NEWS | Oct. 30, 2020

C&T director promoted to Air Force colonel

By Mikia Muhammad DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support’s Clothing and Textiles Director Air Force Col. Justin Swartzmiller was promoted from lieutenant colonel during a socially distanced ceremony at the Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia Oct. 28.

Swartzmiller was joined by family and Troop Support Commander Army Brig. Gen. Gavin Lawrence, who officiated the ceremony.

“Justin, I’m not only honored to be officiating your promotion ceremony today, but I’m also grateful to have you as a teammate as you work diligently to provide our nation’s warfighters with the clothing and individual equipment needed to accomplish their missions,” Lawrence said.

Swartzmiller joined DLA in June, and has served in several tactical, operational and strategic assignments since starting his military career in 1999. Previous assignments include serving as Pacific Command’s country director for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos at Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii and commander of the 726th Air Mobility Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

“From the start of your military career you displayed a hunger, drive, and work ethic that clearly separated you from your peers,” Lawrence said. “I could spend all day talking about Justin’s individual accomplishments and operational achievements, some of which have taken him to the far ends of the globe. Each and every time our nation has called, Justin and his family have answered.”

In his current role as C&T director, Swartzmiller oversees and executes the development, acquisition, and sustainment of over $1.8 billion per year in clothing, textiles, and equipment for U.S. service members, other federal agencies and partner nations.

During the ceremony Swartzmiller recited the oath of office, led by Lawrence, and his sister and wife pinned on his new rank insignia.

Swartzmiller described his promotion to colonel as an exciting opportunity.

“You are welcomed into the senior officer ranks and charged with accomplishing the mission, while anticipating what’s next in order to help shape the best possible outcome,” Swartzmiller said. 

“Taking the oath in front of a world-recognized symbol of freedom, reinvigorates the very reason why I joined the Air Force: to protect America’s ideals. However, I could in no way accomplish this milestone without the tremendous help from my family, supervisors and teammates all along the way,” he said.

Lawrence also recognized the significance of the ceremony venue, as the Liberty Bell represents the freedom and inalienable rights of all people living in the U.S., he said.

“It was at this location, just over 244 years ago, that our nation’s founding fathers first sounded a chime that would forever change the world,” Lawrence said. “Justin, as an officer within the U.S. Armed Forces, we swear to uphold and defend the Constitution and the liberties symbolized by the bell we stand in front of today.”