Executive Director, Operations
Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)
David R. Kless serves as the Executive Director, Operations (J31), in DLA Logistics Operations (J3). He assumed this responsibility upon his appointment to the Senior Executive Service in 2018. In this role, Kless is responsible for coordinating and synchronizing day-to-day current operations of DLA’s worldwide logistics, acquisition and technical support services in support of combatant commands (CCMD); military services; federal, state, and civil agencies; and foreign governments. J31 is comprised of the DLA Joint Logistics Operations Center (JLOC) Division, Military Services Support (MSS) Division, DLA-TRANSCOM Support (DLA-T) Division, Whole of Government Support Division, Mission Assurance Support Team, and the Portfolio Programs Support Team. J31 also identifies customer requirements from contingency planning and readiness posture of the combatant commands and the services, and manages the overseas customer interface network of DLA Europe & Africa, DLA Pacific, and DLA-CENTCOM & SOCOM.
Kless received his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the U.S. Naval Academy. He then graduated with a Master of Science degree in Operations Research from the Navy Postgraduate School. He later obtained a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. Kless currently holds DAWIA Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) Level II certification in Acquisition Logistics.
After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, Kless served in the Navy performing multiple logistics and operation assignments within the Navy logistics and acquisition community. After numerous positions of increasing responsibility with a distinguished career as a Naval officer, he retired as a Navy captain in 2011.
He then joined the Defense Logistics Agency as the division chief for Whole of Government Support in DLA Logistics Operations. He later served as DLA deputy chief of staff, Office of the Director.
Over his career, Kless has received many awards, including a Meritorious Civilian Service Award. His military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal, two awards; Best Retail Sales and Service Award; Navy and Marine Association Peer Selected Leadership Award; Navy Battle Efficiency Award; Admiral Stanley R. Arthur Award for Logistics Excellence; and Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal, four awards.