Army officer couple share mutual retirement
July 16, 2014
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Thirteen days after the Army began its 240th year, Maj. Gen. Lynn Collyar, former commander, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, and his spouse, Col. Sarah Green, former staff judge advocate for the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, began their transition to civilian life June 27 in Bob Jones auditorium, after a combined 65 years of service.
That transition was poignantly noted by Chaplain (Col.) John Shedd, USASMDC/ARSTRAT command chaplain.
"The Profession of Arms is marked by selfless service and sacrifice," Shedd said during the invocation. "Today, we honor that service and that sacrifice knowing that those two attributes, in these two Soldiers, will glow like embers in the years ahead."
Lt. Gen. Flora Darpino, judge advocate general, and Lt. Gen. Patricia McQuistion, Army Materiel Command deputy commander and Redstone Arsenal senior commander, hosted the ceremony for the couple.
"We are Soldiers for life, and this is a transition not a retirement," Darpino said. "Sarah is a phenomenal athlete and lawyer. She would never let you know that because she is so humble. She was going to do a three-year assignment, but that has turned into 30 years of service. She is an adaptable leader, which is just what the Army is looking for."
McQuistion and Collyar both shared assignments in the Pentagon as colonels.
"We are not saying goodbye, rather we are saying farewell, with some sadness, but with much gratitude, to two Soldiers who have served selflessly," McQuistion said. "Lynn never gave an order that he would not follow himself. He has made a positive, lasting difference everywhere he's served."
Green, a Memphis native, singled out her parents and siblings for instilling in her the teamwork that has carried over into her Army career.
"What you learn as a child stays with you on into life," Green said. "My whole life has been being part of a team, whether it be swimming, basketball or the Army. The best team to be part of is the U.S. Army. Thank you for letting me be one of your teammates."
Collyar, a Huntsville native, echoed the theme that threaded through the ceremony's remarks.
"You make great friends in the Army, and this is a good day," Collyar said. "I have had 35 years of having fun. When I talk to Pre-Command Course students, I tell them about the importance of mental, spiritual and physical well-being, emphasizing that when they take command, they have lost the right to have a bad day."
The former commander summed up with an historical observation.
"You know over the years, the Army has had a number of uniforms," Collyar said. "During my 35 years, I have been fortunate to have worn 50 percent of the Army's uniforms."
The couple, who both hold Army Parachutist badges and will reside in Huntsville, received a number of awards and recognitions from Army leaders, congressional, state and community leaders.