Land and Maritime commander conducts final town hall; announces retirement

By Craig M. Rader DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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In a March 23 town hall event reaffirming DLA Land and Maritime’s commitment to its people and culture, the top ranking service member at the installation announced his upcoming retirement.

DLA Land and Maritime commander, Navy Rear Adm. John King told the crowded auditorium in Building 20 on Defense Supply Center Columbus that his military career would soon end after more than 30 years of service.

“I’ve had an absolutely fantastic time being the commander of DLA Land and Maritime. I’ve loved every day of it,” King said. “I’m still struck by the quality of individuals who work in Columbus and at our detachments and in the shipyards.

“I’ve been amazed at how well we continue to get better and better and how much our associates care about the men and women in uniform.”

King’s heartfelt remarks followed an award ceremony recognizing outstanding associates for their work during the previous quarter and a presentation emphasizing the significance of culture at DLA.

The town hall theme focused on the evolution of the culture environment at Land and Maritime from the past to the present, and how it will continue to play a vital role into the future. One of the cultural principles discussed was the value of resiliency in an organization.

King pointed out the agency’s track record of taking care of its associates. This includes identifying issues that may impact the workforce and developing plans to mitigate those obstacles.

“When you work shoulder-to-shoulder with somebody, take the time to make sure that they’re doing okay.” King said. “Everybody faces tough issues in their lives, and you never really know what the person next to you is going through. Good friends look each other in the eye and they make sure they tell one another where they can get help or get support.”

King also spoke to the importance of constantly seeking to grow and improve as an organization through listening to the voices of its members. Part of this initiative includes the 2016 DLA Culture Survey which will offer a comprehensive assessment of the agency’s culture climate.

“There is room for us to accomplish more on our journey toward extended workplace excellence,” People and Culture Deputy Director Dr. Robert Boggs said. “We’re not totally there yet and we have more work to do but we’ll improve with your help and involvement.”

The survey’s theme is Your Voice is Our Future. While that future may include a different commander at the helm, King reflected on his past two years at Land and Maritime and the impact it had on his life and career.

“I’ve felt nothing but absolute love and gratitude my whole time that I’ve been here. I truly appreciate how great your performance is, and I’ve loved being in this command and being in Columbus.”

The DLA Culture Survey 2016 began March 29 and runs through April 29.