Muhammad retires, passes responsibility to Tobin

By Sara Moore DLA Public Affairs

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In a ceremony filled with laughter and memories, the Defense Logistics Agency’s senior enlisted leader marked the end of a 32-year U.S. Army career and passed responsibility to his replacement May 27 at the McNamara Headquarters Complex.

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Sultan A. Muhammad passed the noncommissioned officer’s sword to Army Command Sgt. Maj. Charles M. Tobin, the incoming senior enlisted leader, and officially retired from the Army.

“We live in a nation that needs examples and role models, and in your service and all of the things that you’ve accomplished, what you’ve become from starting out as an enlisted soldier at 17, speaks very highly of your upbringing and your strong faith that’s guided you,” DLA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch said to Muhammad. “You’ve served very well and honorably.”

In Muhammad’s three years at DLA, he has provided important leadership as the agency participated in historic events, like the drawdown in Afghanistan, operations in Iraq, Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and government sequestration, Busch noted. Through that all, and throughout his career, Muhammad remained a pillar of leadership, setting an example with his dedication to self-improvement and mentorship, the director said.

“It sets a great example for the soldiers that you’ve led and the young men and women that you’ve mentored in the community for all these years, to see that aspect of resiliency, that sense of self-improvement,” Busch said, noting that in addition to his military achievement, Muhammad earned three academic degrees and maintained a strong religious faith.

Upon his retirement, Muhammad first credited that Islamic faith with sustaining him throughout his career. He then warmly thanked his family, friends and colleagues for their support over the years.

“The room is glowing with people who, throughout my life and career, you would have no inkling of what they’ve done for me and how they’ve supported me,” Muhammad said, personally acknowledging many people in the audience for their support.

Muhammad also thanked the DLA workforce, noting that it is the most creative, professional group of people in the government. He said is proud to be associated with DLA, just as he is proud to claim affiliation with his friends and members of his religious community.

“Let me tell you something about saying ‘my,’” Muhammad said. “’My’ means ownership. I don’t own the guy, but I take pride in saying, ‘That’s my imam.’ I take pride in saying that this was my director. I take pride in saying that the former [senior enlisted leaders] that are up there are my friends.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I am your former DLA senior enlisted advisor, and I’m proud of that, to be yours,” he concluded.

Upon passing responsibility to Tobin, Busch noted that he is a seasoned leader who has served at every level and came highly recommended from former commanders. Coming from the 8th Theater Sustainment Command, Tobin is no stranger to complex, critical missions, the director said, and he too is a model of self-improvement with his military experience and academic achievements.

Tobin said he is humbled by the opportunity to serve as DLA’s senior enlisted leader, and he looks forward to doing great things with the agency.

“I’m successful because of the folks that came before me; history didn’t start with me,” Tobin said, thanking the leaders who came before him for paving the way to success.

“To my DLA family, thank you for all you do for our warfighters without recognition and credit,” he said. “Your credibility and reputation throughout the [combatant commands] is phenomenal. I look forward to being part of such a resilient and dedicated team.”