DLA Pacific commander retires after 27-year Army career

Nicole Dumm, DLA Pacific 

Defense Logistics Agency Pacific’s commander wrapped up his Army career at a retirement ceremony aboard the historic USS Missouri battleship in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, May 22. 


Army Col. Joe Arnold retired after more than 27 years of service. In May 1989, he received a commission as distinguished military graduate from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and served in positions of increased responsibility, culminating as the DLA Pacific regional commander in July 2011. 


DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek presided over the ceremony and presented Arnold with the Legion of Merit medal. According to the medal’s citation, “Arnold assimilated the needs of the Warfighter leading to the quick implementation of the United States Pacific Command’s new gaps analysis tool, and he led his command in support of the President’s Rebalance to the Pacific concept.”


Harnitchek called Arnold “dedicated, honest and unrelenting in his passion to do the right thing.”


“He’s had one of the hardest missions in DLA, representing the entire 26,000-person logistics monster here in one of the toughest regions on the globe,” the admiral said.


Before presenting Arnold with his certificate of retirement, Harnitchek presented a certificate from the president of the United States to Arnold, as well as a certificate of appreciation to Arnold’s wife. Arnold was also presented with a U.S. flag that was flown over the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Missouri, and the US Pacific Command headquarters.


Arnold gave a short speech to recognize the foundation he relied on to achieve a successful military career: faith, family and friends.


“I can’t imagine any other career that could have brought me the rewards and satisfaction this one has,” he said. “It has not always been easy, and I realize I was never promised any easy career.”


Arnold said he relied on his faith for wisdom and guidance and recognized the friends and professional colleagues whom he leaned upon throughout his career. He identified his family as the “most essential part of (his) well-being,” and thanked family members near and far for their consistent support throughout his Army career. He presented his wife and daughter each with a bouquet of roses symbolizing the years of love, happiness and support they have provided to him.


Arnold wrapped up the day’s events stating, “With all the opportunities the Army has afforded me and my family, I’m confident our established foundation will continue to be the guidepost for what awaits us in the future.”

Photo: Presenting award
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DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek presents former DLA Pacific Commander Army Col. Joe Arnold with his official retirement certificate during a retirement ceremony aboard the USS Missouri battleship May 22. Photo by Nicole Dumm

Photo: Speaker at podium
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Outgoing DLA Pacific Commander Army Col. Joe Arnold reflects on his military career and the positive support he has received from family and friends along the way. Photo by Nicole Dumm