Former commander of DLA Central retires at agency headquarters

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Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Garas 

Recent Defense Logistics Agency Central Commander Army Col. Mark McCormick was celebrated by his comrades as a man who did what was needed to get the job done and make things happen, DLA Logistics Operations Director Navy Rear Adm. Vincent Griffith said June 27 during McCormick’s retirement ceremony at the McNamara Headquarters Complex.

McCormick passed command of DLA Central, in Tampa. Florida, to Army Col. Derrin Williams on June 20.

“If Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen or Marines ate it, wore it, put it in a gas tank, or repaired aircraft or vehicles with it, they all relied on Mark and his team to deliver the goods they needed,” Griffith said. “I know Mark’s leadership and influence helped to further unify the DLA Central staff with the [U.S. Central Command logistics] staff, resulting in a great value to the warfighter.”

Griffith went on to discuss McCormick’s career across several commands, from his humble beginnings as a platoon leader in an infantry platoon, up to commandant of the Army Logistics University, at Fort Lee, Virginia.

“Today, we’re retiring a great American who answered the call of duty,” he said. “A person who was ready to put his life on the line to defend the freedom that we enjoy in this country and bring democracy to others.”

McCormick was also lauded by Griffith for his exceptional leadership, ability to understand and motivate his people, and set high standards for his peers.

“A leader is a person who inspires people to accomplish tasks that often appear too difficult to complete,” Griffith explained. “Most in the military aspire to be a leader, but not everyone achieves that title. Mark absolutely has.”

When given the opportunity to speak, McCormick brushed aside the praise and accredited his success to the people he served with.

“I’ve been blessed to serve with some great leaders who encouraged me, motivated me and taught me how to be a great leader,” McCormick said. “It’s a tremendous honor to serve with leaders, peers and subordinates like these who keep me going.”

McCormick went on to explain that his leadership and command presence was shaped early on in his career by one of his first company commanders.

“He took the time to teach us how to lead our people with enthusiasm, how to keep our leaders informed, and most importantly how to have fun while doing all the above.” McCormick said. “That type of leadership truly changed how I thought about the Army.

Before thanking his family for their support throughout the years, McCormick was presented with the Defense Superior Service Medal by Griffith.

Griffith said McCormick’s contributions to the military have been invaluable and his lasting impact of DLA and the service would be remembered.

“Mark and his team were the tip of the spear, providing warfighting heroes with what they needed, when they needed it and in the quantities they needed,” he said. “To put it in the simplest terms, he was the guy that made it all happen.”

Photo: Receiving award
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Army Col. Mark McCormick (right), the outgoing DLA Central commander, is presented with the Defense Superior Service Medal by DLA Logistics Operations Director Navy Rear Adm. Vincent Griffith June 27 at the McNamara Headquarters Complex. Photo by Teodora Mocanu

Photo: Speaking at podium
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Army Col. Mark McCormick, who recently gave up command of DLA Central, speaks at his retirement ceremony June 27 at the McNamara Headquarters Complex after completing 28 years of military service. Photo by Teodora Mocanu

Receiving retirement certificate
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Army Col. Mark McCormick, who recently gave up command of DLA Central, receives his Certificate of Retirement from DLA Logistics Operations Director Navy Rear Adm. Vincent Griffith June 27 at the McNamara Headquarters Complex after completing 28 years of military service. Photo by Teodora Mocanu
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