Col. Chandler "Skip" Sherrell has officially retired from the "family business."\
With a combined 110 years of service among their family, Sherrell and his wife -- who were both military kids growing up and then who raised their three daughters in a military family -- are leaving behind a long legacy of service to the Army for a civilian lifestyle. They will continue to live in Madison.
During his Thursday retirement ceremony Sherrell, whose last assignment was as chief of staff of the Aviation and Missile Command, said he is proud to bring his wife, Lauri, "home" to North Alabama, where her parents and other family members live, after 15 family moves with the Army. Their oldest daughter, Ashley, works on Redstone Arsenal, and their two younger daughters, Heather and Christina, are students at Auburn University.
"We're here really to recognize a family. … This is really about all the unbelievable accomplishments of an individual in our Army who had the wonderful support of his entire family," said retired Maj. Gen. Jim Rogers, who officiated at the ceremony. Rogers, who served as AMCOM's commander during Sherrell's chief of staff assignment, described Sherrell's wife Lauri as the chief of staff's "true battle buddy."
Sherrell's 26-year career as an Army aviator included commanding aviation troops in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Bosnia, Korea and Iraq, among several other leadership assignments. He was serving on the Army staff in the Pentagon on 9/11, and assisted with the evacuation and recovery efforts following the 9/11 terrorist attack.
"When you look at how his career is molded, it's exactly what you'd expect him to do," Rogers said.
Sherrell, who has a Legion of Merit and a Bronze Star, received the Distinguished Service Medal, certificate of appreciation from President Barack Obama, letters of appreciation from the U.S. congressional delegation, a certificate of retirement and a U.S. flag flown over the Capitol on June 6 in his honor. Lauri Sherrell received a civilian service medal, military spouse medal and certificates of appreciation. She received the Honorable Order of our Lady Loreto Award from the Army Aviation Association of America.
In his comments, Sherrell thanked several people who have influenced his life, including his own parents and Lauri's parents, his ROTC instructor at Auburn University, several Army leaders who mentored him and the Soldiers he worked with during his career, and the Aviation and Missile Command's command staff and employees.
Referring to AMCOM, Sherrell said he is proud to have been "part of the sustainment and service you all provide Soldiers in the field. … This is the greatest staff I've ever seen who do wonderful work each and every day. They are smart and talented, and they are doing the right thing for the Soldier each and every day.
"At AMCOM, I've seen the power of industry and the Army coming together to provide Soldiers with what they need down the line."
Sherrell joked that he "failed miserably" as coach of the Team Redstone exhibition softball team that lost to the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team during the recent Armed Forces Celebration Week.
"I was amazed by those young wounded warriors and the resiliency they showed and the dedication and commitment they showed, and by what they do day in and day out. I think we have another even better generation out there," he said.