The reason the ceremony was running a few minutes behind, Traaen said, was because he needed a refresher course on how to march properly.
“Two Army guys had to teach a Navy guy how to march,” Traaen said, reminding the crowd that it is not something Navy men typically have to do. “I appreciate that and will remember it for the rest of my career.”
Traaen, the Defense Logistics Agency Distribution commander, oversees a global storage and distribution network comprised of 26 distribution facilities, including DLA Distribution Anniston.
After a chuckle from the crowd, gathered at the depot’s physical fitness center, Traaen returned to the real heart of the event: the change of command ceremony wherein Lt Col. Wayne J. Bondy Jr., relinquished command of DLA Distribution Anniston, and handed the reins over to Lt. Col. Robert D. Rouse.
Bondy, who has served as the organization’s commander since July 23, 2010, relinquished his position as he prepares to transfer to Washington D.C. and serve at the Pentagon. During his time as commander, Bondy oversaw the receipt and storage of equipment, parts, weapons and vehicles in conjunction with the efforts of the Anniston Army Depot and its tenants. According to a press release, the organization stores items including microchips and M1A2 main battle tanks, repairs and inspects vehicles, and modifies and repairs small arms.
Before thanking Bondy for his service, Traaen, who presided over Wednesday’s ceremony, first thanked the crowd for their attendance, individually mentioning the names of all the family members in attendance.
“We cannot be the sailors, soldiers and Marines we are without them,” Traaen said.
That support, he said, led to the level of success now being enjoyed at the organization, thanks in great part to Bondy’s leadership.
When Bondy assumed command, the organization had performance rankings referred to as “red” and “amber,” meaning that the tasks they were asked to accomplish were being performed behind schedule. As Bondy leaves his post, the organization boasts of rankings in the “green,” meaning that they are ensuring parts are delivered on time and that the Army depot is receiving all the parts they may need.
In his farewell speech following the official change of command, Bondy said he made no apologies for the journey he chose for the organization under his command.
“That’s how you save jobs,” Bondy said.
Bondy said he was confident the organization would continue to move forward and hopefully one day become the best of the depots in distribution.
The choices he made concerning his service, Bondy explained, had everything to do with his family, referring to himself as the “most fortunate man in the world” because of the love of his daughters and his wife, who viewed the ceremony while stationed in Afghanistan via a live Skype feed. When asked what message he would like to leave his post with, Bondy kept it simple.
“Thank you,” he said.
After wishing Bondy and his family “fair winds and following seas,” Traaen spoke to the significance of the change of command.
“I can think of no better person to take the reins of this organization,” Traaen said about Rouse’s succession.
Before assuming his position in command of the DLA Distribution, Anniston, Rouse previously served as joint plans officer, In-Transit Visibility Integration Division, Strategy, Policy, Programs and Logistics Directorate, U.S. Transportation Command, a position he assumed in August 2010.
Rouse explained that about two months before he was set to assume command, Bondy invited him to visit the site, where he was able to witness first-hand about 90 percent of the operation.
“It was a good opportunity for me to see onsite what the team does every day,” said Rouse in an interview after the event. “We have a committed team on site.”