Annual logistics award reflects leadership standards still relevant today
By Ms. Kari Hawkins (AMCOM)November 22, 2016
AMCOM's Logistics Center celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Ernest A. Young Logistics Achievement Award with a "thank you" to the logistician who started it all.
Rick Turner, a 33-year Department of the Army civilian and the 1994 recipient of the logistics award, told those attending the awards luncheon on Nov. 17 that Ernest Young set the standards for
logisticians that are still relevant and respected today.
"All of you here work with great Americans, great people. You are great Americans and for the nominees here today, this is the Oscar for logisticians," said Turner, who was the guest speaker at the awards luncheon. "This is my most cherished award."
Following in his footsteps as recipients of the 2016 Ernest A. Young Logistics Achievement Award are Sheryl Ford of the Supply Chain Management Directorate, who was the winner in the Management/Executive category; and John Keck of ALC's Industrial Operations Directorate, who was the winner in the Professional/Technical category.
Other nominees in the Management/Executive category were: Walter G. Adams of the Field Support Directorate; Jimmy Erves of the Integrated Product Support Directorate; Leon McInelly of the Integrated Product Support Directorate; Garrick Parker of the Aviation Directorate and Kyell Turner of the Supportability and Sustainment Directorate.
Other nominees in the Professional/Technical category were: Guillermo Calvo and Devonna Currence-Hollis, both of the Aviation Directorate; and Michelle Durig of the Missiles Directorate.
ALC Director John Smith told those in attendance that ALC is an organization of professional logisticians who work hard for their customer.
"Everybody here contributes to what our Soldiers do every day," he said. "We exist to support Soldiers. Your selfless service contributes to keeping our Soldiers alive every day."
Although there are fewer and fewer AMCOM logisticians in the workforce who knew Young during his time at AMCOM and its predecessor the Missile Command, Young's 40 years as a DA civilian logistician laid the groundwork for an AMCOM workforce that continues to make a difference in ensuring Soldiers have the right supplies at the right time and in the right place to support the Army's aviation and missile systems, Turner said in his comments.
But, those who attended the awards luncheon got to know a little about the man the award is named after. Young, who retired as AMCOM's deputy commander 18 years ago, attended the ceremony and assisted in presenting the awards.
"Mr. Young began his civil service career in September 1956. He held a variety of important command and staff positions, culminating in his assignment as deputy commander of MICOM and deputy commander of AMCOM," Smith said.
"What we remember most, however, are the accomplishments Mr. Young made in helping the people of Redstone Arsenal. He has a great sense of humor and a sense of urgency for Soldiers. He treated all people with dignity and respect. Every question and concern he raised was aimed at helping Soldiers."
Young was presented with a gold commemorative pocket watch in honor of the award's 25th anniversary.
"I was very surprised. I didn't anticipate that at all," Young said. "I think this award has continued all these years because people greatly enjoy competition in the logistics world and they want to work towards excellence in what they do."
During his comments, Turner shared five principles of being a successful logistician and leader that were exemplified by Young during his career. They are:
• Take yourself out of the equation and live the Army values. "It should be about others. Give other people credit. Help other people be successful in their careers," Turner said. "Let's have fun. Mr. Young and our leaders expected us to work hard and we did, but they also let us laugh."
• Set the environment so that everyone can try, and everyone is treated with dignity and respect. "Words and actions are very, very important," Turner said. "Be civil to each other, be courteous. Build strength and stability within your team. Mr. Young was great at thanking us not only verbally but he'd send handwritten thank you notes."
• Build trusted relationships with other organizations. "Loggies have to deal with a whole lot of people than most do. They need to have good interpersonal skills," Turner said.
• Prepare, prepare, prepare, and details, details, details.
• Take the time to reflect on our blessings and be thankful for what we have. "For Mr. Young, it was God, family, job and tennis," Turner said. "He loved his work and wanted us to love our work. You have a better outlook when you love your work."