News | June 16, 2020

Agency leaders host virtual DLA Indo-Pacific command ceremony via video

By Dianne Ryder DLA Public Affairs

When the Defense Logistics Agency’s second Indo-Pacific commander planned her June 12 change of command, she chose a unique alternative to the virtual ceremonies made necessary by the coronavirus.

Taking the adage of a picture being worth a thousand words to its logical and technological conclusion, Navy Capt. Kristin Acquavella helped create a video that commemorated the command’s history and accomplishments while providing the commander an opportunity to laud her staff and successor, Navy Capt. Jason Adams.

DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams expressed pride in the leaders of all three regional commands: DLA CENTCOM & SOCOM, DLA Europe & Africa and DLA Indo-Pacific in his introduction to the video. Having a forward presence to unify DLA equities and present one customer face is a powerful concept and an efficient way to deliver materials and services to warfighters, he said.

Williams said the DLA Indo-Pacific employees have impressed him at every turn, from their response to Typhoon Yutu to their mission to combat the coronavirus.

As a former commander in the region, the director said he understood DLA Indo-Pacific’s vast, complex and dynamic mission, and he commended the team for supporting U.S. and allied partners in the region.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Allan Day, DLA Logistics Operations director, presided over the virtual ceremony.

“I wish we could all be together today, but this movie is just one more way to answer the challenges posed to us by this coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

Day added his thanks to family and friends who supported the Indo-Pacific commander, including Acquavella’s spouse, who’s also a Navy captain, and Acquavella’s former-Navy captain father who presided over her promotion ceremonies.

“Your leadership during this unprecedented crisis has been steadfast and we all thank you for it,” Day said. “The Navy is getting back one of its brightest and most capable officers. Enjoy your new assignment with the Navy staff – you’re going to do great things.”

Day also welcomed Adams and his family to DLA Indo-Pacific.

“As we honor Kristin, we also welcome Jason back to the DLA family,” Day said, adding that Adams had previously served in DLA Headquarters.

“His resume shows a proven leader who has served in as a supply officer at sea and ashore,” Day continued. 

Day noted that commanding isn’t just another staff job and called it a “daunting responsibility.”

“When we virtually hand you the flag, we’re handing you the mission, but more importantly, we’re handing you the people of DLA Indo-Pacific,” he said. “I know you’re up to the task.”

Finally, Day virtually presented Acquavella the defense superior service medal in honor of all the commander had done to serve her teammates and the nation.

Against the backdrop of the USS Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Acquavella recalled the region’s history and why she’s proud to have served there.

“You don’t have to go very far in this area of responsibility to be reminded of the heroes who are forever memorialized, and to reflect on the truest meaning of selfless service and sacrifice,” she said.

Two years ago, she recalled that her predecessor, Navy Capt. Tim Daniels, told her that her command would be the most exhausting, but also the most memorable and treasured tour of her career.

“He was right. It has been an absolute honor and privilege to serve with the great men and women of DLA Indo-Pacific and be part of an agency [that’s got] it right – selfless service, warfighter first and people always,” she said. “The DLA brand is well-respected and well-known in Indo-Pacific.”

The virtual ceremony ended with Adams relieving Acquavella of her command.

“I’m deeply honored to be here today, and to be part of this time-honored tradition in such a historic location,” Adams said, adding his thanks to Day for presiding and for Navy and DLA leaders for their confidence in him.

“To the entire DLA Indo-Pacific team who has welcomed me with open arms and has worked at a blistering pace to get me up to speed, I thank you and I look forward to being on the team,” he said. “I’m very excited for what I know we will accomplish together.”

Adams pointed to a prime example of the unique time he’s serving in during the pandemic.

“When I arrived on Oahu, I was briskly carried off and locked into my Navy lodge room for two weeks of directed quarantine. I was completely dependent on my sponsor, Capt. Acquavella,” he said, adding that Acquavella even offered to do Adams’ laundry. “I thought that was a little over the top, but It shows you the type of person Kristin is.”

He thanked Acquavella and her family for their sponsorship and friendship during the leadership turnover.

“It’s clear to me that you have led the team well and I have no doubts that DLA Indo-Pacific team is ready to support the warfighter first regardless of the challenges ahead.”