DLA Energy bids farewell to Americas commander

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Energy bid farewell to DLA Energy Americas Commander Army Col. Kevin Cotman during a virtual relinquishment of command ceremony at the La Branch Federal Building, Houston, Texas, June 1. 

DLA Energy Commander Brig. Gen. Albert Miller presided over the ceremony from DLA Energy headquarters in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, via web real-time communication while employees and colleagues watched online.

“We are operating in a new ‘normal’ environment, but how you improvised and adjusted to this new normal displays the best of qualities of this organization – the ability to be flexible, adapt and execute any mission,” Cotman said. “I’ve witnessed it for two years and it’s always amazing.”

Cotman took command of DLA Energy Americas in July 2018. During his tenure, DLA Energy Americas responded to many natural disasters and an ever-changing operational tempo in a regional area that spans 10 Federal Emergency Management Agency regions, 17 major pipeline distribution systems, seven time zones and more than 400 Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard installations.

In his speech, Cotman acknowledged his team’s “exceptional” Warfighter support including three hurricanes, the “bomb cyclone” flood in Nebraska, a fire that shutdown of a tank truck facility in California, several large, multiagency exercises, and the current COVID-19 environment.  

“When I took command of Americas, I was honored and humbled to assume command of this special organization with its critical mission and dedicated professionals that support our warfighters and our nation’s needs,” Cotman said. “Without a doubt, I am still humbled and honored for each day I was in command.”  

Miller presented Cotman the Defense Superior Service Medal for his accomplishments in command.

“Colonel Cotman’s superior leadership ensured the delivery of over 2.7 billion gallons of fuel annually through the execution of $3.5 billion in petroleum contracts to the entire Western Hemisphere,” the citation read. “He brilliantly managed 413 fuel locations and over 1,200 customer accounts to support the Warfighter.”

Miller acknowledged how Cotman encourage and inspired people in his remarks. 

“A master of persuasive leadership, he is always the one to calm the water and mentors his people in the direction he wants them to go,” Miller said. “I want to commend Kevin for creating a command environment where every employee had a voice. He ensured that every employee truly felt like they were an integral part of the team.”

Cotman is being assigned to the Pentagon, U.S. Army Deputy Chief Of Staff, G-8.

DLA Energy Americas Deputy Director Jason Exum assumed command until the new commander, Army Col. Raphael Heflin, reports later in June.