Aviation and Missile Command chief of staff Col. Jeffrey Young gets teary eyed as he thanks his wife, Susan, for her support during his 26 years of Army service. Young's comments during his retirement ceremony Friday shifted between sentimentality and humorous jabs at himself and command co-workers. Though retiring from active duty, Young will go on to be the director of the Security Assistance Management Directorate, an organization that reports to AMCOM and the Security Assistance Command.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Quoting from the Bible's Proverbs and Jeremiah, the Aviation and Missile Command's chief of staff Col. Jeffrey Young said farewell to 26 years in the military during his retirement ceremony Friday.

But Young won't be leaving AMCOM or Redstone Arsenal. Rather, he will be rejoining the AMCOM life cycle management organization as the new director of the Security Assistance Management Directorate, which reports both to AMCOM and the Security Assistance Command.

Young is looking forward to keeping his professional connections along with his family in the Redstone Arsenal and Huntsville communities.

"I've never seen a place so blessed," he said, mentioning the support Redstone Arsenal receives from both the area's congressional delegation and local dignitaries.
Young, too, feels blessed. He strongly believes his life is built upon God's plan and purpose.

"If not for the intervention of my Lord and Savior, I would not be here today ... Fortunately, it was God's plan that brought me to where I am today," he said.

In comments that shifted between sentimentality and humorous jabs at himself and command co-workers, Young thanked his family, which includes his wife Susan, college-age children Ashley and Ryan, and his parents. He thanked friends and religious leaders from across the Army, non-commissioned officers and general officers, and the Army civilians who have all made a difference in his life.

"There are so many people who helped nurture me," he said. "God put these different people in my life."

Young graduated from the Army ROTC program at Auburn University in 1984, and has served as both an armor officer and Quartermaster Corps (logistics) officer. His career included a deployment to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and service with the Special Operations Command. Other assignments included serving as chief of maintenance for the 21st Theater Army Area Command, executive officer for the 47th Forward Support Battalion in Bosnia and executive officer for the 200th Theater Materiel Management.

In 2005, Young became the deputy commander of the 2nd Recruiting Brigade. In that capacity, he was assigned to move to Redstone and oversee the construction of the brigade's new headquarters here. In 2009, he assumed duties as the AMCOM chief of staff, where he has led the day-to-day activities of a work force of more than 9,000 and an annual budget in excess of $22 billion.

His job as AMCOM's chief of staff brought Young to a full appreciation of the contributions of the Army's civilian employees and contractors.

"You come together and are so dedicated to the Soldiers ... Your actions show that, your dedication shows," Young said.

He thanked AMCOM deputy commander Ronnie Chronister for his leadership and gave him the U.S. Army patch off his uniform. He especially thanked AMCOM commander Maj. Gen. Jim Myles, saying "he's the finest Soldier I've ever seen, ever worked for. His integrity is beyond reproach."

And he thanked his wife, who received the Army Commander's Award for Public Service during the ceremony. Young promised, publicly, to build his wife a swimming pool in their backyard.

Before ending the ceremony, Young, wearing a Legion of Merit medal pinned on his uniform by Myles, turned to AMCOM Command Sgt. Maj. Ricky Yates, saluted and said "request permission to be put on the retirement rolls."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16