By Sara E. Martin, Army Flier Staff WriterJanuary 31, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (January 31, 2014) -- The quarterly retirement ceremony took place Jan. 24 at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum where friends and Family gathered to honor nine Soldiers and two civilians who served the United States with distinction.
The 11 retirees accounted for more than 315 combined years of service, an average of 29 years per individual, and served as doctors, Aviators, investigators, command sergeants major and more, said Col. Robert C. Doerer, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence deputy commander and the ceremony's guest speaker.
"You elected to first serve the nation during some tough times. Some of your service began at the end of the Vietnam War, and since that time you have served during some historic events," he said. "For some of you, you saw the birth of a great Branch -- all were a part of the Cold War and its end -- and you saw the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
"You have seen the implementation of the Apache and Black Hawk helicopters. You come from the most deployed Army in our history, and have made lasting, positive and significant contributions. You have helped us create the most capable Army the world has ever known and our nation is better because you chose to serve," he continued.
Col. Robert Mitchell
Mitchell entered military service in 1983 as a warrant officer Aviator. He served overseas in Haiti and served combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He stated the highlight of his career was the privilege of commanding Soldiers in combat. He and his wife, Dena, plan to reside in Enterprise.
Maj. Dennis Caliyo
Caliyo entered the Army in 1986. Over his 27-year career, he served overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq. He stated the highlight of his career was being selected as a staff officer for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He and his wife, Jane, plan to reside in San Francisco, Calif.
CW5 Bobby Sebren
Sebren entered military service in 1979 as a military policeman. During his 34 years of military service, he served overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. He stated the highlight of his career was being twice selected to lead the aircraft shoot down assessment team. He and his wife, Laura, plan to reside in Daleville.
CW4 Raymond Massey
Massey is retiring after 29 years. He entered the Army in 1984. He served in numerous overseas locations in
Germany, Greece, Iraq, Korea and Kuwait. He stated that the highlight of his career was establishing the computer crimes digital forensic examination cell at Fort Benning, Ga., creating a centralized computer and digital device examination group, which focused on discovering and extracting digital evidence related to felony crimes committed against the U.S. government. He and his wife, Kerry, plan to reside in Level Plains.
CW4 Tod Clark
Clark entered military service in 1989 as an infantryman. He has served overseas in Italy, Germany, Korea, Panama, Egypt, Kosovo, and served in support of Operations Desert Shield and Storm, and Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. He stated the highlight of his career was being an air mission commander during the surge in Iraq. He plans to finish building his house and reside in New York.
Command Sgt. Maj. John Chandler
Chandler entered military service in 1983. During his 30 years of service, he served in numerous overseas locations including the Philippines, Thailand, Korea, Columbia, Ecuador, Honduras, Belize, Venezuela, Germany, Panama, Japan, Iraq and Afghanistan. He served multiple combat tours in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, Ernest Will, Prime Change, and Just Cause. He stated the highlight of his career was being able to serve 30 plus years, with 10 as a sergeant major. He plans to reside with his wife, Judith, in Guntersville, Ala.
Master Sgt. Curtis Pitts
Pitts entered military service in 1989 as a truck vehicle repairer. During his 25 years of service, he served overseas in Germany, and served in multiple combat tours in Bosnia and Iraq. He stated the highlight of his career was the day he joined the military. He and his wife, Tamala, plan to reside in the local area.
Master Sgt. Claudia Jackson
Jackson entered military service in 1990. During her 23 years of military service she served in numerous overseas locations in Germany, Korea, Iraq and Kuwait. She served multiple combat tours in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. She stated the highlight of her career was working at Landstuhl Medical Facility, Germany as a wounded warrior liaison. She and her husband, Rodney, plan to reside in San Antonio, Texas.
Staff Sgt. Steven Kerrigan
Kerrigan entered military service in 1993 as a field artillery cannon crewmember. He served in numerous overseas locations in Camp Casemera, Yugoslavia; Italy; Iraq; and Afghanistan. He served multiple combat tours in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. He stated the highlight of his career was successfully leading Soldiers in Afghanistan with no losses. He plans to reside in Danville, Ill.
Marks entered military service in 1969 as an X-ray technician. She served in Germany and Korea before retiring as a sergeant first class. She returned to serve the Army as a civilian in 1986. She stated the highlight of her career was graduating from the Air Traffic Control Course and marrying a co-instructor. She and her husband, Loren, plan to reside in Enterprise.
Matthews is retiring after 31 years of service. He served on active duty from 1974 to 1980 before entering the civil service. He said the highlight of his career was serving with wonderful co-workers and assisting Soldiers who have a great responsibility in serving the country. In addition, he appreciated the opportunity to meet many people from all over the world. He and his wife, Margie, plan to reside in Enterprise.