FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Nov. 30, 2021) – Sixteen Army Department soldiers and civilian employees and their families retired from the military in a ceremony Nov. 19, at Cache Creek Chapel.
A healthy assembly of masked family members, friends, fellow soldiers, colleagues and post chiefs attended the ceremony.
Among those who retired was Major Courtney Paterson, 2nd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery. For the first time in 23 years, she will live the life of a civilian. Paterson entered the military just five days after graduating from high school.
“My biggest achievement has been to start at the bottom of the ladder as a soldier and become an officer, which is not normally what most people do,” she said.
Paterson said the hardest part of leaving the military is meeting new people. But she will rise to that challenge as she plans to move out of southwestern Oklahoma and open a business in northern Georgia.
“I want to thank all the soldiers I served with,” she said. “I had a lot of good teams.
Col. James Dunwoody, Head of the Concept Development Division and guest speaker at the ceremony, addressed the audience on the importance of the occasion.
“Today we officially bid farewell to 16 great Americans, all outstanding members of the Army team,” he said.
The colonel said that each of these soldiers has demonstrated his willingness to endure hardships and, if called upon to risk his life for the good of the nation.
Dunwoody said several of them may have answered the call to serve the country in the wake of the terrorist attacks 20 years ago. Some may not have joined with the intention of making the military their career, “but those who met today, at one point, made a conscious decision to fully embark on a career. of military service “.
Dunwoody pointed to austere countries, such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, where these soldiers may have been deployed. He was also laughed at when he said that they had also carried out missions in Germany, Hawaii and on Johnson Atoll.
“Their selfless service was a testament to their strength of character, and we are all better at their service,” he said.
During the ceremony, all retirees received Army end-of-service awards, Commanding General’s Coins, Retirement Certificates signed by the Army Chief of Staff and American flags, courtesy of the Fort Sill Retirees Council.
Each spouse received a small token of gratitude and a certificate of appreciation “in honor of their faithful, selfless and dedicated service,” said Kenneth Emerson, the program’s narrator.
All retiree children received Army BRAT (Bravery, Resilience, Adaptability, and Team Work) certificates.
Lieutenant-Colonel John Ratliff, Defense Intelligence Agency
Activity of Lt. Col. Don Yamashita, Fort Sill Medical Service
Major Courtney Paterson, 2nd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery
Major Jared Pipkin, Directorate of Training and Doctrine Development
1st sergeant. Marques Johnson, Fires Center of Excellence (FCoE)
Staff Sgt. Shaunte Hypolite, FCoE
Staff Sgt. Mark Reid, 8th Army G3 / 5
Sgt. 1st Class Robert Blalock, 1st Battalion, 78th Field Artillery
Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Dalbeck, 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery
Sgt. 1st Class David Deatley, 2-4th FA
Sgt. 1st Class Marcus Johnson, FCoE
Sgt. 1st Class John Pitts Jr., FCoE
Sgt. 1st Class José Rosa-Torres, 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Sale, 1st Battalion, 30th Field Artillery
Staff Sgt. Scott Shrout, 75th Field Artillery Brigade
Staff Sgt. Miker Stigler, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Field Artillery
GS-12 Robert Hendricks, Fort Sill Casualty Assistance Center
GS-9 David Willett, FCoE Protocol.