NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
In a ceremony held at the Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, July 22, Army Col. Trent Conner, who commanded DDSP from June 2020 to July 2022, retired from active service after serving over 30 years.
Army Brig. Gen. Eric Shirley, commander of DLA Troop Support – a close friend of Connor’s with whom he served with in combat in Afghanistan and at the Pentagon – officiated the retirement ceremony.
Conner, a native of Marietta, Georgia, served five years in the Georgia Army National Guard before receiving his commission into the Quartermaster Corps through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at North Georgia College in 1997.
Most of his defense experience is with tactical Army formations. He twice served in the 101st Airborne Division and he served in the Army’s second Stryker Brigade Combat Team, the 1st Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division. He also served as an observer/controller at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California. Conner deployed multiple times in support of named operations. He deployed to Kosovo supporting NATO peace enforcement operations, commanded troops during Operation Iraqi Freedom and deployed three times to Afghanistan in operations and joint multinational staff roles.
Conner served as the first deputy director for International and Interagency Affairs for U.S. Transportation Command in Washington, D.C. He also served as commander of Letterkenny Munitions Center in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and was assigned to the Pentagon in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4 where he served as the deputy director of the Logistics Initiatives Group and then division chief, G-47.
His professional military education includes the Advanced Strategic Art Program and Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of the Joint and Combined Warfighting School at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, and Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Conner holds a Master of Strategic Studies from the Army War College, Master of Science in Logistics Management from the Florida Institute of Technology, Master of Military Operational Art and Science from Air University, and Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from North Georgia College.
Conner’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal (oak leaf cluster), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two oak leaf clusters), the Meritorious Service Medal (four oak leaf clusters), the Kosovo Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Campaign Stars and the Korean Defense Service Medal. He has earned the Combat Action Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Pathfinder Badge, the Air Assault Badge and the Parachute Rigger Badge.
During his tenure at DDSP Conner exhibited superior leadership and superb insight resulting in substantial contributions to the readiness of our armed forces. His leadership of a complex command like DDSP – which spans two states and three sites, providing worldwide logistics support and delivers performance improvement across all critical lines of effort – is unprecedented.
As part of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Conner led DLA’s distribution of over 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 35 countries and the distribution of millions of items of protective equipment and medical supplies across the nation. Conner positively impacted warfighter readiness by improving scheduled truck and containerized shipping performance. Furthermore, Conner contributed immensely to improving audit readiness and inventory accuracy and sustaining the distribution center standard for comprehensive safety programs.
During the award presentation, Shirley presented Conner with the prestigious Brehon B. Somervell Medallion of Excellence for his more than 25 years of sustainment experience in logistics, recognizing a lifetime of service and support to Army sustainment.
Shirley also presented Conner with a Certificate of Appreciation, his official retirement certificate, a letter from the U.S. President and was given a United States flag.
In his remarks, Conner thanked his family and the many officers and NCO’s who have had a direct and memorable impact on his career and reflected on his profession and achievements.
“I do not remember a time I did not want to be a soldier. I believe our profession is a calling and a way of life. I am proud to know what I did mattered and that I’ve been able to impact lives and impact history. Helping bring democracy to Kosovo and Iraq and helping protect our Nation from the threat of terrorism are things I will be proud of for the rest of my life. However, that I was able to lead DDSP through the National Response to the COVID pandemic and Operation Warp Speed and directly support the American people may be my greatest achievement.”
“None of these however, was anything I did on my own … I have been only a small part of some truly extraordinary teams during some extraordinary times, and it has been the honor of my life to serve in the greatest Army the world has ever known,” said Conner.