The retirement of a major general from the Air Force is a tremendous occasion; however, having an Army 2-Star brother that can participate in the event also makes it a rarer occasion.

Rising to the rank of general officer is achieved by less than one percent of career military officers, having two brothers each make the rank of a 2-star makes those odds almost unfathomable.

As Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric Vollmecke retired on Sep. 7, it marked the end of a remarkable career that spanned nearly 36 years, including influencing and mentoring countless service members with his younger brother Army Maj. Gen. Kirk Vollmecke amongst them.

"I am incredibly proud of my older brother and honored to have served our nation together," said the younger Vollmecke, Program Executive Officer, for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensors. "Eric is the steadfast example and pillar of selfless service for generations to appreciate, he is also an incredible father, role model, and Airman to look upon. I am humbled, proud, and duty committed to recognize him for his selfless service to our Nation and Air Force."

The elder Vollmecke started his military career in 1982, when he was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corp program at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina as a communications officer. In 1987 he transitioned to the West Virginia Air National Guard as a C-130 pilot at the 167th. While in the WVANG, he served in several command positions at the squadron, wing, state, and major staff levels including Chief of Staff of the WVANG and Assistant Adjutant General and Assistant to the Director, Air National Guard.

He served in various tactical and operational roles in Panama, Desert Shield/Storm, Bosnia, Kosovo, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, including commanding the 451st AEG, Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2005.

In his comments during the ceremony the younger Vollmecke thanked his brother for the more than three decades of service. "As a nation, we are eternally grateful to you. You are an example for future generations to come."

As he left the service the retiring Vollmecke departed with a few pieces of advice "people will give you the most valuable thing they have to offer and that's the benefit of their experience. And opportunity doesn't knock on your timeline."