BGAD Employee Named Army Material Command Employee of the Quarter

By Rebecca E. Wood, Blue Grass Army Depot Public Affairs SpecialistMarch 2, 2023

R. Darrell Collins, Material Examiner Supervisor for the Blue Grass Army Depot, works on recycling cardboard on the depot. Collins was awarded the Army Material Command Employee of the Quarter for the third quarter in Fiscal Year 2022 for his leadership in BGAD’s Qualified Recycling Program that generated $25,000 in revenue.
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – R. Darrell Collins, Material Examiner Supervisor for the Blue Grass Army Depot, works on recycling cardboard on the depot. Collins was awarded the Army Material Command Employee of the Quarter for the third quarter in Fiscal Year 2022 for his leadership in BGAD’s Qualified Recycling Program that generated $25,000 in revenue. (Photo Credit: By Rebecca E. Wood, Blue Grass Army Depot Public Affairs Specialist ) VIEW ORIGINAL
Raymond D. Collins (left), Material Examiner Supervisor for the Blue Grass Army Depot, works with Michael Johnson on recycling rubber tubbing on the depot. Collins, known as Darrell to his co-workers, was awarded the Army Material Command’s Employee of the Quarter for the third quarter in Fiscal Year 2022 for his leadership in BGAD’s Qualified Recycling Program that generated $25,000 in revenue.
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Raymond D. Collins (left), Material Examiner Supervisor for the Blue Grass Army Depot, works with Michael Johnson on recycling rubber tubbing on the depot. Collins, known as Darrell to his co-workers, was awarded the Army Material Command’s Employee of the Quarter for the third quarter in Fiscal Year 2022 for his leadership in BGAD’s Qualified Recycling Program that generated $25,000 in revenue. (Photo Credit: Rebecca E. Wood, Blue Grass Army Depot Public Affairs Specialist ) VIEW ORIGINAL
R. Darrell Collins, circa 2022
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – R. Darrell Collins, circa 2022 (Photo Credit: William D. Ritter, Blue Grass Army Depot Public Affairs Officer) VIEW ORIGINAL

RICHMOND, Ky. – The U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) selected Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD) employee Raymond D. Collins as the AMC Employee of the Quarter for the third quarter in Fiscal Year 2022. The recognition program highlights employees whose outstanding and innovative contributions impact the Command's mission goals during the quarter.

Collins has worked at BGAD for over 20 years and is currently the BGAD Material Examiner Supervisor. Collins oversees the Qualified Recycling Program (QRP) and coordinates with outside vendors on selling scrap metal and wood waste, plastic, and other recyclable materials.

He is proud to be a third-generation employee at BGAD. His father retired after 30 years as a Wage Grade (WG) eight truck driver, and his grandfather was a "tire-man," a WG-8 mechanic with approximately 25 years of service on the installation.

Throughout his 20 years, Collins has worked as an explosives material handler, a woodworker, and a team leader in the crate shop. Collins also works on the philosophy that you always leave a job better than how you found it.

"My work philosophy is that I always want to improve at my job," said Collins. "I enjoy learning new things, gaining new skills, and becoming proficient in tasks or studies I already understand. I've realized that I work best in a group setting because I can learn tips from my coworkers and managers."

Collins' purposeful work ethic implored his supervisor Ramesh Melarkode, the BGAD Environment Division Chief, to nominate him for Employee of the Quarter.

Melarkode said he nominated Collins' because of his passion for the job and pleasant demeanor, a vital aspect of customer service.

"When he realized his market had shrunk, he came up with the idea of an internal bid sale for the good quality scrap wood that was piling. He vetted the idea through the depot command and legal office, got it approved, and implemented it. This new initiative brought in $25K in revenue within the year versus paying a fee for hauling them away. It was a win-win opportunity for the depot employees who could purchase good quality lumber at prices they can afford through competitive bidding, but also can generate a steady revenue stream for the QRP mission."

BGAD is an Army Working Capital Fund organization which must generate its own operating revenue from selling goods and services to pay for its purchased and in-house operating costs. Since BGAD does not operate on tax dollars, it's essential for its employees to save the installation money whenever they can. Collins’ found creative ways to save and generate revenue for the QRP mission, especially over the past two years when the pandemic shut down the depot to the general public.

"Some of our operations require using lead-lined bags, which were sent out as a cost avoidance with no revenue," said Collins. "However, I found a buyer, and now BGAD is receiving payment at $120/ton for these items."

Collins was genuinely surprised by his nomination for the AMC Employee for the quarter.

"I am truly humbled and honored by this award," said Collins shaking his head in disbelief. "I am honestly grateful for the recognition of my work. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude and would like to thank my leadership for the opportunity to make a difference with the way BGAD recycles."

Collins resides in Brodhead, Ky., and is also a well-known horse breeder, trainer, and competitor throughout the Bluegrass State.