Two civilians honored at retirement ceremony for ‘exceptional service’

By Mikia Muhammad DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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Friends, family and colleagues celebrated the careers of two Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support civilian employees during a retirement ceremony May 30.

Michael O'Connor, an acquisition specialist in the Medical supply chain, retired with 35 years of federal service, and Thomas Rolland, a tailored vendor logistics specialist in Construction and Equipment, retired with 14 years of service.

DLA Troop Support Deputy Commander Richard Ellis presided over the ceremony and thanked O’Connor and Rolland on behalf of Troop Support and the more than 1.3 million service members they supported through their contributions to the organization.

“Both of you have dedicated exceptional service to Troop Support [and] I couldn’t be more grateful for that,” Ellis said. “Your collective years of service are indelibly marked in our record of successes, and they are colored by the excellence embodied by the reputation of DLA Troop Support and its legacy organizations.”

O’Connor served 24 years in the Air Force prior to joining DLA in 2007 as a medical planner at Fort Detrick, Maryland. In 2010, he served on the USNS Comfort in support of the Haiti earthquake relief efforts where more than 900 lifesaving surgeries were performed.

During the ceremony, O’Connor shared anecdotes of his experiences there.

“I was truly privileged as an American to support and defend my country, and second of all, do humanitarian operations, and take care of patients in a very supportive role,” O’Connor said. “And I’m deeply indebted to DLA Troop Support for providing me the opportunity and vehicle to maintain that employment, and I’m awe struck by the people I’ve worked with and served.”

O’Connor also provided humanitarian support to the Ebola crisis in Liberia, in which Rolland, a native of Liberia, thanked DLA Troop Support for its support. Rolland migrated to the U.S. in 1982 on a scholarship to obtain a master’s degree in accounting and taxation. Rolland become a U.S. citizen in 1992 and joined Troop Support in 2004 as part of the DLA Corporate Intern Program.

Rolland thanked supervisors and coworkers for their support throughout his DLA career.

“I have some of the best employment experience here at DLA Troop Support, which holds a special place in my heart,” Rolland said. “I look forward to retirement [however] I really will miss Troop Support.”

Upon retirement Rolland plans to travel, spend time with family and possibly get a part-time job, while O’Connor will enroll at Shippensburg University as a full time student majoring in history.

During the ceremony, Ellis presented O’Connor and Rolland with certificates and mementos of retirement, Commander’s coins on behalf of Troop Support Commander Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly, and certificates of appreciation to their respective spouses.