Mitchell culminates career after serving military families for three decades

By Staci-Jill Burnley, IMCOM Sustainment Public Affairs ChiefJanuary 23, 2024

Mitchell culminates career after serving military families for three decades
Justin Mitchell receives the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal from IMCOM Sustainment Director Davis Tindoll as he retires Jan. 8 at Bob Jones Auditorium after 31 years of service. Mitchell most recently served as the chief of staff for Installation Management Command’s Directorate of Sustainment. From left are IMCOM Sustainment Command Sgt. Maj. Tamisha Love, Tindoll, Mitchell and his wife, Michelle. (Photo Credit: Eric Schultz) VIEW ORIGINAL

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - From his earliest years, the call to serve was heard by Justin Mitchell. Where that calling led was where he found his strength and passion: serving military families around the world, as an Army civilian.

Mitchell, who most recently served as the chief of staff for Installation Management Command’s Directorate of Sustainment, bid farewell to his Army family Jan. 8 at Redstone Arsenal, having served 31 years as a civilian. The ceremony was hosted by Davis Tindoll, director of ID-S.

Mitchell came to ID-S from Fort Liberty, North Carolina, where he served as the deputy to the garrison commander from June 2014 to December 2020. Prior to Fort Liberty, he served as deputy to the garrison commander at Fort Novosel, Alabama, from August 2009 to June 2014. He is also a 2009 graduate of the Army War College.

His move up the civilian ladder was built on experience gained from positions across the Army family support spectrum. He started his career with a move from his home in Montana to Phoenix, Arizona, and then across the Pacific Ocean to Camp Zama, Japan, where he served as the Family Advocacy Program manager, then Army Community Service officer and then Family Support Division chief.

The next stop was Germany, where he was the Vilseck ACS officer and then the assistant director of community activities at the 409th Base Support Battalion. A promotion took him to Hohenfels where he served as the director of community activities for the 282nd Base Support Battalion, and he then transitioned to a higher leadership role as the deputy to the garrison commander in Schweinfurt, Germany.

Along his career path, he raised a family with his wife, Michelle. He recounted their experiences over the years as he addressed those gathered at Bob Jones Auditorium to celebrate the culmination of his career, and how those experiences shaped their lives.

“We were a young Montana couple that moved to Camp Zama, Japan. Our children (Dani and Trent) were born at Yokota Air Base in Japan, we climbed Mount Fuji, visited temples, and skied at Niaba,” he said. “Going to Vilseck Germany on a one-year tour that lasted six jobs, four bases, and 11 years … skiing in the Swiss Alps, trips to Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Belgium, England and more.”

Most people associate these experiences with those who serve in uniform. Tindoll called attention to Mitchell’s extensive career and the impact he has had on a global scale for Army families to illustrate that service to your nation doesn’t always require combat boots.

“You don’t have to wear a uniform to serve with honor,” Tindoll said. “You don’t have to wear a uniform to make a lasting and positive impact for our military. Each day, Justin came to work committed to making the Army a better place, and he affected far reaching and long-lasting changes, not in combat boots, but in a coat and tie.”

Lt. Gen. Omar Jones, IMCOM commander, sent his well-wishes via email and lauded Mitchell’s professionalism and legacy of excellence.

“Justin epitomized the IMCOM professional,” he said. “He is a true expert, a leader, and an exceptional teammate. He leaves a strong legacy of service across this command, and he will be truly missed.”

Tindoll also highlighted the personal qualities that made Mitchell not only a stellar Army civilian, but also a truly good person.

“His greatest strength is his character,” he said. “If you were to ask me to select one individual that projects all of the Army values – loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, personal courage – I would select Justin.”

When Mitchell took the podium to share his parting words, he spoke about all of the leaders and teammates who had influenced his career over the year and reminisced about prior positions and their joys and challenges. He summed up these experiences with a word of advice to those who are also a part of the military community, whether in or out of uniform.

“Michelle and I have tried very hard to bloom where we are planted,” he said. “We have been blessed with the most incredible life and with the most incredible people. A life of meaning supporting service members and their families literally all over the world. I challenge you to take the challenges.

“Take the hard jobs, be willing to lead, be willing to risk. This life is often hard, but the professional satisfaction to help others at every level flows from this military culture – this life we have had the privilege to live – and I would recommend it to anyone.”

Editor’s note: Justin Mitchell was awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the Governor of the State of Alabama’s Certificate of Retirement, the Department of the Army 30-Year Government Service Certificate, the Department of the Army Certificate of Retirement, and the Department of the Army Certificate of Appreciation. His wife, Michelle, received the Department of the Army Public Service Commendation Medal.