED private to major, retiring at 26 years.
"I guess I just didn't want to be in farming," Butler said of his decision to join the Marine Corps. His score on an aptitude test battery gave him a run on almost any specialty. "I went with Marine Supply and Logistics," he said. "I wanted to be the guy delivering critical supplies to my fellow Marines when they needed them."
Butler says logistics delivery is his career devotion. Butler is now in his 35th year of service, the last nine as a civilian. Even when he retired, the Marine Corps couldn't let go. Less than two weeks after his retirement in January 2003, the Marine Corps called him back on a stop-loss order and he was critical to the mobilization of 55,000 Marines in support of the invasion of Iraq in March.
"Then, when we thought that was over, I was asked to stay on another six months to help with the redeployment. It was a great compliment to be called back," he said.
In fact, overall, Butler's professional experience over the past 35 years has focused exclusively in logistics, transportation, supply chain management, distribution, and logistics processes, policies, and automated systems.
In uniform and while at sea, Butler served as Combat Cargo Officer aboard USS Essex (LHD 2) and Combat Cargo Assistant with COMPHIBRON Eight. Butler served in Operation United Shield in Somalia, Operation Southern Watch in southern Iraq, and in hostage rescue operations in Beirut, Lebanon.
Butler joined the civil service in 2008 following a three-year tour as Deputy Project Manager of a $50 million automated suite of war planning tools.
"Today, I remain all about supporting the warfighter," Butler said, "So, I will use all my talents and skills to support our men and women serving anywhere in the world."