SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Nine Soldiers representing more than 205 years of combined service in the Profession of Arms were honored along with their families during the 8th Theater Sustainment Command's quarterly retirement ceremony held at Hamilton Field, here, June 27.
"To our retiring leaders, it is my distinct honor and privilege to stand before you today in what is your final ceremony in the United States Army. Thank you ... for you and your family's deep commitment and unfailing service to this great nation," said Col. Mark Jackson, commander, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th TSC, who hosted the ceremony along with Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Tobin, senior enlisted adviser, 8th TSC.
A formation of troops filled Hamilton Field, consisting entirely of noncommissioned officers assigned to the 8th TSC, with each subordinate command represented by their unit colors and a first sergeant or command sergeant major.
In his address to the retiring leaders and all in attendance Jackson spoke of the 205 years of combined service, a service that has encircled the globe to distant lands, foreign and domestic. Among the lands are Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The retirees' service answered the call in numerous conflicts, including Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Just Cause, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.
"You have done more than we had a right to ask; we put one too many rocks in your ruck. You bore it magnificently," said Jackson. "But when you are old and your grandchildren are sitting on your laps, they will invariably ask you 'grandfather/grandmother what did you do when the nation went to war?' You may respond, 'I shouldered my ruck and I went to war.'"
All retiring leaders were presented with the U.S. flag; a certificate of appreciation signed by the Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama; and a letter signed by the Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John McHugh; the Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Ray Odierno; and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III.
The retirees also received a certificate of retirement signed by the Chief of Staff of the Army and an Army retirement lapel pin.
Col. Jackson also spoke about the most influential force behind the success of the retiring leaders, their families - husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters.
"You have significantly advanced the status of your family, the Army and the United States' interest through your steadfast support and deep sacrifice. There is no doubt that you have played a significant, pivotal role through the decades," said Jackson. "You have been our conscience, counselor and consoler; you are the backbone that innervates our passion, toil and endurance, helping us through the dark days and brightening the rest."
Jackson continued, "You have packed our bags and kissed us goodbye, assumed the roles as head of the household and single parent. You have endured extended separations and numerous PCSs [permanent change of station moves]. Measured by stress alone, you have lived three lifetimes compared to your fellow citizens. Indeed, you have answered the call of duty to your country."
During the ceremony family members were presented with a certificate of appreciation signed by the Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Ray Odierno, for their unrelenting support and sacrifice to their loved ones, the Army and the nation.
Capt. Damon Adamson, HHC, 196th Infantry Brigade
Master Sgt. Timothy Bogan, HHC, 130th Engineer Brigade
Chief Warrant Officer 4 David Garcia Colon, HHC, 8th Special Troops Battalion
Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Holmes, HHC, 130th Engineer Brigade
Sgt. 1st Class Lachelle Johnson, HHC, 8th Special Troops Battalion
Master Sgt. Robert McEntire, HHC, 130th Engineer Brigade
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Susan Primm, HHC, 8th Special Troops Battalion
Sgt. 1st Class Calvin Roney III, 57th MP Company, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade
Master Sgt. Ty Shillito, HHC, 196th Infantry Brigade