News | July 22, 2022

DLA Land and Maritime welcomes new leader in historic change of command ceremony

By James Harless DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

Defense Supply Center Columbus and Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime held a change of command ceremony July 22 at the DSCC Operations Center Auditorium, bidding farewell to Navy Rear Adm. Kristen Fabry and welcoming Army Brig. Gen. Gail Atkins. The ceremony was presided over by DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic.

“It is indeed my honor to preside over today’s ceremony,” Skubic said. “What a great day it is for the Navy, the Army, for DLA, and for these two great military families as we transition command of this dynamic organization from Rear Admiral Kristen Fabry to Brigadier General Gail Atkins.”

Skubic continued her remarks by addressing Fabry’s achievements at DLA Land and Maritime and highlighting her career accomplishments as she rose through the Navy’s ranks. Skubic lauded Fabry’s ability to step into the DLA Land and Maritime role during a very difficult time, having to simultaneously lead and navigate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Skubic noted several achievements and significant milestones during Fabry’s tenure despite the pandemic-related challenges.

Two women in uniform cutting a cake
Gallery: See more photos from the event

“In an era of increasing threats and constrained budgets, the Department of Defense has relied on Land and Maritime more than ever to keep our service members well-equipped and in the fight. Such critical support can only be accomplished by a great workforce commanded by an impressive leader like Rear Admiral Kristen Fabry,” Skubic said. “Under Kristen’s leadership, material availability across Land and Maritime for Class IX repair part items troops need to fix and keep weapon systems ready for the fight, improved from 87 to over 90 percent.”

Skubic continued her remarks acknowledging how personal today’s ceremony was for her as she was not only saying goodbye to a fellow service member, but saying goodbye to a friend, her sister-in-arms whom she has known for half of her career.

At the conclusion of her remarks Skubic welcomed Atkins as the newest member of the DLA Land and Maritime Team. Skubic shared that Atkins brings a diverse logistics background, both in command and staff positions, that distinguishes her as the right candidate to lead the organization into the future; stating the Army has boasted that Land and Maritime is getting one of their finest.

The change of command ceremony commenced immediately following Skubic’s opening remarks, with a passing of the flag ceremony. During the symbolic event, Fabry passed the DLA Land and Maritime command flag to Skubic, who in turn passed the flag along to Atkins, symbolizing the organization now has a new commander leading the charge.

After being introduced as the newest commander of DLA Land and Maritime, Atkins, a 1995 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, kept her remarks brief, light-hearted and direct and filled with gratitude.

“I look forward to serving our nation’s very best workforce, while striving every day to plan, predict and provide the global logistics that our Warfighters need before they know they need it,” Atkins said. “It’s clear to me that I am surrounded by positive, passionate, purposeful people who exude pride in everything they do in their professions to keep the Warfighter at the front of their minds…I want you to know that I am all in. I am ready to lean in and maintain those exceptionally high standards you have set.

Atkins’ previous assignments include the Deputy Commanding General for Support, 7th Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; executive officer to the deputy commanding general for Army Material Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; and as commander of the Corpus Christi Army Depot in Corpus Christi, Texas. Before assuming command of CCAD, Atkins served as the Force Support Division Chief for J-8 Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment Directorate, Joint Staff at the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

A retirement ceremony for Fabry immediately followed the ceremony. Skubic presented Fabry with her retirement certificate, a retirement service award and additional mementos from her assignment at DLA Land and Maritime.

Fabry, a 1991 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, assumed command of DLA Land and Maritime in July 2020. During that time, she was responsible for overseeing the end-to-end integration of the DLA Land and Maritime Supply Chains delivering repair parts to all military services. She directed the efforts of more than 2,600 associates at 37 locations worldwide, to include three DLA Depot Level Reparable detachments and four detachments supporting U.S. Naval Shipyards. DLA Land and Maritime’s core functions include purchasing materiel, monitoring inventory levels, maintaining technical data, and assuring quality conformance of approximately two million spare and repair parts utilized by more than 19,000 military units and federal and civilian agencies. In 2021, DLA Land and Maritime’s sales exceeded $3.9 billion.

After being presented with her retirement certificates and award, Fabry was given the opportunity to address those in attendance. Fabry began by thanking all who attended, many of whom traveled to witness Fabry’s retirement ceremony. Fabry transitioned her opening remarks by speaking to the environment she encountered upon assuming command of DLA Land and Maritime.

“When I came aboard two years ago, COVID protocols were in full swing at Land and Maritime,” Fabry said. “In the pandemic’s early months, I met our core team virtually, with masks covering our faces. Yet, despite the added complexity of completing Land and Maritime’s global mission in a max telework environment, this team worked seamlessly integrating safety guidance into our daily workflow throughout – enabling us to successfully support our Warfighters.”

Fabry continued by stating her success at Land and Maritime wouldn’t have been possible if it were not for those on her staff and the amazing workforce at Land and Maritime. She noted the workforce at Land and Maritime prides itself on their professionalism, integrity and delivering on their commitment to the Warfighter.

“My 24 months in Command of DSCC have flown by and I’ve loved every minute of it,” Fabry said. “I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by such a great culture and commitment to what we do – teammates drawing on the strengths of each other. It’s wonderful to see the parking lot full again and gain that vital in-person teambuilding and resilience back as we reflect on all we’ve accomplished together.”

The ceremony concluded with Fabry requesting permission to be piped ashore. Piping ashore, is a historical Navy tradition that began in the 1700s. The tradition is reserved for naval officers and enlisted service members who have completed a career serving the Marine Corps or Navy in the highest traditions of the naval service. The “Bos’n” pipes the boatswain's call signifying the end of their military service.

Fabry concluded her distinguished and highly decorated 31 years of military service by walking past the “sideboys” with her family by her side, as the boatswain’s mate piped her ashore one final time.