Salutes & Awards

January 31, 2014

Six honored at first quarterly IRC of year

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Gabrielle Kuholski
Staff Writer

Six retiring Soldiers and their spouses bow their heads during the invocation during the installation retirement ceremony Jan. 24 on Brown Parade Field. Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Ken Godfrey gave the invocation.

Families, Soldiers and guests at the quarterly installation retirement ceremony braved the gray sky and chilly air to say their farewells and congratulations to six retirees Jan. 24 on Brown Parade Field.

The quarter’s retirees previously assigned to Fort Huachuca were: Sgt. Maj. John Latham, Company B, 305th Military Intelligence Battalion, 111th Military Intelligence Brigade; Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Casper, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison; Sgt. 1st Class Brian Saunier, Noncommissioned Officers Academy, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence; and Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Stevens, G-3, Current Operations Branch, Network Enterprise Technology Command, or NETCOM.

Retiring Soldiers previously assigned to other installations included Maj. Ira Smith, Joint Task Force North, Fort Bliss, Texas; and Chief Warrant Officer Victor Leon, G6, Future Plans and Operations Division, Eighth Army, Yongsan, Korea.

“Lord, as six of our fellow Soldiers turn this retirement corner, I pray that you will assure them of your presence, that they know our appreciation, that they know they will always be a part of the Army Family and that you will be with them the next leg of their journey,” Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Ken Godfrey proclaimed during the invocation.

Earning awards and decorations, all six honorees received a certificate of appreciation signed by the president, a certificate of retirement and a retirement flag. Five of the six retired Soldiers received the Meritorious Service Medal, while Latham was presented with the Legion of Merit. The retirees’ spouses also received a certificate of appreciation and flowers following the presentation.

NETCOM served as the ceremony’s host unit, with Col. Charles Watson, NETCOM, G2, assistant chief of staff, as guest speaker. Watson’s introduction focused on the “Soldier’s Creed” and how it related to the retirees.

“Each of these warriors, whose service we are celebrating today, put that Soldier’s Creed front and center every day of their careers … and so that Soldier’s Creed, which makes our Army unique, probably means more to you today as you prepare to walk into a new life,” Watson said.

The guest speaker’s comments became personal as he introduced each retiree with an anecdote about why they decided to join the Army and where their sense of commitment came from. Watson explained that their service would not be possible without the love, support, patience and prayers of Family members and requested a round of applause for the Family guests in attendance.

Watson also offered words of advice to the six retiring Soldiers on starting a new chapter in their lives.

“Be proud of your accomplishments, but also be prepared for your future. Challenges will demand of you, exactly what you have so much dedication rendering to the Army,” he said. “There is one thing that sets you apart from so many of your Civilian counterparts, and that is this thing called service. What we do in the Army is not a job — it’s a service.”

Providing support to the retirees, in addition to NETCOM, nine other units participated in the ceremony.




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