RICHMOND, VA –
Navy Cmdr. Curtis Ceaser took over as commander, Defense Logistics Agency Aviation - Jacksonville, Florida during a virtual change of command ceremony on Naval Air Station Jacksonville, June 15. DLA Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. David Sanford officiated the ceremony virtually from Washington, D.C., where he is currently on a special assignment as the deputy director of the COVID-19 Supply Chain Task Force with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Ceaser comes to DLA Aviation from Navy Supply Weapon Systems Support in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he served as the director of Acquisition Policy and Contract Systems. He’s also no stranger to DLA Aviation. He served as aide-de-camp to then DLA Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Busch between 2007 – 2009. He assumes command from Navy Cmdr. Monica Frey, who served as commander since 2018.
Ceaser’s wife Amy, son, Ethan and daughter Eliza were in attendance, as were Frey’s husband Zach and son Jackson.
Because of social distancing guidelines and restrictions due to coronavirus, other members of both families, as well as active and retired senior military leaders and distinguished guests, attended the ceremony via a video streaming platform.
During his remarks, Sanford recognized some of the accomplishments of the Jacksonville team under Commander Frey’s leadership, including reducing component material delay unfilled orders by 38%, reducing unfilled orders by 48%, reducing material delay requisitions by 50% and attaining an average Gross Domestic Product Material Availability rate of 92.3%.
“The success you experienced has everything to do with the masterful leadership of Commander Frey, but she will be the first to tell you successes are a direct reflection of your hard work and dedication,” Sanford said.
During the virtual ceremony, Frey was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for her many achievements, presented by her husband Zach.
After the time-honored tradition of the passing of the DLA command flag from Frey to Ceaser, Frey expressed what her time in Jacksonville meant to her, personally and professionally.
“There have been a lot of nice things said about me and accomplishments attributed to me, but the reality is ‘I’ didn’t really do any of those things. Thankfully, the employees of DLA Aviation Jacksonville made my tour here an overwhelming success.”
Frey said she decided from the moment she took command two years ago, that providing excellent support to the warfighter wouldn’t be her only focus.
She implemented a number of professional development and training initiatives aimed at making employees more competitive for promotions, improving professional knowledge and addressing various human resources, leadership and equal employment opportunity topics.
She implemented a number of programs, including, monthly hail and farewell events and quarterly town halls, aimed at fostering teamwork and creating comradery.
Before taking her seat, she offered a strong endorsement of Ceaser.
“I’m confident you are the perfect leader to continue the great work we established and also take our performance to the next level. There is clearly no other leader I would willingly hand over the reins to than you,” Frey said.
Frey’s next assignment is taking her to Yokosuka, Japan where she will serve as the supply officer onboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76).
When Ceaser took the podium, he let it be known he is 100% up to the task of leading the DLA Aviation Jacksonville team.
“2020 has proven to be a challenging year, filled with unimaginable obstacles and unforeseen changes. Today’s virtual ceremony serves as proof that change is inevitable. However, with change, comes opportunity. An opportunity to challenge the previously held norm, the opportunity to seek out new solutions, but more importantly, an opportunity to deliver excellence,” he said.
Ceaser also thanked his predecessor for setting him up for success.
“Commander Frey, my family and I are excited to continue where you, Zach and Jackson have left off. It is evident that your care and leadership had a profound impact on overall readiness. I know I have big shoes to fill, but I look forward to joining such a high performing team,” Ceaser said.