DLA Director delivers commencement address to the Army Command and General Staff School

By Chris Erbe

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Defense Logistics Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell K. Williams delivered the commencement address to graduates of the four-month long Army Command and General Staff Officers Course at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Dec. 19. The students were comprised of 118 mid-career Army officers and one civilian from diverse professional military backgrounds.

Mark Hurley, Supervisory Professor, introduced Lt. Gen. Williams by recounting his own experiences with DLA as an Army officer deployed overseas. “If you wear it, if you ingest it, if you build with it, if it’s a weapon system, or just about anything else – DLA touches you,” he said. “DLA is there on the front lines as a solutions-based, warfighter-focused organization.”

Williams welcomed and thanked family members and faculty, then offered advice on life and leadership to the graduating students.

“Once you’ve graduated from the Command and General Staff Officers Course, the Army will demand that you be better problem solvers and more importantly, better leaders,” Williams said. “You will be expected to make the mental leap from leading at the tactical level to the higher level of competence demanded of field grade officers.”

Williams touched on themes that served him well during his 36-year career, offering insights into character and integrity, personal commitment and pursuing tasks with urgency.

His final take-away advice concerned taking care of troops. 

“If you take care of people, the mission will happen,” he said. “Because in the end, with all the sophisticated equipment, artificial intelligence and high-end electronics available to our military forces today, it always comes down to people, to you and those you lead – the American soldier.

He concluded by congratulating the students and thanking them for their service, both now and in the future.

The Command and General Staff School at Fort Belvoir is a satellite campus of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The curriculum prepares field-grade officers for leadership positions in Army, joint, multinational and interagency organizations executing unified land operations.

DLA is the Defense Department’s combat support agency for worldwide logistics, supporting the U.S. military services and global commands, as well as federal, state, local and international partners. DLA provides food, medical material, uniforms, construction equipment, fuel, and spare parts for military weapons systems, and manages an international network of 34 distribution centers.