Back – CW3 Gabriel A. Torney, Chaplain (Col.) Dennis R. Newton and Sgt. 1st Class Jason S. Estaphan. Front – CW5 James R. Rathburn, CW4 Norman R. Mayo and Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge O. Soriano. (Photo by Jim Hughes)
Back – James D. Hughes, Jennifer Y. Hughes and John Lowry. Front – CW5 Ronald B. Kaita and Sharon A. Pierce-Perrault. (Photo by Jim Hughes)
Advanced Individual Training classmates together in 1990 and retirees together in 2014 – Sgt. 1st Class Joel M. Kosman and Sgt. 1st Class Timothy L. Ingram, both of the 1st Aviation Brigade’s 98th Army “Silver Wings” Band. (Photo by Jim Hughes)
Published: November 7, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 7, 2014) -- Fort Rucker honored nine Soldiers and four civilians for almost 400 combined years of service to the nation at the quarterly retirement ceremony Oct. 31 at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum.
Col. Shawn Prickett, 1st Aviation Brigade commander, served as guest speaker, and he thanked the retiree for their service and also their families for their sacrifices made along the way.
“Each of these honorees has had the opportunity to touch thousands of lives in such a positive way, leaving an indelible mark on our past,” he said. “This generation of Soldiers and civilians comes from the most deployed generation in our history, and they have made such lasting and significant contributions. Because of these patriots, we have continued to develop the Army as a profession, we certainly increased the capability of our Army and we developed the best leaders of our time.
“Ladies and gentlemen, while we honor your service and sacrifice, we must also recognize the sacrifices of your families,” Prickett added. “We, as a nation, owe them an enormous debt of gratitude and respect. Now, as you go on your way after this ceremony today, always remember that you and your families are forever a part of the Army family, part of a noble profession and you helped us build the most capable Army the world has ever known. Our nation will be better because you chose to serve during a time when you simply didn’t have to.”
Newton entered military service in 1972 as a chaplain assistant in the Army. In 1982, he was accepted to attend chaplaincy school. He served overseas in Germany, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Somalia. He served multiple combat tours in support of Operations Valiant Usher, Restore Home, and Desert Shield and Storm. He said the highlight of his career was working with the 101st Airborne Division during the Gander, Newfoundland, Canada, crash, and being the Division Artillery chaplain during Desert Shield and Storm. His 35 years of outstanding military service culminated as Fort Rucker garrison and U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence chaplain.
He and his wife, Kathleen, have one child and plan to reside in Ozark.
Kaita entered military service in 1976 as a photographic interpreter in military intelligence. He served overseas in Hawaii, Germany, Kuwait and Iraq. He served multiple combat tours in support of Operations Desert Shield and Storm, Desert Fox, Desert Thunder and Iraqi Freedom. He said the highlight of his career was meeting and marrying his wife some 34 years ago, being home for the birth of their three children and serving alongside his son, Troy, during OIF. His 38 years of outstanding military service culminated as the S2/S3 security and operations office at the Warrant Officer Career College.
He and his wife, Lark Marie, plan to reside in Dothan.
Rathburn entered military service in 1976 as a power generation technician and became a warrant officer in 1984. He served overseas in Germany, Egypt, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Qatar and Bosnia. He served multiple combat tours in support of Operations Desert Storm and Shield, and Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He said the highlight of his career was being command of the Joint Combat Support Detachment, Joint Communications Support Element, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, where he led America’s finest Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines and Department of Defense civilians in support of the global war on terror. His 38 years of outstanding military service culminated as the chief of Academic Instruction Division for the Warrant Officer Career College.
He and his wife, Nancy, have two children and four grandchildren. They plan to reside in Chancellor and help to spoil their grandchildren.
Mayo entered military service in 1994 as a warrant officer candidate. He served overseas in Korea, Alaska, Honduras and Belgium. He served multiple combat tours in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He said the highlight of his career was being selected to serve at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in support of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe at Chivres, Belgium. His 20 years of outstanding military service culminated as instructor pilot and maintenance evaluator for F Company, 1st Battalion, 212th Aviation Regiment.
He and his wife, Michelle, have two children. They plan to reside in Enterprise.
Torney entered military service in 1998 when he was selected for warrant officer flight training at Fort Rucker. He served overseas in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He served combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Restoring Rights where he was wounded in action. He said the highlight of his career was being part of the lead elements of a force that liberated 25 million Iraqis and later part of what would become the model for success in counter-insurgency operations. His 16 years of outstanding military service culminated as project officer and subject matter expert for the Armed Aerial Scout, Training and Doctrine Command Capability Manager for Reconnaissance and Attack.
Soriano entered military service in 1983 as a flight operations specialist. He served overseas in Germany and Korea. He deployed on numerous special operations missions all over the world as a member of Task Force 160th in support of the National Command Authority, and multiple combat and operational deployment to areas such as Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and more. He said the highlight of his career was all the occasions when he was able to make a difference in some small way in a Soldier’s life. His 31 years of outstanding military service culminated as command sergeant major of the 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group.
He and his wife, Dawn, have three children, and plan to reside Spragueville, Iowa.
Ingram entered military service in 1989 as an Army Band clarinet player. He next went to Advanced Individual Training with the next retiree, Sgt. 1st Class Joel Kosman. The two went their separate ways in their Army careers for about 22 years before once again joining each other with the 98th Army Band about three years ago. Ingram served overseas in Korea and Hawaii. He served numerous combat tours in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. He said the highlight of his career was having the honor to served with numerous Army Band music performance teams while playing the national anthem and national march at welcome home ceremonies for countless military and DOD civilian personnel upon their return home from Operations Desert Shield and Storm, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. His 25 years of outstanding military service culminated as the administration NCO in charge for the 98th Army “Silver Wings” Band, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, 1st Aviation Brigade. He also performed with the band at the retirement ceremony.
He plans to resume his former career as a licensed funeral director and clinical embalmer in central Pennsylvania.
Kosman entered military service in 1990 as a saxophone player. He served overseas in Germany, and deployed on a peqacekeeping mission to Tusla, Bosnia and Herzegovina in support of Operation Joint Endeavor. He also served a combat mission to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He said the highlight of his career was earning the Bronze Star for service in Iraq, performing abroad, and training and mentoring the Army’s finest musicians. His 25 years of outstanding military service culminated as the NCO in charge of the 98th Army “Silver Wings” Band, 1-145th Avn. Rgt., 1st Avn. Bde. He also performed the final salute to the retirees at the ceremony.
He and his wife, Helen, have three children. They plan to reside in Enterprise.
Estaphan entered military service in 1996 as a scout helicopter repairer. He has served overseas in the Balkans and Afghanistan. He served multiple combat tours in support of of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Joint Forge. He said the highlight of his career was the opportunity to train, mentor and influence the Army’s next generation of aircraft maintenance professionals. His 20 years of outstanding military service culminated as the Aviation Center Logistics Command NCO in charge for special projects conducting oversight of the maintenance contract for the Army’s fleet of TH-67 Creek training helicopters.
He has three children and one grandchild. He plans to reside in Enterprise.
Hughes entered active duty in the Army in 1969 as a computer programmer, retired in 1989 and became a civil servant that same year. He said the highlight of his career was working with a superb staff providing great support for the thousands of students that have attended resident training at Fort Rucker during the 25 years. His combined 45 years of outstanding service culminated as supervisor, training support services specialist, G3, USAACE.
He is married to the next retiree, Jennifer Hughes, and they plan to reside in Prattville.
Hughes began working for the federal government as a data transcriber with Lyster Army Hospital in 1979. She said the highlight of her career was working with a superb team working to support thousands of Soldiers that have attended resident training at Fort Rucker during the last 35 years. Her 35 years of outstanding service culminated as supervisor, Resident Training Management Division, G3, USAACE.
Lowry served in the Army from 1970-1991 and then entered civil service after five years as a government contractor. He said the highlight of his career was receiving the USAACE Civilian of the Year Award, and working with the Army’s finest and brightest military and civilian personnel during his combined careers. His combined 37 years of outstanding service culminated as the chief of the Mission Command and Interoperability Division. He and his wife, Judy, have three children and seven grandchildren. They plan to reside in New Brockton.
Pierce-Perrault served in the Army on active duty and in the Reserve from 1985 to 2013. She said the highlight of her career was working as a squadron training management operations NCO in charge in Germany. Her 21 years of outstanding service culminated as training technician with the 1-145th Avn. Regt., 1st Avn. Bde.
She has three children and four grandchildren. She plans to reside in Ozark, complete a master’s degree at Troy University and volunteer with Lively Stone Ministries.
This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/137867/
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