ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Illinois -- (March 26, 2015) Brig. Gen. Kristin French, commanding general, Joint Munitions Command, thanked seven Soldiers and three Army civilians for their service to the nation during a retirement and retreat ceremony held March 26 on Rock Island Arsenal.

"Retirement and retreat ceremonies are a part of long-standing military tradition," said French. "They provide military units an opportunity to acknowledge the selfless service and sacrifices of our retirees as they leave long and honorable careers in service to the United States Army and our nation. Today's retirement ceremony is a testament to their abilities and faithful execution of their duties... to our Army... and our nation. Our 10 distinguished retirees have performed their duties for a combined total of 252 years!"

French elaborated and put that time into perspective which should hit home for any American.

"Think about that for a moment... 252 years of combined service to our nation... that's longer than the United States has existed, as a free, democratic nation... thanks in part to the noble service provided by these ten individuals we honor today," said French. "Two hundred and fifty two combined years is a truly amazing number and highlights the collective dedication and commitment these Department of Army civilians and Soldiers have provided to our Army. I want to personally applaud you for your outstanding efforts over the years."

The Soldiers and civilians honored included:

• Lt. Col. Michael Triplett, Iowa Army Ammunition Plant
• Maj. Tayonia Williams, First Army
• Chief Warrant Officer 5 Patrick Wyman, Army Sustainment Command
• Master Sgt. Gerardo Claudio-Santiago, Army Sustainment Command
• Master Sgt. Jack Harlan, Army Sustainment Command
• Master Sgt. Luther Kirby, Army Sustainment Command
• Sgt. First Class John McLaughlin, Army Sustainment Command
• Eddie Fowler, Rock Island Arsenal-Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center
• Gary Millsap, Joint Munitions Command
• Jimmy Uribe, Joint Munitions Command

Each retiree, Soldier and civilian, were personally introduced to ceremony attendees by French after she emphasized the role the 10 individuals have played through their service to their country.

"Their knowledge and leadership have made an enormous difference and impact to our Army," said French. "Not only to the accomplishment of the mission, but to the people they have mentored, coached, trained, led, and supported during their careers."

The quarterly retirement and retreat ceremony is a joint effort hosted by a major tenant organization on the Rock Island Arsenal. The U.S. Army Garrison-Rock Island Arsenal was the second-quarter host.

The Garrison's mission is to provide quality facilities and excellent base operations support and services to all installation tenants in the areas of law enforcement, crime prevention, security management, fire, safety, information management, facilities engineering, housing, maintenance of buildings and roads, and transportation. The Garrison maintains telecommunications facilities and common resources, as well as community amenities and necessary services for morale, welfare, and recreation. A high quality of living and working environment is maintained to ensure equal opportunity for all civilian employees, war fighters, and family members.