REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command bid farewell to Chief of Staff Col. Tommy L. Lancaster Nov. 19 during a retirement ceremony at Bob Jones Auditorium.

"This life and this career is not for everyone - it takes a special man, a special woman, a special family to volunteer to serve their nation and to do so for 30 years," said Brig. Gen. Christopher Tucker, USASAC commander.

Lancaster dedicated much of his ceremony to recognizing the sacrifices and support his family has made during his career. Several family members were in attendance including: his wife, Melanie and son, TJ; father, Tom Edwards; father-in-law Larry Tidmore and his wife Janice; mother-in-law Brenda Esslinger and her husband Sam; brother-in-law Greg and his wife Becky; and family friends Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Taylor.

"All the great things that the general said I accomplished I couldn't have done without the great individuals here at USASAC. I love everyone, and I've really enjoyed my time here. We have a fine group of individuals at USASAC and I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart," said Lancaster.

During the ceremony, Lancaster was awarded the Legion of Merit signed by the Army Materiel Command's Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody; and was presented two Certificates of Appreciation, one from President Barack Obama and the other from USASAC. His wife, Melanie, was presented a Certificate of Appreciation from Gen. George Casey, Army chief of staff.

Lancaster was also presented with the U.S. Flag which was flown over Forward Operating Base Union III, Baghdad, Iraq in support of operation New Dawn Nov. 11.

Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1981, Lancaster's 30-year Army career has taken him around the world to include stops at Letterkenny Army Depot, Pa.; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Greely, Alaska; Camp Casey, Korea; Scott AFB, Ill.; Battle Creek, Mich.; Fort McPherson, Ga.; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and Baghdad, Iraq.

Lancaster has served in several key staff roles including executive officer, chief operations officer, logistics staff officer, plans and operations officer and deputy commander. He has served as the USASAC chief of staff since June 22, 2009.

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