ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md.—The careers of three civilians and one Soldier were celebrated during the quarterly installation retirement ceremony at the post theater Oct. 26, 2023. The retirees positively contributed to the installation and Army with a combined service of 139 years.
The retirees were Deborah Bloom and Janice Halpern, both with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command C5ISR Center; Derrick Clemons, with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command Integrated Logistics Support Center; and Sgt. 1st Class Alejandro Ramirezmendoza, with the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Command.
The host of the program was APG Garrison Commander Col. Philip Mundweil. He was accompanied by Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Denson. Mundweil called the retirees an example of “tenacity and strength.”
“Our Army and our nation owe you all an incredible debt of gratitude for your service and your sacrifice,” he said.
Mundweil also thanked the families represented at the ceremony and those attending virtually.
“[Families] are part of your service through these past years,” he said. “Families sacrifice through deployments, temporary duty assignments, weekend events, [and] holiday disruptions.”
Mundweil told the retirees the U.S. military continues to be a shining example to the world “because of men and women like you.”
“I hope you’ll take heart in knowing that you leave behind an enduring legacy that will live on in countless Soldiers and civilian employees that you have trained, managed, and mentored,” he said. “The Army is much better for your service.”
Mundweil urged the retirees to share their stories with the next generation.
“Be that inspirational story to our workforce so that they too can see the benefits of a lifetime of service to our nation,” he said.
Bloom received the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the Department of the Army certificates of appreciation and retirement, and a retirement pin. Her husband, John Bloom, received the DA certificate of appreciation. She officially retired Nov. 3, 2023, with 42 years of government service.
Bloom is a lifelong resident of Maryland. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland College Park, a Master of Science from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Business Administration from Kaplan University.
Upon graduation in May 1982, she accepted a position at APG Garrison in cost accounting. In 1983, she transitioned to a position with Soldier Biological Chemical Command Headquarters as a program analyst. In 1988, Bloom transitioned to the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center under SBCCOM as a budget analyst to manage the financial aspects of programs, working directly with engineers and scientists. Some programs she supported included the M1 Abrams battle tank and emergency preparedness.
Bloom was promoted to supervisor during this time and managed a team of fifteen budget and program analysts. She spent more than half her civilian career supporting ECBC in the Engineering and Research Directorate.
In 2008, Base Realignment and Closure created a historic expansion as people and missions began relocating from Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, to APG. Bloom transitioned to Program Executive Office-Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, Project Manager-Global Positioning System, as a program analyst.
In 2011, she accepted a position in the CECOM Logistics Readiness Center as the chief financial officer. She led a team of forty analysts working with item managers on the sustainment of end items.
In 2014, a staff function realignment moved financial management to CECOM G-8. Bloom supervised a team responsible for Operations and Maintenance, Army mission funding and reporting to the U.S. Army Materiel Command.
In 2018, she was selected for another senior leadership position in the C5ISR Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate to lead the financial management team. After a C5ISR reorganization combined six directorates into two, she was selected as the resource manager to lead the Engineering and Systems Integration Directorate’s financial management team of more than 30 analysts.
She culminates her career as DEVCOM C5ISR Center’s chief of financial management.
Bloom said she feels “excited, nervous, and happy anticipation.” She plans to spend more time with her son, who lives in Kansas.
“I am looking forward to the next adventure that is going to come my way,” Bloom said.
Halpern received the Civilian Service Achievement Medal; the DA certificates of appreciation and retirement; a one-star note from Brig. Gen. John Cushing, commanding general of DEVCOM; a Senior Executive Service note from the C5ISR Center Director Joseph Welch; and retirement pin. She officially retired Oct. 28, 2023, with 32 years of government service.
Halpern was born in Willingboro, New Jersey. She attended the College of New Jersey and graduated in 1990, receiving a Bachelor of Science in business administration.
On May 13, 1991, she began her federal career at the Defense Personnel Support Center Philadelphia. Halpern worked at DPSC for nine years in different positions, including inventory management specialist, business specialist, and supply systems analyst.
In 2000, Halpern accepted a position with the Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate at Fort Monmouth. She served as a budget analyst and then acting chief of the Resource Management Branch. In 2011, the organization moved to APG as part of BRAC. At APG, she served as the chief of the Resource Management Branch at the I2WD until the DEVCOM C5ISR Center reorganization in 2021, where she moved to the Engineering and Systems Integration Directorate. In this organization, she was a team lead in the Financial Management and Accounting Branch supporting the Readiness Engineering Portfolio.
During her 10 years as resource manager at I2WD, Halpern oversaw a $520 million budget comprised of multiple types of funding over four different accounting systems and managed and mentored a team of budget analysts.
Halpern culminates her civilian career as a team lead with the Financial Management and Accounting Branch, DEVCOM C5ISR Center.
During her retirement, Halpern plans to split her time in Florida, Maryland, and New Jersey. She also plans to visit Japan soon.
“I am nervous but excited,” she said about retiring. “[Retirement] will be strange, but in a good way.”
Clemons received the DA certificates of appreciation and retirement, and a retirement pin. He officially retired on Aug. 31, 2023, with 45 years of combined military and civilian service.
Clemons, a native of Lawndale, North Carolina, became a tentative member of the Armed Forces on Oct. 16, 1976, through the Army’s delayed entrance program. Clemons entered the active force on June 10, 1977, and retired Aug. 31, 1997, after serving his country for more than 20 years.
After his military service, Clemons served as a mail handler for the Washington D.C. Postal Distribution Center. He furthered his career as a supply system analyst who played a major role in assisting the U.S. Army Reserve Command, 55th Materiel Management Center in transitioning the Single Army Integrated Logistics System to the Single Army Retail Supply System at the 55th Materiel Management Center, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
In 2003, he was selected by the Headquarters AMC G-4 as a federal logistician to manage programs, including depot reduction, theater retrograde, and the Army Donations Program. In 2006, he received a Master of Business Administration from Touro University.
Clemons culminates his career as a logistics management specialist for CECOM ILSC.
“Throughout my career, I’m a strict believer that accountability, personal responsibility, and training is the key to success,” Clemons said. “I will miss working with each and every one of you, especially the [Logistics and Technical Support Directorate] teams.”
During his retirement, Clemons plans to complete his “bucket list” and devote more time to hobbies, volunteering, and spending time with family.
Sgt. 1st Class Alejandro Ramirezmendoza
Ramirezmendoza received the Meritorious Service Medal, the DA certificates of appreciation and retirement, the U.S. flag, and retiree pin. His wife, Andrea Vargas, received the DA certificate of appreciation. He will officially retire on Feb. 29, 2024, with 20 years of service.
Ramirezmendoza hails from San Antonio, Texas, and holds a Bachelor of Science from Trident International University in business administration logistics. He enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corps in 1997 and completed boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Upon completion, he served with Company C, 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, as an infantryman with the Marine Corps Reserve until 2003.
Ramirezmendoza enlisted into the U.S. Army Reserve in February 2004 and attended Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. While in the Reserves, he served one deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III from 2004-2005. During his deployment, Ramirezmendoza made the decided to re-enlist into active duty.
His military assignments include Baumholder, Germany; Fort Bliss, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and Houston, Texas. He culminates his career as a medical logistics specialist, 20th CBRNE Command.
Ramirezmendoza plans to move back to San Antonio, Texas. He plans to pursue a career in medical logistics as a federal civilian.
“This is one of those moments where it is time to move to the next chapter, it feels amazing,” he said.