Five Soldiers stood in formal formation for the last time on Brown Parade Field Friday as they were recognized for more than 110 years of service to the United States during this quarter’s installation retirement ceremony.
Col. Frederick Washington, Training and Doctrine Command capabilities manager, Biometrics and Forensics, was the presiding officer and guest speaker. Sgt. Maj. Carlos Magwood, deputy commandant, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence Noncommissioned Officers Academy, assisted with the awards presentation. Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly Robinson, a member of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, acted as commander of the troops.
Once the official party entered and Chaplain (Capt.) Bruce Duty gave the invocation, the narrator, 1st Lt. William Quinn, Company A, 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, described the history of Brown Parade Field. Next, the 62nd Army Band played the national anthem under the direction of Chief Warrant Officer 2 George Bauer. Then, the narrator described the ceremony’s purpose.
“[This] ceremony is to honor our military retirees who have served their country with distinction.
“After years of honorable service to their country, every career military member comes to a time when they put aside their uniform and retire from the military, either to a new profession or a well deserved rest.
“In today’s ceremony, the men and women of Fort Huachuca will pay tribute to these retirees and their families who have helped ensure the defense of this great nation during a most significant period of its history.”
He then introduced each retiree who took center stage along with Family members and received awards and honors. In addition to locally presented awards, each retiree received a certificate of appreciation signed by the president of the United States, a certificate of retirement and a retirement flag. Spouses received certificates of appreciation in recognition of their support during their husband’s or wife’s Army careers.
Sgt. Maj. Robert Klein is presently assigned as senior medical noncommissioned officer in charge at Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center. He retires after 24 1/2 years of Army service and received a Legion of Merit. He and his wife Deborah plan to reside in Vail.
Lt. Col. Dionne Wilson is presently assigned as the G 3/5 of Headquarters, Network Enterprise Technology Command, and retires after 22 years in the Army. She received the Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of her service. She will make her home in Gatesville, Texas.
Sgt. 1st Class James Gilbertson is assigned as operations supervisor for the 62nd Army Band, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Huachuca. He leaves the Army after 20 years of service and received the Meritorious Service Medal. He and his wife Tina have two children, David and Elizabeth. They will remain in Sierra Vista.
Sgt. 1st Class Francisco Saliaz is assigned as the plans and operations NCO for the 11th Signal Brigade, S3. He leaves the Army after 24 years of service and received a Meritorious Service Medal. He and his wife Geraline will live in Sierra Vista.
Sgt. Christopher Shafer is currently assigned as the fleet manager for the Directorate of Emergency Service, 18th Military Police Detachment. He retires after 20 years of service and receives an Army Commendation Medal. He and his wife Veronica have three children: Jerry, Cherokee and Kitanna. They plan to reside in Sierra Vista.
After the five retirees received their awards, each spouse or special guest received a bouquet of flowers or other token of appreciation in thanks for the support they provided to their Army Soldier. Following the guest speaker, retirement of the colors and traditional songs, leaders took charge of their units and marched them off the field. Finally, members of B Troop, 4th Regiment, U.S. Cavalry (Memorial) paid final honors to the retirees with a traditional cavalry charge across the parade field as they have done in numerous ceremonies over the years.