News | Feb. 24, 2021

DLA senior enlisted leader shares personal story, advice on The Rap talk show

By Beth Reece

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Tomeka O’Neal grew up assuming she’d either be doing hair or stirring trouble after high school. Instead, the Defense Logistics Agency senior enlisted leader found herself recently sharing her journey from “rowdy teenage girl” in East Point, Georgia, to jumping out of airplanes in the latest edition of The Rap talk show.

“I had no interest whatsoever in going straight to college,” she tells DLA Video Producer Nutan Chada in the show’s third release.

O’Neal was inspired by her brother’s military service to talk to a recruiter, who signed her up as a parachute rigger because she said she wanted to go to Airborne School. Within months, she stepped onto a plane for the first time ever – only to jump out of it.

Thirty years later, O’Neal is an advocate for service members at DLA Headquarters and major subordinate commands.

“I’m that person that should always be able to tell the truth – the unvarnished truth – to the director so that we can always work to make ourselves better,” she says in the video, in which she also shares career advice for young women in the military.  

Viewers can recommend people and programs for future episodes or send feedback and suggestions to Nutan.Chada@dla.mil.

“I’m looking for DLA employees to interview who have a story to tell about a compelling program they work on, an interesting mission they’ve supported or an interesting life journey to get where they are,” Chada said.

The first edition features DLA Distribution's Joe Sousa and the second features Dr. Jade Spurgeon, DLA's health manager.