Navy Contract Specialist Celebrated for Nearly Four Decades of Service

05 January 2022
John R. Denton, supervisory contract specialist for Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington, retired after 37 years of federal government service. Besides spending 30 days working for the Internal Revenue Service in 1994, Denton has served the entirety of his career at NAVFAC Washington.
John R. Denton, supervisory contract specialist for Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington, retired after 37 years of federal government service. Besides spending 30 days working for the Internal Revenue Service in 1994, Denton has served the entirety of his career at NAVFAC Washington.

Denton hails from Chesapeake Beach, Md., and is an alumnus of both Prince Georges Community College and University of Maryland University College. He started with NAVFAC Chesapeake Division, now known as NAVFAC Washington, at the age of 21 in August of 1984. He worked as a procurement clerk for a short time, as well as an activity liaison officer, but for the bulk of his career he served as a contracting specialist and contracting officer.

Among many accomplishments, Denton was responsible for oversight of contract compliance in the mid-1990s when Naval Air Systems Command relocated from Crystal City in Arlington, Va., to Patuxent River, Md. He was then selected to manage contract oversight when Naval Sea Systems Command relocated from Crystal City to the Washington Navy Yard. By the end of his career, he led a contracting team that oversaw NAVFAC projects at Joint Base Andrews.

“John is a tremendous asset to our contracting community,” said Kathryn Balonek, NAVFAC Washington contracting director. “We will miss his extensive project knowledge, pragmatic contracting style, and easy-going nature. NAVFAC Washington is lucky to have had him as part of the team for so long and he will leave some big shoes to fill at Joint Base Andrews.”

Denton summed up his best advice for successful contracting concisely, saying, “Be as prepared as possible for negotiations and be willing to take risks.”

“Mr. Denton has been a Hall of Fame player for NAVFAC Washington where he started out, and got better and better every one of his 37 years,” said Capt. Eric J. Hawn, NAVFAC Washington commanding officer. “His leadership, competence, and sound judgment have delivered so many critical capabilities to our Supported Commands over the years. John is one of many fine examples of our entire NAVFAC Washington team, and the men and women that he led and trained so well will continue to overcome the toughest challenges to deliver top results for our Navy and our Nation. I am truly thankful for Mr. Denton’s selfless service over the years, and I wish him health, happiness, and some well-earned time with family and friends in the next chapter!”

Denton is married to his wife Brenda and has four children, Jamie, Albert (Speedy) John Jr. and Joshua. He is also has four grandchildren, Braelyn, Mason, Lilly and Autumn. In retirement, he plans to spend more time with them all, as well as with his father, who is 94-years-old and his mother who is 88. He also hopes to travel and spend as much time as possible at his cabin in the mountains of Maryland.

“Despite all the complaints, challenges and other drama throughout the years, NAVFAC has been very good to me and my family,” said Denton. “I have met a lifetime of friends since 1984. I can look back and proudly say I worked 37 years and 3 months for NAVFAC. It’s been a good ride, but it’s time to roll on.”
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