ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Col. Paul M. Walenesky and Col. Eric S. Holliday retired from the U.S. Army Reserve, during an official ceremony hosted by the Joint Munitions Command, here, June 2.

Brig. Gen. Richard B. Dix, commander, Joint Munitions & Lethality Life Cycle Management Command and Joint Munitions Command, served as the officiating officer. He was assisted by Command Sgt. Maj. Tomeka N. O'Neal, JMC Command Sergeant Major.

Brig. Gen. Dix noted the more than thirty-six combined years of military service by Walenesky and more than thirty-one combined years of military service by Holliday. He especially wanted to thank their spouses, Betty Walenesky and Teresa Holliday, and their families for their support and sacrifices during the two Soldier's multiple assignments and deployments. He noted both Soldiers were "twice the citizens" serving concurrently in the military, as well as Department of the Army Civilians.

"Thanks for taking the time to honor two great Americans," said Dix. "Thank you for coming out to celebrate two Soldiers who have served JMC for more than twelve years and whenever the Nation called. Every time they've called, they've answered that call, whether it was Kosovo, Iraq, Kuwait or all points in between."

Col. Walenesky started his military career when he enlisted in the Army at the age of eighteen. He believes the Army life is about challenges and what you do with those opportunities.

"As I reflect on my career, I realize that, sometimes, your best friend isn't always a person," said Walenesky. "It might just be an organization. The Army 'always' had my back. The Army always gave me a purpose in life and taught me to be resilient and persevere. It made me a better person, and a better Family man."

Walenesky served in many leadership positions in multiple Army organizations, Active-Duty Army; the Army National Guard; the U.S. Army Reserves, and since 2010, as a Department of the Army Civilian. He especially wanted to thank the mentors and leaders, officers, non-commissioned officers, warrant officers and civilians he served with during his career.

As he concluded his remarks, he had one last request for Brig. Gen. Dix. "Sir, I still remember one of the three general orders I learned in basic training in 1982. 'I will guard my post and not leave my post until ordered to do so.' I request permission to leave my post and return to my Family and pay forward what the Army has given me for thirty-six years."

Col. Walenesky was assigned as the JMC Reserve Detachment's third commander, which was established in September of 2009. The detachment has provided an available, trained and deployable force, which offers a proven capability of logistics, operations, planning, joint exercise support and ammunition mission support. The detachment provides the leadership for various ammo missions both stateside and overseas. The unit currently has a staff of twenty logistics Soldiers, who provide part-time support to JMC and its higher headquarters, the Army Materiel Command, during weekend battle assemblies and two-week annual training sessions.

Col. Holliday reflected on the many deployments and opportunities to serve both stateside and overseas as a Soldier and civilian. He also thanked the many Soldiers, non-commissioned officers, officers and leaders he had worked with during his career. He started his military career when he enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard in 1986. His desire to serve his country was instilled in him by his grandfather and his brothers' service during World War II.

"It's all about the people you serve and work alongside that make you a better person and a better Soldier and leader," said Holliday. "First and foremost, you must take care of your Soldiers and the people that support your mission. If there is one thing that I am most proud of in my career, I always worked hard to take care of my Soldiers and civilians under my charge. Mission accomplishment was always paramount, but if you don't have highly trained, confident and capable Soldiers with high morale, it just won't happen."

He noted he was proud of the work the reserve detachment had provided JMC and its installations "to ensure that we are able to provide Ready, Reliable and Lethal munitions to our Nation's Warfighters."

The Joint Munitions Command manages a nationwide network of 16 industrial base installations across the United States. Its four core competencies are to produce, distribute, store and demilitarize Class V ammunition.

The Joint Munitions Command has a mission to produce small-, medium- and large-caliber ammunition items for the Department of Defense. JMC is the logistics integrator for life-cycle management of ammunition and provides a global presence of technical support to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed.