ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - Four Soldiers, one sailor and one civilian retired while two others received awards at a joint Army and Navy retirement and retreat ceremony at Rock Island Arsenal's Constitution Square March 25.

Maj. Gen. Yves J. Fontaine, commanding general of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command, opened the ceremony by presenting Sgt. John Ferguson the Meritorious Service Medal and Randall Beckmann the Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

Ferguson, a security specialist for ASC's G2 (Intelligence and Security) office, won the 2010 ASC and Army Materiel Command Noncommissioned Officer of the Year "Best Warrior" competition and represented AMC at the Department of the Army competition.

Beckman is ASC's liaison officer to U.S. Transportation Command, a position he has held since 2005. He received the civilian service award for an established pattern of excellence over the course of his career.

"We're all proud of you - and the example you set for your fellow Soldiers and civilians," said Fontaine.

Fontaine also recognized the retiring Soldiers, sailor and Army civilian for their accomplishments and contributions to the Army and Navy. The six individuals have combined for more than 135 years of service to their country.

"Their knowledge and leadership have made an enormous difference to the Army - and the Navy, not only to the accomplishment of the mission, but to the people they have mentored, coached, and helped during their careers," said Fontaine.

The Army retirees were:

-- Maj. Warren Reardon, deputy staff judge advocate for ASC's Office of Counsel

-- Sgt. 1st Class Carolyn Johnson, operations and administrative NCO for ASC's Distribution Management Center

-- Sgt. 1st Class Tammy Theis, ASC command equal opportunity advisor

-- Sgt. 1st Class Warren Benson, ASC's G6 liaison and current operations NCOIC in the Command and Information Center

-- Mark Dewey, Joint Munitions Command industrial specialist

The Navy retiree was:

-- Senior Chief Petty Officer Duane Lanning, senior enlisted leader at Rock Island Arsenal's Operations and Support Center

"They all served with distinction - made personal sacrifices - and made the best military in the world even better through what they contributed to our mission," said Fontaine.

The ceremony observed both Army and Navy customs, courtesies, and traditions. Unique Navy customs included "piping the side", the boatswain whistle, ringing of a bell two times, reading of "The Watch" and departing through a row of sailors called "sideboys".

"His (Lanning) choice to do this with us is a testament to the team that exists on Rock Island Arsenal regardless of service or parent headquarters," said Fontaine.

Theis, who is retiring after 20 years of service, said she would miss the people, making friends all around the world, the camaraderie, and the support that others have given to soldiers. She is planning to move to Georgia after retirement.

"I plan to continue my education and spend some well-deserved rest at home," she said.

"Thank you again for all you've done for our Army, our Navy, and for our nation," concluded Fontaine. "I promise that you will not be forgotten."

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