By Mr. Frederick Rice (SDDC)September 18, 2018
After 36 years of service to the nation, Sharon Brahmbhatt, chief of domestic movements for the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC), was celebrated during a retirement ceremony in her honor Sept. 12.
Brahmbhatt began working at Scott Air Force Base in 1994, and she spent her first 16 years on the base with U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) in a variety of logistics management and staff positions.
In 2010, she came to SDDC as the chief of the Defense Transportation Coordination branch and quickly moved to positions of increasing responsibility, first as chief of the Opportunities and Analysis division, followed by assignment as G9 director of Strategic Sourcing prior to assuming her current position.
While at USTRANSCOM, she formed a bond with a young officer who worked alongside her in the Operations directorate -- a friendship that would continue to blossom over the decades. That officer was Maj. Susan A. Davidson, now a major general and also a former commanding general of SDDC.
Months ago, when Brahmbhatt decided to retire, she knew exactly who she wanted to have officiate the ceremony that would mark the completion of her storied career.
Davidson agreed without hesitation.
Davidson, who now serves as the director for Logistics Engineering and Security Cooperation at U.S. Pacific Command, gladly made the trip from Hawaii and spoke about her relationship with Brahmbhatt.
"I met Sharon 20 years ago, right here in this building, when I was a young major and we worked together on the U.S. Transportation Command J3 staff," she said.
She spoke about a tightly knit friendship by a "couple of moms" that has continued to grow through the years as Davidson later returned to SDDC, first as deputy commanding general and then again as commanding general.
Davidson's presence was something that Brahmbhatt treasured and she took the time to publicly show her appreciation for her attendance and for the years of friendship.
"I'm so grateful for our friendship," she said. "It means the world to me that you came here for my ceremony."
During the ceremony, Davidson recognized Brahmbhatt's many remarkable accomplishments with the presentation of the Superior Civilian Service Award, noting that her "extended knowledge and depth of understanding can never be replaced."
Davidson said she could best describe Brahmbhatt in a single word -- "passion."
"Sharon has an incredible passion for what she does, for her family, and for the people she works with," she said.
That passion was well displayed by the numerous members of Brahmbhatt's family who joined her at the ceremony, highlighted by her son Vijay, daughter Kelly, and mother Lorraine McKay.
During her remarks, Brahmbhatt spoke emotionally about her mother.
"My mom is my rock," said Brahmbhatt, choking back tears, "I'm so glad she made me into the woman I am today."
She admitted during the ceremony that the decision to retire wasn't an easy one, and in fact she didn't even know if she wanted to have a ceremony. But, after speaking with friends and family, she knew it was the right time and the right thing to do.
"I've worked hard to get to this moment and there have been good times and bad. But in the end, I will look back on my time with the government, and with SDDC, and know that I served my country and left this place better than I found it," she said.