By Kevin Fleming, ASC Public AffairsMarch 17, 2016
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Like Soldiers, Army civilian logisticians have deployed and risked their lives in service to the nation. On June 3, 2005, a civilian logistician was killed during operations in Baghdad, Iraq. Eleven years later, another civilian received an award named in her honor.
Maj. Gen. Kevin O'Connell, commanding general, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, presented William "Otis" Hill, logistics management specialist, 406th Army Field Support Brigade, ASC, with the Logistics Assistance Representative of the Year award for 2014, here, March 12.
"Our civilian workforce has carried a very heavy load during the War on Terror in the past 15 years," said O'Connell.
The LAR award was named for Linda Villar, 41, the first U.S. Army Material Command civilian killed in Iraq following a mortar attack. Villar was the acting chief of the 3rd Infantry Division Logistics Support Element with 24 years of federal civilian service.
According to its description, this annual award recognizes logisticians who demonstrate excellence.
An award committee assesses one nomination from each of ASC's seven Army field support brigades.
Each year, nominees must: demonstrate outstanding logistical support that increased Army readiness, contribute to operational improvements (for example: found cost savings or wrote technical manuals), directly support real-time contingency or training operations, and pursue self-improvement opportunities.
Hill's award narrative highlighted his accomplishments as a senior readiness logistic management specialist in Bagram, Afghanistan, and throughout the central East Coast.
In 2014, following his deployment to Afghanistan, Hill moved to his current position at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. His area of responsibility included Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland and Delaware.
According to the award narrative, Hill, "ensured 100 percent accountability for the Logistics Support Element property book valued at over $2.2 million of equipment," while in Afghanistan. It also states that Hill's "operational support directly contributed to the 401st AFSB maintaining an operational readiness above 98 percent," meaning that 98 percent of the equipment was mission capable.
A property book is a document listing all the accountable items that a unit is assigned and responsible for. The 401st AFSB gives logistical support to operations in Southwest Asia.
The narrative stated that while in Virginia, Hill oversaw operations involving the improvement of 2,250 pieces of re-deployed equipment while managing a budget valued in excess $550,000.
O'Connell said Hill's accomplishments were significant.
"Just an enormous impact on the Army in two different areas of responsibility. Just no question that you were the hands-down winner of the LAR of the Year," he said. "We're proud of you."
Hill spent 30 years in the Army, most of that time as a warrant officer, before retiring and accepting a civilian job. He said the job is intuitive for him.
"As a person who has been on the receiving end of that service, I just know what it is that I want to provide," he said. "It's really not a hard thing for me. I just ask, 'If I were on the other end, what would I want?' "
He said direct logistics support to the warfighter in the field is important.
"I enjoy what I do -- providing logistics support to the warfighter -- that's what it's all about," he said. "Sometimes [warfighters] do things very well, and then sometimes they need a lot of help. That's when we come in as logisticians."
Hill said he was successful because of his focus on the job.
"When you are doing your day-to-day job, you just have to care deeply about what you are doing."
Hill thanked his family for their support. He especially thanked his wife, Abbie, for taking care of their household while he was deployed.