DDSI welcomes new leadership
By Emily Blubaugh, DDC Public Affairs
Aug. 12 was a significant day for the Defense Distribution Depot Sigonella, Italy, or DDSI. In addition to hosting its third change of command ceremony, officiated by Defense Distribution Center, or DDC, commander United States Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Peter J. Talleri, in which United States Navy Supply Corps Capt. Mark E. Semmler relinquished command to Cmdr. Preston L. Gill, DDSI also welcomed a new deputy commander Joe Graff to its family.
In recognition of his achievements during his three-year tour as DDSI commander, Semmler was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. Semmler's operational expertise and effective teambuilding, reflected in multiple key initiatives, accelerated DDSI's impact on mission support to the Gulf of Guinea, Horn of Africa, Black Sea, the Cape, and numerous locations throughout the Mediterranean.
Praising him as a "renowned logistician and joint logistics expert," Talleri said, "Mark demonstrated exceptional leadership and vision positioning DDSI as the distribution center of choice for southern Europe and the African continent."
Semmler's next assignment will take him to Mechanicsburg, Pa. where he will serve at the Naval Support Activity.
Gill enlisted in the Navy in 1988, and was selected for enrollment in the Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training program in the same year. In 1992, he was commissioned as an ensign in the Supply Corps.
Gill holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Norfolk University, a Master of Science in operations research from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California, and a Master of Arts in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He also completed the Marine Corps Logistics Education Program at Pennsylvania State University.
He has served as director of industrial support, director of submarine logistics, director of inventory accuracy, deputy director of nuclear customer service, and deputy director of material management at Naval Inventory Control Point in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
Gill's other key assignments include aviation supply officer aboard the USS Belleau Wood and USS Essex; and supply officer, USS Baltimore SSN, both forward deployed in Sasebo, Japan.
His most current assignment was as joint force maritime component commander, Assist and Assessment Team at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.
Talleri expressed his excitement in welcoming Gill, saying, "Preston has proven that he is a gifted leader and the right officer to continue the strong and outstanding leadership that Mark and his predecessors have brought to DDSI."
In addition to the traditional navy change of command, DDSI also welcomed new deputy commander Joe Graff. Previously, he served as the team lead, Distribution Operations Army/Marine Corps depots at in Distribution Operations at DDC Headquarters from May 2006 to August 2009 and as deputy commander of Defense Distribution Depot Yokosuka, Japan from March 2003 to May 2006.
Talleri thanked Graff for his continuing service to the DDC, saying "Joe, as well as all of our civilian deputy commanders, is a true asset to our organization and a key to DDC's success."
United States Navy Supply Corps Cmdr. Preston L. Gill, commander, Defense Distribution Depot Sigonella, Italy