Boggs Out- DLA Land and Maritime People and Culture Director Retires

By James Harless DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime People and Culture Director Robert L. Boggs, Ph.d, retired Dec. 11 after more than 48 years of combined civil and military service with the Department of Defense.

Retiring as a director of a department within DLA Land and Maritime, Boggs held a variety of command and staff assignments during his military and civilian careers. His military career included a final assignment as the Deputy Adjutant General for the Ohio Air National Guard, and he also served more than four years as the Chief of Staff for the Ohio Air National Guard.

Land and Maritime Commander Navy Rear Adm. John Palmer began the ceremony by welcoming special guests in attendance, and expressed a special appreciation for the Boggs family, wife Cindy, daughter Fleming of Columbus and son Sage, who traveled from New York City for the ceremony.

Palmer spoke specifically about Boggs’ attention to detail and focus on the development of cultural surveys and metrics to track the outcomes and results of projects. Stating, these efforts allowed the People and Culture Directorate to gain an edge.

“Columbus is the gold standard for People and Culture, and much of this is because of Dr. Boggs, Palmer said. “We are indeed a product of his hard work. For that alone, he deserves a round of applause.” 

Palmer wrapped up his introduction by thanking Boggs for his commitment and service to DLA Land and Maritime and as part of Naval tradition wished him “Fair Winds and Following Seas.”

Following Palmer’s remarks, James McClaugherty, former deputy director of DLA Land and Maritime, was invited to the stage to give the keynote address and provide additional insight into Boggs’ career at DLA Land and Maritime.  

McClaugherty expressed thanks and gratitude for being invited back to DLA Land and Maritime to take part in this momentous occasion. The remainder of his address highlighted Boggs’ career achievements and accomplishments as a member of the United States Air Force and DLA Land and Maritime associate.

McClaugherty shared that of all Boggs’ qualities and characteristics, he had a fondness of Boggs’ leadership capabilities.

“Dr. Boggs’ leadership honors the organization, and promotes a culture of performance, inquiry, mutual trust and respect,” McClaugherty said. “It inspires us collectively and individually.”

He attributed Boggs’ success in both the armed forces and civil service to his character, his knowledge, his intuition and empathy, and his performance standards.

“There is no better evidence of this than being in a meeting with him,” added McClaugherty “If you ever attended a meeting with Dr. Boggs, the esteem in which he was held was evident. If there was a question asked, everyone looked his way for an answer. Who did they want to hear the real solution from?”

McClaugherty finished his remarks by sharing a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with Boggs. “You don’t have to see the whole staircase in life, but just continue to take the next step.”

Sage Boggs took the stage following McClaugherty’s remarks to provide intimate, first-hand insight into the life of his father. He began by sharing what it was like to be a child growing up in the Boggs household, with memories of family vacations, holiday traditions and perhaps most importantly the humor and wit of  his father.

Sage took the opportunity to share some of the Boggs family humor by presenting a bucket list he stated he had come across while in his father’s office.

The list, which Sage immediately admitted was fictitious, included things such as, going on a cruise and finally admitting the white spot in my hair isn’t natural, but an intentional style choice.

Before exiting the stage, Sage took a final opportunity to express his love and appreciation for his father and congratulated him on his retirement.

While the speakers at the ceremony focused on Boggs’ character, work ethic and leadership abilities, the overarching theme of their remarks centered on Boggs’ optimism, passion and love for life.

It became evident that Boggs is leaving a legacy centered on people and the critical role people play in the life of an organization’s ability to succeed.

After being presented with his retirement certificate, retirement plaque, Commanders Coin and DLA Meritorious Civil Service Award, Boggs took to the podium as the song Happy Trails, made famous by Roy Rogers, played across the auditorium.

Boggs, who kept his personal remarks brief, began by thanking his family, and attributed all the success and accomplishments throughout his career to his wife Cindy. He followed this by expressing his love and admiration for his children and all they have accomplished thus far in life.

As Boggs reflected on both his military and civilian careers, he thoughtfully went through his mental listing and thanked all of those who made his successful career possible, and reminded everyone that it truly is people who make the difference.  

To conclude his remarks, Boggs asked the audience if they have seen the movie White Christmas, starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye? He proceeded to share a passage from “What can you do with a general?” a song appearing in the film and performed by Bing Crosby.

Boggs shared that as he prepares to enter into retirement and start the next chapter of his life, he personally connects with the lyrics “What can you do with a general, when he stops being a general.”

After a slight pause, Boggs rhetorically asked “So, what do you do when you stop being a general, but still want to make a difference?”

To which he immediately replied “You find something to do that you love.

“Thank you again for the wonderful support and friendship you have shared with me, and in the words of Leonard Franklin Sly (Roy Rogers), happy trails to you - Boggs out.”