By Chuck Walker
MOBILE, Ala. – Growing up as an Air Force dependent and living in various locations throughout his life, including Okinawa, Japan, Sam Sfaffan was used to moving around.
Staffan, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District transportation/fleet manager, joined the U.S. Navy in 1983, retired in 2005, became a government employee with the Navy and joined the Mobile District in 2018.
After a career spanning more than 47 years of total federal service, Staffan retired during a ceremony in Mobile, Jan. 4.
“It has truly been a great career and one I will always remember,” Staffan said. “In all of my time serving our country, this assignment has been one of the best and most memorable. I look forward to retirement.”
Staffan graduated from high school in 1981 and two years later joined the U.S. Navy. He served sea duty in three different Naval Mobile Construction Battalions in Port Hueneme, California with multiple deployments to Guam, Spain, Puerto Rico, Columbia, and many more.
After retiring from the Navy, he went to work for Emergency Management Assist out of Folsom, California, as a contractor on the USACE Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) program until 2009. He then took a position with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest as an Engineering tech at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada.
Staffan became the Fleet Manager for NAS Fallon in 2011 and held that position until 2018 when he accepted his current position in Mobile.
One person who has been impressed with Staffan from the beginning is his supervisor, Carlos Williams, Mobile District Logistics Manager.
“I must say that within my short time coming on board with USACE, Sam stood out from the very beginning,” Williams said. “I figured out really quick that when he came to work, he took care of business.”
During his time in Mobile, Staffan managed a fleet of over 600 vehicles for the District and ensured the invoices and fuel for those vehicles was paid on time.
While that may sound simple, consider that he managed receipts for every card swipe for 600 vehicles on a single day, which equals $332,000 worth of GSA Lease payments and fuel invoices every month.
Isreal Allison, Mobile District dispatcher, summed it up best for those who worked for Staffan.
“Sam was a great guy to work with, and we will miss him,” Allison said. “We wish him the best and we hope he enjoys his retirement.”
Williams said that the District will truly miss Staffan.
“What I learned about Sam is that he was a hard worker,” Williams said. “I also learned that he enjoyed being with his family and taking care of his home. We really enjoyed working with Sam and we will definitely miss having him around.”
Staffan has already planned out some of his retirement and has come up with a unique idea of how to pay for it.
“I intend to travel to different campsites across the country and spend time with my fiancée Allie, my kids and grandkids in Long Beach, Mississippi,” Staffan said. “I also plan on winning the lottery.”