By Gordon Van VleetJune 20, 2014
A combined retirement and retreat ceremony was held in front of the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command headquarters, Greely Hall, June 10, as the Army said farewell to a Soldier with 30 years of service to the Army and the nation.
Col. Daniel Matchette, the NETCOM assistant chief of staff/G-5, was honored by Soldiers and co-workers during the ceremony which was presided over by retired former NETCOM commanding general, Maj. Gen. Jennifer Napper.
Matchette, a career signal officer who was commissioned into the Army Signal Corps in May 1984 and entered active duty in January 1985, was awarded the Legion of Merit by Napper during the ceremony. In addition, Matchette was also presented a flag flown over the command.
Speaking about Matchette's transition from the Army and acceptance of a teaching position at Tombstone High School, Napper talked about the colonel's continuing contribution to the Army's focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) for the nation's youth as he leaves the Army to teach math.
During his remarks, Matchette spoke about a writing assignment he completed during his youth where he wrote a paragraph about what he wanted to do when he grew up. "I wrote that I wanted to join the Army, become a sergeant, and, when I got out of the Army, ride my bicycle across America.
"Sadly, I accomplished neither, but perhaps I did foreshadow events to come. I did end up joining the Army, and that bicycle that the Army puts you on, moves very, very fast and across many, many miles."
Matchette summed up his career with four reflections. He spoke about momentous events, great duties, change, and his last reflection was about people.
"Technology will change, but the fundamental and most enduring core of the Army is our people," said Matchette. "I have been blessed to work over the last 30 years with some of the best signal officers, NCOs [noncommissioned officers], Soldiers, and Civilians ever associated with the United States Army."
Matchette thanked the many people he worked with as the NETCOM G-5, and finished his remarks with a metaphor related to Army life as he said, "My parachute has opened one last time and I'm about to land. It is time for me to pick up my rucksack and move smartly off the drop zone."