Col. Joseph Gaines retires after 26-year Army career
June 29, 2012
After almost 26 years in the United States Army, Col. Joseph Gaines is moving on from military life to retire and spend time with his wife. A retirement ceremony was held Wednesday at the Corlett Recreation Center, officiated by Lt. Gen. Richard Formica, Commanding General, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command. Also part of the official party was Debra Wymer, director of the Test and Warfighter Solutions Center. Active duty Soldiers of USAKA, along with Department of the Army civilians and contractors also attended.
Formica began with a few jokes to lighten the mood. "It seems like just yesterday that Joe was the commander of USAKA…" He then highlighted Gaines' impressive 26-year air defense career, which culminated in a brigade level command here at Kwajalein. Formica thanked Gaines for his years of service.
Gaines took center stage with Formica and Wymer to receive several awards. He was first awarded with the Legion of Merit Medal "for exceptionally meritorious service while serving in a variety of challenging assignments." Next, he received a certificate of appreciation from the President of the United States, Barack Obama.
Sgt. Jeffrey Satterwhite escorted Gaines' wife, Dianne Reed, to the stage. Gaines was finally presented with his certificate of retirement and pin. This symbolized his official retirement from the U.S. military.
Reed remained on stage and was awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal from Formica "for extraordinary caring and dedication to the Soldiers and families of the U.S. Army." Reed was also presented a certificate of appreciation from Formica, on behalf of Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, U.S. Army chief of staff.
Gaines took center stage and continued to praise his wife for all she has done over the years. It was her sound advice, guidance and support throughout the years that got him to where he is today in his career.
Retirement after a brigade command is unusual, Gaines said. But he did not want to work in a cubicle somewhere after the emotional high of commanding at Kwajalein. Gaines declared that the highlight of his 26-year military career was his post here at USAKA. He felt blessed to have worked with such a talented staff. After 26 years at various duty stations, he doesn't always remember each job, but he does remember the people. It was the people he's worked with that helped him achieve all he has and for that he is extremely grateful.
The ceremony concluded with the playing of the Army song. Attendees passed through the reception line to give personal thanks and well wishes to both Gaines and Reed.