CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea -- With honor, he raised his right hand, reciting the same promise he watched his father make with his mentor more than two decades ago.
Staff Sgt. Eric A. Felli, Radcliff, Kentucky native, human intelligence collector, 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division, extended his service by six years during a reenlistment ceremony inspired by his father, Joseph Felli, Feb. 6 at Freeman Hall.
"My father played a huge role in me wanting to join the Army from childhood through college," said Eric Felli. "As a kid, I remember the pride I felt during unit functions and my father's reenlistment ceremony with then, 2nd Lt. Mueller."
Col. Scott W. Mueller, Glenview, Illinois native, U.S. Army Garrison Camp Humphreys commander, administered the oath of enlistment to Eric Felli, as he did for Joseph Felli, Long Island, New York native, former armor crewman, February 1996, while serving as platoon leader, Company D, 1st Battalion, 43rd Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, Fort Riley, Kansas.
"We are here to reenlist a great Soldier," said Mueller. "I can tell you, from knowing his family for so many years, that Joseph and Bernice Felli are amazing people. They are service-oriented folks, and you can see it in their kids."
Felli has completed 11 years of Active Duty service thus far, periodically seeking his father's wisdom.
"I can't count the number of times I have called him from whatever country, at whatever time of night to ask for guidance and direction, both with my career and personal life goals," said Eric Felli. "I find his experience to be irreplaceable, as he often adds a hard truth or old-school mentality to something I am not looking at with the right perspective."
Mueller and Joseph Felli served two years on the same tank crew.
"Col. Mueller and I were both fresh off the block when we first met at Fort Riley, Kansas," said Joseph Felli through email. "I was honored to have him administer my oath of reenlistment, before shipping off to Camp Casey, Korea."
A proud Joseph Felli watched his son's reenlistment ceremony via live stream from the states.
"I wish I could be present for such a special occasion," said Joseph Felli. "I couldn't be prouder of my son, not only serving his country but to have Col. Mueller be the person to administer the oath of reenlistment! Thank you, sir, for being a part of this moment in passing the baton."
After completing his year-long tour in Korea, Eric Felli will reunite with his wife of two years, Shannon Felli, and two daughters, Lilliana and Carmella. He will proceed to U.S. Army Recruiter School at Fort Knox, Kentucky to become a career counselor.
"I want to thank Col. Mueller for providing me the honor of reenlisting me, as he did for my father. I want to thank you, my father, for setting the standard and being available for counsel, both as an NCO and father," said Eric Felli. "Most importantly, I want to thank my wife and two daughters, who aren't here right now but have been a tremendous support system even from afar. Shannon jumped into this year with both feet and I couldn't ask for a stronger woman to do this with."