By Spc. Jason KempMay 26, 2009
Maj. Steven "Boss" Hutchison, team leader for a military transition team trained on Fort Riley and the oldest Soldier to be killed supporting the Global War on Terrorism, is remembered for being an inspiration to his team, his unit, and all those who encountered him. Hutchison, an Ohio native, enlisted in the Army in 1966 as an infantryman. "Maj. Hutchison's sense of duty is evident in the four combat tours in three conflicts that spanned over 40 years. He did not take shortcuts or the easy way out, but fulfilled his obligation to his unit, to the Army, and to his country again, and again, and again," said Lt. Col. Christopher Wilbeck, commander of 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment. In 1975, Hutchison attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga. and commissioned a second lieutenant. In 1986, Hutchison entered the Army Reserve and was promoted to the rank of major. "Hutchison was not only a great Soldier and patriot, but was also a model citizen... earning a doctorate in psychology and then teaching at several colleges and universities," said Wilbeck. "He did not rest or take the easy path, but continued to serve the nation as a civilian who strengthened the fabric of our society by productively contributing to the education of others." Returning to the Active Duty Army in 2007, Hutchison deployed to Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2008, Hutchison was assigned to Military Transition Team Class 54 with 2-34 Armor for training before deploying with a MITT team to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. "The 'Boss' brought a pressure to the team, not intentionally but with his work habits at his age which forced you to do a self-assessment whether you wanted to or not," said, Chief Warrant Officer Elext Holmes, a member of Hutchison's MIT team. Hutchison, being 30 years older than anyone else on the team would volunteer for every detail possible and push himself during physical training hard enough to pressure his younger Soldiers to want to strive for excellence. "The "Boss" brought a pressure to the team, not intentionally, but with his work habits at his age that forced you to do a self-reassessment whether you wanted to or not," said Holmes. As the last roll call was taken, tears flowed down the faces in the audience. The 21-gun salute, Taps, and then his family, Soldiers and peers rendered their final salutes and said their last goodbyes. Hutchison will be remembered as a great Soldier, father, husband and friend. "Maj. Hutchison was a great American and my role model," said Holmes. "He taught me a lot in a short time and will never be forgotten."