Long time intelligence expert retires after 46 years service
March 2, 2010
FORT McPHERSON, GA (March 1, 2010) - One of U.S. Army Forces Command's (FORSCOM) veteran intelligence experts retired here Feb. 28 after more than 46 years conducting, managing and supporting Army military intelligence activities in the United States, Europe, Vietnam, Korea and Southwest Asia.
Melvin W. Kerns, who was the assistant deputy chief of Staff, G-2 at FORSCOM at retirement, started with the Army's largest command in January 1984.
"It is truly with mixed emotions that we gather here today to honor Mr. Mel Kerns," said Lt. Gen. Joseph Peterson, deputy commanding general of FORSCOM. "Today, he passes his experience on to another generation of loyal servants." Peterson praised Kerns for his many decades of service to the nation during his remarks during the ceremony held in the FORSCOM G1 atrium of the headquarters.
After 20 years active duty in the Army, Kerns retired in 1983 and began his second career as an Army (civilian) intelligence officer in 1984. His first assignment as a Department of the Army civilian was to FORSCOMs Intelligence section.
Kerns, who has a bachelor's in political science and a master of business administration degree, received numerous Special Act and Performance Awards throughout his career. Among his many awards are the Superior Civilian Service Award, the Knowlton Award for significant contribution to the Military Intelligence Corps and the Commanders Award for Civilian Service.
"Forces Command is blessed with a superb staff," said Kerns, "who collectively form an amazing team. I am awed by their ability and potential."
At the conclusion of his remarks, Kerns spoke of the post-retirement pledge he'd made to his wife by paraphrasing poet Robert Frost: "For we have promises to keep, and miles to go before we sleep."
Kerns said he and his wife plan to retire to Gulf Shores, Ala.