ASC employee receives coveted Louis Dellamonica Award
February 20, 2013
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- An Army Sustainment Command civilian from the 405th Army Field Support Brigade has the honor of being the only ASC employee to receive the 2011 Louis Dellamonica Award.
Michael Simmons, a logistics management specialist, Support Operations, 405th AFSB, in Kaiserslautern, Germany, received the honor presented to top Army Materiel Command personnel annually.
Eighteen other AMC personnel also received the 2011 Louis Dellamonica Award.
The annual award is presented in honor of Louis Dellamonica, a general engineer who worked at Hawthorne Army Depot, Nev., whose 65-year career exemplified integrity, innovation, leadership, and outstanding dedication to AMC's mission.
Simmons, who retired after 20 years as an Army logistics officer, has now served nine years as a civilian, of which, four have been spent with ASC.
"I was surprised," said Simmons, regarding his initial reaction of his nomination. "I like to remain humble with my accomplishments, recognizing that it is really a team effort to plan and execute the support we provide to Soldiers and civilians in our area of responsibility."
Brig. Gen. John F. Wharton, ASC commanding general, presented the award to Simmons Feb. 7.
Simmons' military background stems from his civilian education as a trainer and educator. He earned his Army commission through the ROTC, which led him to serve in several training assignments. From 1995 to 2004, Simmons served in the Army Guard Reserve Program where he served with the 85th Training Division in Illinois and the California-based 311th Corps Support Command.
One of the ways Simmons was able to instill the team concept in his co-workers was through creating open communication by relying on his spiritual fitness, he said. A self-professed man of faith, Simmons said his beliefs are what drive him to excel in the workplace and to encourage others to perform to a higher standard toward customer satisfaction.
"This open communication breaks down barriers and any potential hidden agendas that prevent any team member from getting a sense that there is something personal to be gained from completing a task or project," Simmons said.
The final result of open communication, Simmons said, is the mental shift from "What's in it for me?" to "What's in it for the customer?"
When asked to serve as the acting support operations officer, Simmons supervised 11 people. Simmons said he improved the work environment through good work relationships by supporting customers, ASC staff members and other organization members in order to leverage effective reach-back capability to ascertain guidance and resources from ASC, AMC, and the Life Cycle Management Commands.
"Having served in the military, providing the best support to Soldiers and civilians is what motivates me to contribute to AMC's missions, goals and objectives," Simmons said.
A lesson Simmons said he has learned from his 29 years of service is to put aside personal preferences and focus on the big picture: That men and women are training daily to lay their lives on the line and deserve the best support and resources available.
"The support we provide needs to be more than lip service, but an active effort to really demonstrate how much we love and care for the Soldiers and civilians that defend our country and its national interest abroad," Simmons said.
During Simmons' certification as a Lean Six Sigma black belt candidate, he was inspired by then Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion, commanding general of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command from 2009 to 2011. The command is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Simmons said McQuistion was steadfast in improving processes throughout the Europe Logistics Community.
McQuistion, now a lieutenant general and the deputy commanding general of the Army Materiel Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., served as the commanding general of ASC from 2011 to 2012.
Simmons' goal for continuing excellence is to build on the working relationships and educate customers on how AMC can support them with their logistics concerns and issues.
This can be done, he said, by improving collaboration efforts to share analysis and trends data with customer units and activities to improve logistics support processes.
The Army Sustainment command supports United States and coalition forces around the world.