DFAS boss will leave

Defense Finance and Accounting Service Web site

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) today publicly announced the impending departure of its director and arrival of a new deputy director.

Thomas Bloom, director of DFAS, yesterday informed his employees that he will be leaving the agency to "take on new challenges and opportunities."

Bloom, who has led DFAS for nearly five years, didn't give an exact date for his departure, but said it would take place some time in the next 30 days.

"As director, I share your great appreciation for the DFAS mission and your sense of duty toward our customers — the men and women who defend America," he wrote. "Your passion and dedication helped make my tenure successful and, more importantly, helped bring the best value in finance and accounting services to the [Defense Department] and the American taxpayer."

Bloom said he is leaving the agency a "leaner organization" that delivers better products and services than ever before. Over the course of his tenure, he has reduced the total workforce at the agency by about 25 percent, from more than 20,000 in 1999 to slightly more than 15,000 today.

"I know you will continue to build upon these successes to transform DFAS into a truly world-class finance and accounting organization," Bloom wrote.

Sources familiar with the circumstances of Bloom's leaving said he will become the chief financial officer at the Federal Aviation Administration, although neither DFAS nor FAA officials would confirm that.

Bryan Hubbard, a spokesman for DFAS, said a replacement for Bloom has not yet been announced and didn't have a timeline as to when that will happen.

The agency today also announced Air Force Brig. Gen. Jan Eakle has been named DFAS' deputy director.

"It would be difficult to overstate the importance of delivering timely and professional finance and accounting services to all our customers," Eakle said in a statement. "For our people, the peace of mind in knowing that their families will continue to receive all compensations due whether they are home or deployed translates to higher morale and improved retention."

Eakle currently is vice commander of the Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Her reporting date has not yet been announced. DFAS is the world's largest finance and accounting oversight organization, handling the pay of nearly 6 million Defense employees, retirees and annuitants totaling more than $416 billion in disbursements.

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