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ASCII (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – After more than 31 years of service to the Army, Command Sgt. Maj. Jon E. Helring, former U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) command sergeant major, retired during his retirement ceremony July 15 at ATEC Headquarters.

Helring enlisted in the Army in February 1989 and was commissioned March 1989 in Fort Knox, Kentucky. He said he joined the military to continue the family business.

“My father and grandfather were Soldiers! I didn’t choose to serve, I was born to serve,” said Helring.

Helring held numerous leadership positions to include squad leader, platoon sergeant, first sergeant, 3ID G2 sergeant major, battalion command sergeant major, and commandant of an NCOA. Helring’s milestones in his career include: first deployment with 3ID to Iraq (Surge); second deployment with 3ID to Iraq; and promotion to sergeant major.

As the ATEC command sergeant major, Helring directed and led the operations of more than 450 enlisted personnel during his three-year tenure from 2017 to 2020. He was responsible for the Soldier support for testing and evaluating Army and Joint systems integral to the national defense in 21 locations across 16 states.

Helring frequently visited ATEC’s subordinate organizations to understand their challenges and to convey to them their importance in providing Soldiers with equipment to protect them and to ensure the safety of the workforce.

Maj. Gen. Joel K. Tyler, former commanding general of ATEC, presided over the ceremony and reflected on his time working alongside Helring.

“I’ve never met a Soldier who served so selflessly,” said Tyler. “When you develop a bond of trust with a leader who works with you so well, you don’t have to ask how a situation got solved.”

Tyler said Helring worked tirelessly on behalf of ATEC’s Soldiers in many arenas, and served the civilians by being a resource of a leader to provide wise counsel and perspective.

“He’s [Helring] just one of those guys to whom humility and empathy are second nature. They’re part of his character. As a leader, I don’t think you can ask for more important traits.”

Tyler concluded his remarks thanking Helring for his lifetime of service.

Tyler presented Helring with the Certificate of Retirement and the Certificate of Appreciation from the President of the United States. In addition, Tyler collectively presented awards and medals of recognition to Helring’s wife, Sonya, and two children, to include the Military Child Medal, Spouse Medal, and the Spouse Army Certificate of Appreciation from the Army Chief of Staff.

Helring delivered his remarks after the awards presentation. Throughout his remarks, he thanked his family, Tyler, and the staff for supporting him throughout his time serving as the ATEC command sergeant major.

“I feel my job was to look out for the safety of the individuals; no matter who you are,” said Helring. “If you were an ATEC employee or worked for ATEC, it was our job to protect you, and I think we did a great job especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Helring concluded his remarks saying that he could go into retirement knowing that he ended his career doing what he enjoyed the most.

“I never wanted an award. I never wanted anything. I just wanted to do my job and take care of Soldiers.”