ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - Marking 34 years of military service, the U.S. Army Sustainment Command held a retirement ceremony in honor of Sgt. Maj. Jurgen Williams, Field Support Operations, ASC, at the Rock Island Arsenal Golf Clubhouse, here, Jan. 19.

Following in the footsteps of his father, an infantry noncommissioned officer of 26 years, Williams joined the Army in 1983. Since then, he has toured various countries throughout his career.

Brig. Gen. Richard Dix, commanding general, Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command, presided over the ceremony with more than 100 attendees. Dix praised Williams for his dedication to supporting Soldiers.

"For 34 years of faithful and humble service in some of the toughest and most unimaginable places, not once did you hesitate," Dix said.

During the ceremony, Dix presented the Legion of Merit to Williams for his exceptional service in the Army. The Legion of Merit is awarded for meritorious service and achievement. It is the sixth highest U.S. military award a Solider typically can receive.

"I don't really want to retire, but it has to end sometime," Williams said. "This makes room for the younger generation to pick up the torch."

Williams recognized his passion for leading troops as a significant reason for his dedication in the military. He said that mentoring and teaching Soldier gives him a sense of belonging in the knowledge that they entrusted him for guidance.

"It was never about me," Williams said. "It has always been about the Soldier to ensure they had what was needed to continue on [and] take the leadership role."

In addition, Williams said the most important part of his military career was the support of his wife, Diana, who also served in the Army, and daughter, Stephanie.

"Thank you for keeping the home front strong and having faith in me and letting me go out and lead troops -- you knew that was the one thing that I wanted to do," Williams said to his wife.

The couple has been married for 29 years -- 20 of those years spent apart from one another while he was deployed, and she cared for their daughter.

Ms. Williams said that if you really love the person you are married to, then you also love what he loves and give them unconditional support.

During his time in service, Williams adopted long-distance running as a hobby. He has more than 30,000 miles recorded since 1995 and participated in 17 marathons and 35 half-marathons across the globe.

In 2015, Williams and his First U.S. Army/RIA team placed first out of 15 sergeants major teams in the Army Ten-Miler held at Washington D.C., an annual event to support Army fitness and build community relations.

William's first tour of duty was with the 3rd Armor Division in Kirchgeon, Germany, protecting the Fulda Gap. He was then assigned to the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, and subsequently deployed to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War in support of operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield, and Restore Hope.

Following his deployment to Saudi Arabia, Williams was deployed twice more. He served in Bosnia and later Iraq. He also served with the 7th Sustainment Command, Communications-Electronics Command, and 4th Infantry Division.

After retiring, William plans to spend time with his family while looking for a civilian job in the logistics field.

"I want to stay with ASC and AMC (Army Materiel Command) and support Soldiers," Williams said. "It's not going to get out of my blood."