By Wallace McBride, Fort Jackson LeaderSeptember 20, 2012
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Building 9810 on Lee Road was formally christened Tuesday morning. The address of the Army Substance Abuse Program, the Soldier Family Assistance Center, American Red Cross and Warrior Transition Unit is now known as the MG John A. Renner Building, named for the 35th commanding general of Fort Jackson. Friends and family of Renner were in attendance Tuesday morning at the site as the new name was unveiled for the public.
"He held himself to the highest standards, both as an officer, and as a contributing citizen," said Brig. Gen. Bryan Roberts, Fort Jackson commanding general. "If you had asked a Hollywood casting agent to send you a general, it would have been John Renner. But he did not only look the part of a general, he lived it."
Renner passed away in early 2011. He began his Army career as a second lieutenant in 1962 after graduating from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. He later received a Master of Science in international relations from George Washington University, and received his Parachutist Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge and Ranger Tab at Fort Benning, Ga.
Renner served two tours in Vietnam, first as a company commander with the 25th Division in CuChi, and then as a district senior adviser in the Mekong Delta. His career included several notable assignments such as deputy commander of Allied Land Forces for Southeastern Europe in Izmir, Turkey; assistant commander of the 1st Infantry Division; commander of the 1st Infantry Division Forward in Germany; and commander of the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
"On behalf of my sister, Renner, and our entire family, thank you so much for this wonderful tribute to a great man, a great Soldier and a great dad," Renner's daughter Heather Ligon said during Tuesday's ceremony.
She said Renner's assignment as commanding general of Fort Jackson was "fitting."
"And how proud my mom was to be the first lady here at Fort Jackson," she said. "How important each graduation was to her. She was the quintessential Army wife ... this is an equal tribute to her, as well."
Renner's community service work included service on the Salvation Army Board of Directors; counseling and mentoring homeless men in the Salvation Army Uplifting Life Program; membership on the South Carolina State Museum Board, service on the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, and Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee; service on the Richland 2 Schools Budget Review Committee; service as chairman of the Fort Jackson Retiree Council; and membership in the Spring Valley Rotary Club.
"His life touched the lives of so many," Roberts said. "He constantly gave back -- counseling and mentoring homeless men, serving on the Chamber of Commerce, Richland 2 schools budget committee, and the Fort Jackson Retirement Council. He set the foundation for the relationships our community partners have with Fort Jackson today."
His many decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, two Silver Stars, the Bronze Star with a V device, two Purple Hearts, the Air Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
"Maj. Gen. Renner embodied the attributes of a successful Army officer," Roberts said. "That's what Maj. Gen. Renner stood for. That's why we're standing here today dedicating building formerly known as 9810 to this legendary hero who left in indelible mark on Fort Jackson and this community."