News | Aug. 18, 2021

DLA Installation Support Susquehanna chief of security and emergency services retires after 39 years

By Matthew Mahoney, DLA Distribtution Public Affairs

Following 39 years of federal service, Harold “George” Hokkanen, chief, security and emergency services, will retire from Defense Logistics Agency Installation Support Susquehanna in September.

Hokkanen’s career began in October 1982 when he enlisted in the Army. Over the course of 29 years of Army service he would attain the rank of Sergeant Major. His final assignment in the Army was as the emergency services/protection services sergeant major at Headquarters, Installation Management Command in Crystal City, Virginia.

With so many years of service, Hokkanen witnessed major changes in the life of a warfighter and the changes behind the curtain that go into supporting the warfighter. During his time in service, Hokkanen noticed better attention paid to the physical and mental health of our warfighters, a greater emphasis placed on personal and professional development and greatly enhanced survivability on the battlefield.

“We have achieved an almost on demand logistical capability,” said Hokkanen.

The time spent in service with the Army gave Hokkanen insights on a global stage. “I have been many places and seen many things, some good and some bad, as part of my military career. These experiences have cemented my belief that despite its problems, the United States is the best country in the world,” said Hokkanen.

Joining DLA following his time in the Army allowed Hokkanen a smooth transition from being the warfighter to supporting the warfighter.

Integrity and candor are the top two traits Hokkanen cites as the best recipe for success. “Remember the golden rule, and allow subordinates to learn, grow and succeed through mentorship,” said Hokkanen.

Hokkanen’s military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters and numerous other awards and decorations. His career includes combat deployments to Panama, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

DLA   Installation Support Susquehanna chief of security and emergency services  retires after 39 years
George Hokkanen, chief, Security and Emergency Services, accepts a coin on behalf of Defense Logistics Agency Installation Support Susquehanna Emergency Services (Fire, Police & Security) from DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic during her visit to DLA Distribution May 13, 2021. (Photo by Dawn Bonsell, DLA Distribution PAO)
DLA   Installation Support Susquehanna chief of security and emergency services  retires after 39 years
DLA Installation Support Susquehanna chief of security and emergency services retires after 39 years
George Hokkanen, chief, Security and Emergency Services, accepts a coin on behalf of Defense Logistics Agency Installation Support Susquehanna Emergency Services (Fire, Police & Security) from DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic during her visit to DLA Distribution May 13, 2021. (Photo by Dawn Bonsell, DLA Distribution PAO)
Photo By: Dawn Bonsell
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