DoDEA Pacific bids farewell to two longtime key leaders

DoDEA Pacific bids farewell to two longtime key leaders

by Charly Hoff, U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity - Pacific

U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa, JAPAN — Longtime Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific key leaders Jack Martin and Walter Smiley were honored together at a joint retirement event held here Friday in celebration of their more than 78 years of combined public service.

Martin is retiring as the Logistics Division Chief for the DoDEA Pacific Area Office currently located at U.S. Army Garrison in Okinawa. The logistics division is responsible for logistics support services to 50 DoDEA schools and five administrative support offices located in Guam, mainland Japan, Okinawa, and South Korea. Martin was responsible for management and oversight of facilities, transportation, supplies, inventories, the Student Meal Program, inter-service support agreements, and other contracts associated with school support services. The logistics division mission is to ensure students gain educationally from safe, secure and well-designed learning environments. Martin also worked closely with the Army Corps of Engineers Far East and Japan Engineer Districts, Naval Engineering Facilities Command Pacific, and host nation government representatives on school renovation and construction projects totaling nearly $1.9B. He was also responsible for $17M in annual contracts for transportation and services and $24M in annual facilities sustainment, restoration, and modernization projects.

Martin first joined DoDEA in 1995 as the Supply and Services Branch Chief for DoDEA Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany. He transferred to DoDEA Pacific in 1997 to become the Deputy Chief of the Pacific Transportation Management Office. After an additional leadership assignment and consolidation of the transportation and logistics divisions, Martin moved into his current position in 2005.

Prior to joining DoDEA, Martin was the Director of Logistics for the 221st Base Support Battalion in Wiesbaden, Germany.

His combined Army active duty and Reserve careers spanned 24 years, during which he was commissioned as a Quartermaster Officer, and graduated with honors from the Officers Quartermaster Advance Course in Ft. Lee, Va.

With more than 43 years of combined military and federal civil service, Martin retires with extensive experience in managing logistical support services ranging from supply, maintenance, facilities and transportation functions to vehicle fleet management and logistics program analysis.  

Martin held a special connection to DoDEA students having grown up as a military child. True to military life, he lived and worked in various locations around the globe but considers Kemah, Texas home.

Reflecting on what he’ll miss most about DoDEA Pacific Martin said, “Working with an outstanding team of professionals dedicated to support the needs of our schools and students.”

He also offered advice for new DoDEA employees, “Come prepared to work hard for an awesome organization. You will be challenged to learn something new every day.  As a result, you grow professionally and your experiences will prepare you for the next step up in your career.”

Martin’s retirement plans include: travel throughout the United States, South
America and Europe; sailing on Galveston Bay along the upper coast of Texas; and continuing his lifelong passion of playing racquetball.

DoDEA Pacific Resource Management Chief Walter Smiley is retiring with 27 years of service to DoDEA Pacific and more than 34 total years of public service. As a division chief, Smiley led the DoDEA Pacific resource management team responsible for financial and manpower program support services and a $375M annual budget in support of 50 DoDEA schools and five support offices located across the Pacific theater. Their specialized support included: budget formulation, budget allocation processes, budget execution, manpower management, and continuous process improvement through innovation and technology.
Smiley began his financial career with the Department of Defense in 1979 as a budget analyst for the U.S. Navy at the Pacific Missile Test Center in Point Mugu, Calif.—since renamed the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division. He transitioned to Los Angeles Air Force Station in 1983 where he worked as a financial analyst for both the Navy and Air Force in the Joint Project Office responsible for developing the Global Positioning System. In 1986 he transferred to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan to serve with the Air Force Civil Engineering Financial Office. Smiley then joined the DoD schools in the Pacific in 1987 as a budget analyst, and has served in several progressive leadership roles within DoDEA Pacific since then.

When asked about his favorite DoDEA memory, Smiley said, “A few weeks ago, I was briefing new DoDEA Director Tom Brady on Sharepoint initiatives here in the Pacific.”

Microsoft Sharepoint is a web-based platform for employee collaboration, unified communication, and task automation. Smiley is a renowned advocate for improving business outcomes by applying technology solutions and he has been a champion for expanding Sharepoint tools beyond the Pacific for several years.

“After several slides and multiple examples of how we’re using the tools to overcome complex problems, Mr. Brady stopped me, looked me in the eye with a mischievous smile and said, ‘Sharepoint. Got it Walter,’” continued Smiley, “and that really made me feel proud and hopeful about the wonderful possibilities ahead.”

For retirement, Smiley plans to remain in Okinawa with his wife Taeko and focus on mastery of the Japanese language. Their son Wataru, a graduate of DoDEA Pacific’s Kubasaki High School, completed college last year and is working just a few hours away by air in Tokyo.

In sharing final words of wisdom during the ceremony, Smiley reiterated his passion for helping students and educators achieve higher levels of excellence, “Your daily industriousness and work ethic do make a difference … be creative when you have the opportunity to help others get things done.”

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