ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Rock Island Arsenal bid farewell to 10 Army members during an afternoon award, retirement and retreat ceremony, Dec. 11 in Heritage Hall. The members -- four Soldiers and six civilians -- were honored for their service to the command, the Army, and the nation.

Retirees honored at the ceremony combine to represent more than 250 years of service, which is longer than the United States has even been a country. The longest working retiree was Jody Hesse, command security officer within the deputy chief of staff for Intelligence and Security, who began her federal career in 1978 as a clerk-typist with the U.S. Army Armament Material Readiness Command.

Remarks were given by Maj. Gen. Kevin O'Connell, commanding general, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, who hosted the ceremony.

"You haven't been on the bench by any means," said O'Connell. "You've been franchise players, the captain of the team. And now you're getting ready to go into the hall of fame as alumni of the Army."

O'Connell also thanked the families of the honored retirees.

"I want to thank the families as well that are really the unsung heroes," he said. "You've done so much to give us your spouse or your dad or mom or uncle or whatever the case may be. You've given and shared your spouse with us so that he or she can serve in the Army or serve as a DA civilian."

Those who retired include: Department of the Army civilians Jody Hesse, ASC; Catherine Kerch, Joint Munitions Command; James Cox, JMC; Bonnie Ballard, ASC; David Tipp Sr., JMC; and Constance Moreno, ASC; Soldiers were Master Sgt. Duane Knutson, First U.S. Army; Master Sgt. Theodore Scully II, First U.S. Army; Master Sgt. Robert Lieske III, U.S. Army Joint Readiness Training Center; and Staff Sgt. Glenda Callum, ASC.