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DLA Disposition Services
Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS)

DLA Disposition Services' mission is to support the warfighter and protect the public by providing worldwide disposal management solutions. DLA Disposition Services disposes of excess property received from the military services. The inventory changes daily and includes thousands of items: from air conditioners to vehicles, clothing to computers, and much more. In FY08, over 56,000 military units and organizations turned in over 3.5 million items to DLA Disposition Services.

That property is first offered for reutilization within the Department of Defense (DoD), transfer to other federal agencies, or donation to state and local governments and other qualified organizations. Reutilization means big savings. In FY08, $2.2 billion worth of property was reutilized. Every dollar's worth of property reutilized is a tax dollar saved. DLA Disposition Services also supports disaster relief at home, and humanitarian assistance and foreign military sales programs. DLA Disposition Services manages the DoD surplus property sales program. Excess property that is not reutilized, transferred or donated may be sold to the public. The property, no longer needed by the government, is only sold if it is appropriate and safe for sale to the general public.

What became known as DLA Disposition Services was established in 1972, but the services it provided the Department of Defense dated back to the end of World War II. Huge amounts of surplus property had to be disposed of after the war ended. Organizations were created to reduce the stockpile, but the return on their sales was small, and they were soon disbanded. Property disposal later reappeared through the Federal Property and Administration Services Act of 1949. The act delegated surplus property to executive agencies, allowing DoD to control its surplus property. Each military service was tasked to develop its own program.

Senator John L. McClellan (D-Ark) chaired hearings in 1972 to assess their efforts. The "McClellan Report" recommended centralizing disposal for better accountability. On 12 September 1972, the Defense Property Disposal Service (DPDS) was established under the Defense Supply Agency (subsequently the Defense Logistics Agency) to accomplish this mission. Defense Property Disposal Offices (DPDOs) were established worldwide on or near major military installations. Subsequent name changes led the organization to become the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service.

DRMS was a primary level field activity of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). Its mission was to provide the Department of Defense (DoD) with services for the disposal of material no longer needed for national defense, comply with legislative and regulatory requirements, protect the public good from dangerous defense items, and to pursue maximum value for tax dollars. This mission included responsibility for property reuse (including resale), hazardous property disposal, demilitarization, precious metals recovery and recycling program support.

In FY00, nearly $4 billion worth of property was reutilized, transferred or donated. Property that was not reutilized, transferred or donated may be sold to the public as surplus. The National Sales Office sells large quantities of widely advertised, high-value property, such as aircraft parts, primarily through sealed bid. DRMS also partnered with private industry to sell property. Levy-Latham Global had been contracted to sell commodities such as machine tools, hardware and material handling equipment.

Local sales were held at DMRS field offices, called Defense Reutilization and Marketing Offices (DRMOs), located on or near US military installations worldwide. Items were usually sold in smaller quantities that might appeal to local buyers. These sales were either held through bid or auction. Retail, fixed-price sales were offered at some DRMOs, aimed at customers interested in buying inexpensive items for personal use. DRMS also offered a sales service for those DoD customers who had direct sales authority (such as under the Exchange Sale Program). For a modest percentage of the proceeds, DRMS would perform all merchandizing, advertising and contracting functions, providing the DoD property holder peace of mind that all laws and regulations are followed.

The Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service awarded a 7-year contract 13 June 2001 to Surplus Acquisition Venture, LLC to sell a variety of military surplus items. The contract represented the second phase of DRMS' Commercial Venture program, also known as "CV2." Under the terms of the contract Surplus Acquisition Venture, LLC became a private vendor for usable military surplus property in categories including aircraft parts, vehicles, clothing and textiles, medical items, furniture, commercial kitchen equipment and much more. Approximately $23 billion worth of equipment should be sold during the term of the contract. The company established a wholly owned subsidiary, Government Liquidation, LLC to act as the purchaser and re-seller of property under the contract. This was the largest sales privatization project ever by DRMS and was expected to generate millions of dollars of additional revenues from the sale of surplus military assets to the US Treasury.

As of July 2001, DMRS had a worldwide work force of approximately 1,920 civilians, which includes 11 military personnel. The Battle Creek, Michigan headquarters staff numbered 361. The 97 DRMOs were located in 39 states and 13 foreign countries. DRMS International, collocated in Battle Creek effective mid-2001, managed operations that stretched across 11 time zones. This included all DRMOs in Europe and in the Pacific regions.

In 2010, as part of the We Are DLA initiative, the DMRS was renamed as DLA Disposition Services. Its mission remained effectively unchanged.

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