FORT CARSON, Colorado (Nov. 3, 2014) -- Members of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command and 918th Contingency Contracting Battalion said farewell to their deputy director Oct. 31 during a retirement ceremony recognizing his more than 36 years of federal service.Frank Petty served as the MICC-Fort Carson director from January 2011 until July 2013. With the assumption of command by Lt. Col. Christopher Ostby in August 2013, Petty stayed on to serve as the deputy director through Oct. 31.He began his federal career as an Army officer in 1978, serving as a test pilot in the transportation corps where he flew various platforms of rotary aircraft. Petty ultimately transitioned in to the Army Acquisition Corps where he broadened his acquisition experience working for many organizations throughout the United States and overseas. Over the course of his career, he's held leadership positions at every level of command from senior aviator, chief of contracting, commander, and director of various Defense Contract Management Agency organizations. Upon retiring as a colonel, he took an assignment as the chief of contracting for the regional contracting office in Vicenza, Italy, which ultimately led him to Fort Carson's contracting office."I have lived the dream. From a very young age, serving the nation as a military officer remained my constant desire. I lived that dream, but after 27 years of active duty the desire to stay in Europe surpassed my anticipated 30-year career," Petty said. "Civil service was the right bridge for me to continue serving. I'm often embarrassed by the comment, 'thank you for your service.' I have had a great ride and thank the nation and the taxpayer for the wonderful opportunity."The Cedar City, Utah, native who considers Wyoming home reflected fondly on a two-year mission to France he served for his church at 19. He used that French language background years later during an opportunity to fly helicopters with the French army and as an exchange student briefly attending the French Ecole Superieure de Guerre, or French war college.Petty is a graduate of Brigham Young University, University of Puget Sound, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College.During the farewell, Petty was recognized by Ostby, the Fort Carson garrison commander and command sergeant major, several directors from Fort Carson, fellow organizational members, and friends."We are extremely grateful for all that Frank has accomplished as the director and deputy director. I am extremely thankful for him helping me come on board as the director and battalion commander," Ostby said. "I am deeply saddened to see him go, but I wish him well with his next chapter in life … retirement. I know that Beth and your family are ecstatic to have you come back home."Petty's family members who are spread across three continents were unable to attend the ceremony; however, Ostby did share with the audience some thoughtful words from the deputy director's wife and son, Anthon Petty."Dad, thank you for your example of commitment to national service and a deep appreciation for the value of honest work," Anthon wrote."Can't wait to hold you in my arms; I'm counting down the minutes," added Petty's wife of 38 years, Beth, who resides in Italy.His plans for retirement include traveling Europe, spending time with his grandchildren, and possibly substitute teaching with the Department of Defense Schools in Europe.