News | June 10, 2022

DLA Distribution Pearl Harbor Commander retires – awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal

By DLA Distribution Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Commander, Navy Cdr. Chris Newel, retired from the U.S. Navy having served 22 years.

DLA Indo-Pacific Chief of Staff, Debra Simpson, officiated the retirement ceremony which was held aboard the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor, June 10.

Newell, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1999 and was commissioned at Officer Candidate School, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, in June 2000. Following commissioning, he completed the basic qualification course at the Navy Supply Corps school in Athens, Georgia, and was assigned aboard the USS Bridge in Bremerton, Washington.

Newell’s operational assignments include duty as supply officer aboard the USS Lake Champlain, principal assistant for both services and logistics aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, and director of logistics for a combined joint special operations task force prosecuting offensive operations against the Islamic state. 
Having completed operational deployments in every paygrade, he has extensive experience in Europe, the Pacific Rim and in Southwest Asia.

Newell also has a broad range of expertise in supply chain integration, logistics operations, programmatic and policy issues gained through more than two decades of Naval service. As a junior officer, he served as the aviation support officer and senior watch officer at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, and as flag aide for Commander, Fleet and Industrial Supply Centers, the Navy’s Global Logistics Support Command.

Newell then served as the director of the E-2 Hawkeye/C-2 Greyhound support team at the Naval Inventory Control Point in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he managed the supply chain, program support and foreign military sales of all Hawkeye and Greyhound aircraft in Navy inventory and in production. Later, Newell served as the supervisory detailer or “pit boss” in the Office of Supply Corps Personnel where he supervised the personnel distribution of all Navy Supply Corps officers, lieutenant commander and below – which was 80% of the community.

Prior to his arrival at DLA Distribution Pearl Harbor, Newell served as the director of logistics for Naval Special Warfare Command. There, he led a team of military and civilian logisticians in the development, implementation and assessment of logistics doctrine, planning, policy, operations and sensitive activities for the Naval special operations force where his team managed force-wide logistics enablers.

For his exemplary service, Newell was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. He was recognized for providing exceptional meritorious service as commander of DDPH from July 2020 to June 2022. 

During his tenure, Newell led 209 joint employees and drove logistics support operations for all joint Hawaii-based forces, transiting battle groups and the 360,000 warfighters of the United States Indo-Pacific Command. Additionally, Newell oversaw key engagements with the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard which allowed uninterrupted operations during a United States Navy “wall to wall” inventory mandate. His oversight ensured a 98%accuracy rating and total asset visibility for 29,000 Navy owned assets valued at $112 million.

Furthermore, Newell spearheaded a 25% manning shortfall by opening strategic lines of communication with Headquarters, Joint Reserve Force Command in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. His efforts resulted in $1.6 million being funded to 16 Navy Reserve Forces, just in time for the largest Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise to date which supports over 32 nations, 73 afloat ships and submarine fleets. 

Simpson thanked Newel in her remarks for creating a culture of excellence at DDPH.

“Chris, you’ve played a vital role in the distribution center receiving the 2020 Patricia A. Kuntz DLA Distribution Center of the Year award which was an award winning first in this category for the Pearl Harbor distribution center,” noted Simpson.

“Your direct leadership, empowerment and mentorship resulted in your command senior enlisted leader earning recognition as DLA Headquarters 2020 Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the first quarter and DLA Headquarters 2021 Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year awards. What a great legacy you have left team Distribution Pearl Harbor!” said Simpson.

Newell’s distinctive accomplishments as commander of DDPH culminate a distinguished career in his service to the Navy and to the Nation.