DLA - Defense Logistics Agency

05/14/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/14/2024 06:31

2024 DLA Hall of Fame inductee: Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams


Editor's Note: This is one of five stories featuring 2024 DLA Hall of Fame inductees. An induction ceremony will be held 2 p.m. May 21 at the McNamara Headquarters Complex auditorium on Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The ceremony is open to all DLA employees; invitations are not needed.

The Defense Logistics Agency director who led increased material availability rates for every service branch and labeled employees the "secret sauce" of the agency's success is a member of the 2024 DLA Hall of Fame.

Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams served twice as a DLA leader - first as commanding general of DLA Land and Maritime from September 2010 to July 2012, then as DLA director from June 2017 to July 2020.

Some of the keystones of Williams' three years as the agency's 19th director included disaster relief, improved warfighter support, industry partnerships, and commitment to whole-of-government customers.

Williams oversaw development of DLA's Agency Synchronization Operations Center from the similarly missioned Joint Logistics Operations Center as well as the Service Readiness Dashboard. The ASOC provides a common operating picture of DLA's mission support and business processes, and the dashboard measures DLA's operational impact on weapons systems and readiness in real-time.

"Lt. Gen. Williams significantly improved support to the combatant commands and the four military services by supporting the accelerated divestiture of Navy excess equipment and establishing enhanced forward distribution capabilities for forward stocking in support of the Korean peninsula and the European theater," according to his nomination.

To increase military readiness, he introduced demand planning summits, where customers shared future needs, and industry days, which gave suppliers and small businesses a snapshot of military requirements.

Williams also oversaw the creation of DLA's partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs, enabling DLA to save the VA nearly $1.2 billion as it became the single provider for VA's medical supplies.

Emergency disaster response under Williams' leadership included 2.7 million gallons of fuel and over 88 million meals after hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria hit the U.S. and Puerto Rico. His other whole-of-government initiatives included support for the U.S. Forest Service's wildland firefighting efforts as well as the federal government's initial response to COVID-19.

People and culture mattered to Williams, too.

"He encouraged DLA teammates to engage with each other through the DLA Ball and the Holiday Open House. He instituted the employee Shadow Program for leadership development, 'Ya Done Good!' awards for employee recognition and more," his nomination reads.

As a brigadier general at DLA Land and Maritime, Williams led warfighter support for operations Enduring Freedom and Iraq Freedom. He spearheaded enhanced support for the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle, enabling the Defense Department to maintain a 94% readiness rate for the vehicle through 2011.

Material availability rates for the Navy's Nuclear Reactor Program also exceeded standards during Williams' leadership at the Columbus, Ohio, based major subordinate command. Logistics support likewise expanded for Humvee repairs, the Tires Successor Initiative and Integrated Product Support Prime Vendor arrangements, leading to on-time deliveries over 95% of the time.

Williams' nomination characterized him as an inspiration for the next generation. He mentored young officers through speeches at ROTC events, the Command and General Staff School and Army War College.