After receiving the American flag that was flown in his honor, Fort Irwin/National Training Center Post Command Sgt. Maj. Robert A. Moore stood in quiet repose as he reflected on his 30 years of service to the flag and the nation it represents.
Command Sgt. Maj. Moore, a Springdale, Ark. Native, enlisted in the Army on Aug. 14, 1979 at Fort Knox, Ky. as an armored cavalry scout, and marked the end of his 30-year career during a retirement ceremony on June 8 at Fort Irwin, Calif.
"He is the embodiment of our NCO Creed and he has probably been for his entire career," Fort Irwin/NTC Commander Brig. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams said. "That's about as muddy boots NCO as you're going to find."
Command Sgt. Maj. Moore has been a Non-Commissioned Officer for 28 years of his 30-year career as he was appointed a corporal in 1981, Brig. Gen. Abrams told the close to 100 Soldiers, civilians and Family members gathered on the Fort Irwin/NTC garrison lawn for the ceremony.
"One of the first things that jumped out at me about Sgt. Maj. Moore was his professionalism," Brig. Gen. Abrams said.
In everything Command Sgt. Moore does and has done throughout his career, he has been the epitome of professionalism, he said.
"If you go where the action is, that's where you'll find Bobby Moore," Brig. Gen. Abrams said, noting that Command Sgt. Moore is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and went back to Iraq for a second tour to help the Iraqis, not because had to, but because he wanted to.
In the three months that Brig. Gen. Abrams has known Command Sgt. Maj. Moore, Brig. Gen. Abrams said he has gained his confidence and respect.
"I just want to say that you've left an indelible mark on our National Training Center," Brig. Gen. Abrams said. "You've got big boots to fill, which is why we haven't found your replacement yet."
In closing, Brig. Gen. Abrams said it's only fitting that Command Sgt. Maj. Moore retire during 2009, which is the Army's Year of the NCO.
"Command Sgt. Maj. you represent all that is good in our professional NCO Corps," Brig. Gen. Abrams said.
As he reflected on his 30-year career, Command Sgt. Maj. Moore asked, "How do you culminate 30 years'"
"I've had a couple of wingmen who have been with me for several years," he said.
Among those are his parents, his wife and a few other Soldiers, he said.
"Bob and Susan Moore, you're me," Command Sgt. Maj. Moore said to his parents. "They created me. They've guided me."
When he enlisted in 1979 and told his mother what he had done, her first words were, "What'" Command Sgt. Moore recalled, noting that every week his mother called to ask how he was doing before asking another question when he reached his 20-year mark.
"She kept asking me if I was done yet," he said. "Now I'm done."
Command Sgt. Moore thanked his wife, Patricia, for being with him during the past 26 years of his career and for at times being both the mother and the father to their children.
"I had someone there. My wife has been there," he said as he struggled to hold back his emotions.
As the post Sergeant Major for the National Training Center, Command Sgt. Moore said he knows that there are thousands and thousands of Soldiers who are alive today because of the training they received at the NTC.
"I think I could not find a better place to culminate my career than at the NTC," Command Sgt. Maj. Moore said.
Then with his farewell speech concluded, Command Sgt. Maj. Moore watched as the post flag, which had flown for the last 30 days, honoring his 30 years of service, was lowered with the playing of "Taps" and finally placed his arms, marking the end of an exemplary career.