Johnson receives significant honor

29 Aug 2008 | Colie Young

Editor’s Note: Aug. 26 of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day. First established in 1971, the date commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave U.S. women full voting rights in 1920. The following story highlights one of Marine Corps Logistics Command’s women.

Women’s Equality Day celebrates American women being given full voting rights. Carla Johnson’s story highlights and celebrates those women who not only vote, but continue to forge ahead for full equality by pounding on the so-called “glass ceiling.”

Johnson was recognized by Blacks In Government officials at its 30th annual National Training Conference in New Orleans, La., Aug. 15, where she added the BIG 2008 Meritorious Service Award to her many other accolades.

The event honored more than a dozen civilian and military servicemembers from the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard Bureau.

Johnson, who is the director of the Supply Management Operations Office, Marine Corps Logistics Command, picked up the civilian award for the U.S. Marine Corps.

The Meritorious Service Award is given to those servicemembers and Department of Defense civilian employees who have significantly contributed to the Global War on Terrorism through outstanding support to the mission of their organization 

According to her citation, Johnson distinguished herself by significantly supporting the GWOT and displaying exceptional character as a role model and mentor within her organization and community.

With more than 27 years service as a civilian employee, Johnson has been instrumental in the successful completion of many requests from Headquarters Marine Corps involving feasibilities of support and recommending strategies for integrated logistics support solutions for emerging equipment requirements, all to support the Marines, according to the write up.

Her nominator, Mike Williamson, director, Supply Management Center, LOGCOM, said, “Carla is a genuine person who gives of herself tirelessly at work and in the public sector. I thought she was very deserving of the nomination and the award. Her contributions to LOGCOM are beyond belief.”

Johnson, who was totally surprised by Williamson’s nomination, said she accepts the honor on behalf of the many people who have helped her do what needed to be done.

“Through long hours, hard work and strategizing, we have been able to support our ultimate customer and that is the Marine. I’m honored to be the recipient of this award. I’ve had a network of people who have supported me, believed in me, gave me opportunities to excel and helped me when I’ve stumbled,” said the Albany, Ga., native 

“I stand on the shoulders of some great people; some are still part of the LOGCOM family, some have retired and some have passed away. I’m accepting the award on behalf of so many people who have helped shape me and my journey, and really, the credit goes to them,” she added.

For the award ceremony, LOGCOM Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Willie Williams, made the 438-mile trip to show his support.

“I congratulate Carla and all the other recipients who received the military and civilian meritorious service awards. Carla’s exceptional efforts contribute greatly to LOGCOM successfully accomplishing the DoD mission and helps to improve the quality of life for our Marines in the field,” said Williams. “Her efforts are the fiber of what LOGCOM and its people are all about. 

Johnson’s citation saluted her for “ensuring equipment was readily available to replace battle losses and emergent requirements for Marine Forces operating in the United States Central Command Area of Operations.

Her achievements helped reduce order, ship and customer wait times. She was cited for her contributions in developing sourcing solutions for the Forward-in-Stores, and implementing the Operation Iraqi Freedom Principle End Item Rotation Program 

According to the citation, Johnson successfully sourced more than 11,000 pieces of equipment in support of the Corps’ current end strength goal of 202,000 Marines and continues to monitor procurement and maintenance data to ensure equipment is available to support the growth and stand up new units.

Johnson led efforts to coordinate sourcing of equipment from the acquisition community and in-stores for the initial attainment of the Marine Expeditionary Unit Augmentation Program.

As a result of her efforts, the MAP has received more than 800 mission critical items to issue, thereby providing a source of readily available equipment to help support the mission of all incoming MEUs and their contributions to the War on Terrorism, according to the write-up.

Johnson, 46, started her employment at the Albany Marine base as a 19-year-old Albany State College co-op student. 

Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree from the university, she was hired in a training billet here as an inventory manager at the GS-5 target 7 level. 

In 2000, she returned to ASU to receive her Masters of Business Administration degree.

Johnson said she has been promoted six times since her arrival here. 

In addition to the success she has enjoyed at the workplace and the long hours she puts in, she remains heavily involved in numerous community activities which she said was ingrained in her as a child.

When asked how long she has been involved in the community, she said, “For life. My parents had more than 75 years of combined experience as educators. They were always involved in some capacity in helping others. So, it’s just been a part of my nature to support causes to help people [perhaps] who are less fortunate or who need support. It’s just a fabric of my life. 

Johnson is currently a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the president of the Albany chapter of the Jack and Jill of America, Inc., a member of Utilis Matronae Club, Federal Managers Association and an alumnae of Leadership Albany.

With all of her duties, titles and accomplishments, she continuously shrugged off praise and shared a simple, yet profound outlook.

“You know, I think most of us come to work to do the very best we can do, always striving for excellence,” she said. “It really feels good that your boss and other leaders take the time to acknowledge what you’ve done, but in my opinion, this is nothing more than what I’m called to do.

“I have the opportunity to serve this great country in the work that I do. I’m able to continue to do what I’m passionate about because I have the complete support of my husband Don and my sons Brandon and Cameron,” she said.

Johnson is among the growing list of women who not only pound on the so-called glass ceiling, but are shattering the ideology.

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany