By Kenneth Blair Hogue, Borden InstituteJune 5, 2017
Army Col. John H. Garr, executive director of the Borden Institute, retired after 40 years of Military service in a ceremony held at the Army Medical Department Museum (AMEDD) on Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston, on June 2.
Navy Capt. Erin Robertson, of Navy Medicine Training Support Command, served as the master of ceremonies and narrated the Tri-Service (Army, Navy, and Air Force) event, which hosted many dignitaries and VIPs.
Retired Army Maj. Gen. David A. Rubenstein, a former Army Medical Department Center and School commander, served as the presiding officer.
The ceremony started with the Tri-Service DMRTI (Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute) presentation of the Colors. Retired Army Col. (Chaplain) Gil Richardson gave the invocation next, followed by Rubenstein's welcome and remarks.
The retirement ceremony itself followed: many awards presented to Garr, and many certificates presented to him, his wife, and his Family--ending in the Flag presentation.
Garr made his remarks next, where he reflected on his career, his challenges, and the support of his wife and Family. "To those who served before me and with me, I thank you for the privilege," he said. "To those who will serve after me, I leave you with the same charge I gave my son: 'Charlie Mike -- continue mission.'"
Chaplain Richardson gave the final benediction, and a reception took place at the AMEDD Museum afterwards.
Garr entered the Medical Service Corps in 1977. He served multiple tours in Germany at Hanau and Augsburg, and in the U.S. at Fort Stewart, GA; Detroit, at the Military Entrance Processing Station; and Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis in San Antonio. He left Active Duty in 1988, but stayed in the Reserves.
He earned a master's degree and his medical degree during his Reserve time, then he re-entered Active Duty in 1988. He completed his Emergency Room residency at Fort Hood, Texas.
Afterwards, his many tours took him to Korea, back stateside to Fort Bliss, Texas; to the Middle East; back to Germany at Heidelberg; and then finally back to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. In what he called his "penultimate assignment," he served as commander of the Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute--a Tri-Service organization that performs many operational training programs.
Before his retirement, he served in his last assignment as the executive director of the Borden Institute.