By Mr Kelly C Luster (USACAPOC (A))April 4, 2012
Col. Roger Carey, division chief, Intensive Management Office, of CECOM's Logistics and Readiness Center, and his brother Col. Phillip, an Army Reserve Officer assigned to the 352nd Civil Affairs Command, Fort Meade, Md., retired from the Army in a ceremony hosted by Maj. Gen. Robert Ferrell, commanding general, U.S. Army Communication-Electronics Command (CECOM), at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Mar. 28, 2012.
Colonels Roger and Phillip Carey joined the military in 1982. Col. Roger Carey was commissioned through Rider University's ROTC Program in 1982 as a single-tracked Signal Corps officer and earned his Bachelor Degree in communications. He held numerous positions over the past 30 years including assignments at the White House Communications Agency where he provided support for President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, First Lady Hillary Clinton, the Secret Service, and the White House Staff. He achieved the designation of Presidential Communications Officer, something not easily accomplished. [Roger] Carey also served as the commander of the 504th Signal battalion, Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and was the Officer in Charge of the Army G6 Operations Cell at the Pentagon. In 2005, Roger was assigned to the U.S. European Command J6 in Stuttgart, Germany, as the Division Chief for C4I Interoperability/Operations. He was later assigned to Aberdeen Proving Ground with duty at the Logistics and Readiness Center and where he was responsible for Foreign Military Sales to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Col. Phillip Carey was commissioned in 1982 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Field Artillery branch from the Rider University's ROTC Program and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology the College of New Jersey. Col. [Phillip] Carey has held numerous positions including Pershing Missile Firing Platoon Leader with the 56th Field Artillery Brigade in Germany; 2nd Infantry Division, Division Artillery (DIVARTY), as a Fires Direction and Operations Officer in South Korea. He was also assigned to the 2nd Armor Division Aviation Brigade as a Fire Support Officer. During the Persian Gulf War he deployed with the 1st Tiger Brigade where his battery shot combat rounds in support of the 2nd Marine Division. Next, Phillip transitioned to the Army Reserve as a Psychological Operations officer where he commanded the 303rd Psychological Operation Company. There he led his command through rigorous training with the 10th Mountain Division and deployed to Bosnia. Phillip was one of the first Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Commanders leading both the Bamian and Tarin Kowt PRTs in Afghanistan.
Maj. Gen. Robert Ferrell distinguished the fact that military service is a monumental undertaking. "Serving in the military is not for everyone--or everyone would be in the military," said Ferrell. "The stress placed on those in uniform, as well as the families, is immeasurable. When they are asked, without hesitation, they travel to wherever help is needed for as long as they are needed. If you ask one of these Soldiers why they serve, you will hear numerous answers. More often than not, they will humbly say--'This is my job…This is what I do.'"
Ferrell went on to thank the Soldiers' families recognizing that while wearing the uniform is difficult, supporting Soldiers is also hard. "Just as Roger and Phillip have been world-class Soldiers, the Carey families have been a world-class support system," said Ferrell. "Through all of the missed birthdays, anniversaries, proms, little league games and any number of family events…you too, have sacrificed. Today, we also recognize and honor you for your strength, for your courage, for your fortitude throughout Roger's and Phillip's careers."
Col. Roger Carey began his remarks by thanking those with whom he had most recently worked at the Logistics and Readiness Center. He said, "I have had the honor of meeting and serving with some of the most remarkable people--civilian, military and contractors alike. Those who help make our nation so great today. To all those remarkable folks, I am grateful. I would like to thank Command Sgt. Maj. [Kennis] Dent for being a part of the official party. By doing so he represented the entire noncommissioned officer corps who help make the Army great."
Carey was visibly emotional as he stood at the position of attention rendering a salute to the commanding general. He said, "As a good signal officer does, Permission to break comms?" Responding to the request, Maj. Gen. Ferrell stood up, returned the salute and said, "Permission granted."
Col. Phillip Carey's remarks were slightly different in tone as he recounted his reasons for joining the Army. "It has been thirty years in the military…thirty long and wonderful years," said Carey. "It's a proud time to be in the military. All the United States is going through… all of our young men and women, no matter what service or what they are doing…we are all in this together and it's all for the USA."
Carey said he was proud to be in the Army and joked about how he came to join the military and chose the path he took."When I think back and wonder where did this begin and how did I get here? Maybe it began sometime when I was small child. I remember hearing my mother saying my uncles were in the service; or, later on hearing my brother, Frank Collins, was in the Marine Corps, in Vietnam; or maybe it began when my brother, Col. Roger Carey came from Rider College one day to pick me up and take me back to the school I attended. He later called me and said, 'Hey Phil, I know how we can make a hundred dollars.' I was all for it," said Col. Phillip Carey. The method for making one hundred dollars was Reserve Officer Training Corps or ROTC.
Carey said he did a lot of what his brother recommended. His brother Roger went to airborne school. So he went to airborne school. But where the colonels parted ways was their career branch. Col. Roger Carey was a signal officer while Phil chose Field Artillery. "He got commissioned in Signal," said [Phillip] Carey. "They asked me what branch I wanted, and said how about Field Artillery? I said what is that? They said, see that first word, 'Field?' They weren't kidding." Laughingly, Carey said, "Everything we did was in the field."
[Phillip] Carey said he was very proud of not only his service but that of everyone who served in the armed services. "Those were proud times. I am so happy to look around to see people smiling. You remember the proud times you had in the service. Thank you."
[Phillip] Carey transitioned from active duty to the Army Reserve and also from Field Artillery to Civil Affairs. "I switched in to Civil Affairs. First in, last out," said Carey. I've been to Afghanistan. I've been to Iraq. I've been to Africa. I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I see those children and elderly people who can't protect themselves. That's what we're here to take care of. Then we come back to our United States and see our children. The bottom line is for our smiling children--our happy children--I'd do it all again."
The brothers in arms as well as in blood, retired with a total of 61 years of service between them. Colonels Roger and Phillip Carey were both awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious service. Each of the brothers was also presented certificates of appreciation signed by President Barrack Obama, United States flags as a tribute to their years of service, and certificates of retirement.