News | June 21, 2016

DLA Distribution marks transition of leadership

By Chris Erbe

Employees and guests witnessed a time-honored military tradition June 17 at the Defense Logistics Agency Distribution change-of-command ceremony in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. DLA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch hosted the ceremony as Army Brig. Gen. Richard B. Dix passed command to Army Brig. Gen. John S. Laskodi.

The ceremony featured the presentation of colors by DLA Distribution Susquehanna Riggers, patriotic music performed by the 78th Army Band and vocal performances of the national anthem and “God Bless America.” by DLA Distribution employees.

Dix has served as DLA Distribution commander since May 2014. His next assignment will be as commander of the Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command, Joint Munitions Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois.

In his keynote remarks, Busch said he appreciated the challenge that Dix faced, serving under two different DLA directors. After only six months in his new command, Dix had to manage a whole new set of priorities when Busch himself assumed command of DLA. 

“Gen. Dix pivoted immediately to the priorities that I asked him to look for,” Busch said. “The thing that I appreciate most about your time as commander is that six months into your tenure, you made that pivot. And when I said I wanted to focus on some different things, you did it with gusto. So thank you.”

After concluding his address, Busch presented Dix with the Defense Superior Service Medal for exemplary service during his time as DLA Distribution commander. Among many accomplishments, the award included DLA Distribution’s support to Operation United Assistance in 2014, which involved the setup of life-saving Ebola treatment facilities in the West African theater. 

In his remarks, Dix thanked his family, the community and the DLA employees he led for the past two years. He concluded by addressing Busch.

“Sir, you have entrusted me to lead a global team of more than 10,000 civilian, military, foreign national and contractor employees,” he said. “It was easy, because they are the best team I’ve ever been associated with. Brig. Gen. Laskodi is more than capable to assume this command. I know he’s prepared and will continue the momentum and will lead this organization into the future.”

During the heart of the ceremony, outgoing commander Dix passed the DLA Distribution colors to Busch, who then passed them to Laskodi. The military tradition dates back to our nation’s earliest history and signifies the orderly transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability from one individual to another.

Laskodi’s first duty as the newly installed commander was to deliver his remarks.

“I am truly honored and humbled by the privilege of standing before you today as the commanding general of DLA Distribution,” he said. “Gen. Busch, thank you for the opportunity to command this tremendous organization. I appreciate the confidence you have placed in me. I am committed to building upon the reputation of excellence that Gen. Dix has established across this command as we support the warfighter.”

DLA Distribution is one of six primary-level field activities and is the leading provider of global distribution support to America’s military. The organization’s activities include receiving, storing and issuing supplies through 24 distribution sites in the United States and around the world, as well as providing other tailored services to increase warfighter readiness.