After 36 years of dedicated service to our country, the career of Freddy Osorio, Director of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC), came to a close in the Seay auditorium, October 26.

Known to all as "Freddy O," he enlisted as an Equal Opportunity advisor (EO) in the U.S. Navy in August 1977, at Ft. Hamilton in Brooklyn, New York. The Navy led Osorio to duty stations such as U.S. Army Garrison Garmisch, Installation Management Command, Europe; Tank-automotive and Armaments Command/Headquarters U.S. Army Materiel Command; and Moody Air Force Base,
before he retired in March of 2000.

SDDC's Deputy to the Commander, Bryan Samson, officiated the ceremony. "Everybody likes Freddy. But I can also tell you Freddy is really good at what he does," he said.

Recognizing the likeability and talents of Osorio, Samson presented him with a personal gift. It was a working compass; replicated after the one famously used by Lewis and Clark on their journey across the uncharted territories of North-Western America--one that would eventually help them find their way back home.

"The good thing about a compass is that you can set them to help send you back home again. So I hope you can come home again and come see us, Freddy," Samson explained.

During the ceremony, Osorio recounted the many memories he had growing up in Brooklyn and while serving for the government, but one in particular seemed to stand out.

In 1967, St. Louis Cardinal Orlando Cepeda taught him how to bunt a baseball. In that very same year, the Cardinals won the World Series. Osorio didn't know what fate had in store for him until 51 years later he would end his career in the exact same area.

Among those present for the ceremony was his fiancé Joan, who he met in 2007. She traveled from New Jersey to show her support.

After being presented with the American Flag, Osorio called Joan to the stage. Her father was a World War II and Korean War Veteran. Osorio then gave the flag to her as a keepsake for her father's honorable and faithful service.

It is no secret that Osorio's leadership made a lasting impression on those he worked with, including the commander of Army Materiel Command (AMC), Gen. Gustave Perna.

Paula Taylor, AMC EEO Director, presented Osorio with a personal letter from Perna congratulating him for all that he has achieved, as well as his professional and caring leadership.

Osorio is no stranger to success. Some of his accolades include: being hand-picked by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen to train Flag officers and Senior Executive Personnel on EO issues, being the first Navy Chief to teach at all of the Service Academies, and serving as a facilitator for President Bill Clinton's Town Hall discussion on Race Relations in America.

Although Osorio says he has no grand trips or vacations planned after retirement, he admits he will continue to add to his pristine collection of over 10,000 comic books. He also inherited a green thumb from his mother for creating terrariums and plans to continue that hobby when he moves back to the New Jersey, New York area.

The Surface Warriors of SDDC wish Osorio the best on his new journey and hope that someday he will set his compass to return home to SDDC.