108th holds General Officer retirement ceremony

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Maj. Gen. (ret.) David Puster is presented with the National Flag for his 30 years of service to the nation during his retirement ceremony held at the 108th Training Command (IET) headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., Aug. 13. U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The 108th Training Command (IET) honored Maj. Gen. David W. Puster for completing more than 30 years of military service with a retirement ceremony held Aug. 13 at its command headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. The ceremony, which is traditionally held outdoors, took place in the command’s drill hall due to sweltering temperatures outside.

A native of Nassawadox, Virginia, Puster entered the Army in 1980 upon earning his commission the Reserve Officer Training Corps at the College of William and Mary as an Armor Officer, majoring in physical education.

After completing his Infantry Officer advanced and airborne courses at Fort Benning, Georgia, Puster served as both the commander of Company B and as the logistics officer for the 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Division in Katterbach, Germany and as the assistant operations officer for the 1st Armor Division at Illesheim, Germany.

He concluded his active duty service serving as an operations and training staff Officer at Headquarters Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Virginia.

Maj. Gen. (ret.) David Puster along with Soldiers from the 108th Training Command (IET) cut a cake following his retirement ceremony at the 108th Training Command (IET) headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., Aug. 13. U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton

Puster then continued his service to the nation as an Army Reserve Officer in 1991.

There, he served in both command and staff positions for several units, including the 108th Division as both the battalion commander of the 2nd Military Police Battalion and as the brigade commander of the 1st Brigade, 108th Division. He also served as the Chief of Staff of operations when the unit was redesignated as the 108th Training Command (IET) during the U.S. Army Reserve Transformation in 2005.

Puster was also activated to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he deployed to the Diyala Province, Iraq and embedded as the 5th Iraqi Infantry Division Senior Military Transition Team Leader.

Following his deployment, he served as the commander of the 4th Brigade, 75th Division in Birmingham, Alabama, which was also his first command as a General Officer. After several other assignments including serving on the Secretary of the Army’s Reserve Forces Policy Committee, he served as the Commanding General for the 84th Training Command (Unit Readiness) at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He concluded his military career by serving as the Eighth Army Deputy Commanding General-Sustainment in Seoul, South Korea.

Maj. Gen. Mark McQueen summed up his military service as:

Maj. Gen. (ret.) David Puster along with Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Riti 108th Training Command (IET) command sgt. maj., cases his two-star flag during his retirement ceremony at the 108th Training Command (IET) headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., Aug. 13. U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton

“The United States Army is the greatest force the world has ever seen in its history and we serve in a different Army today.”

“But the one constant we have had during these 36 years was Maj. Gen. David W. Puster. Everywhere he went, he excelled,” McQueen said. “From the company command to the commander of the 84th Training Command; making the organizations he served with better on both active duty and in the Army Reserve.”

After finishing his remarks, McQueen presented the Distinguished Service Medal to Puster.

Along with the medal, Puster was presented several Certificates of Achievement from the Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama, and the governors of both Virginia and North Carolina.

He was also given two American flags, one honoring his service and the other, a flag tailored to Puster’s career, flown over many of the places he had served throughout his career.

Puster himself presented a bouquet of roses to his wife to thank her for her support as well.

Puster delivered his remarks as the ceremony was coming to a close by thanking everyone present, reserving a special thanks and dedication of the ceremony to the Soldiers of the 108th Training Command (IET).

“This retirement ceremony is not about me but about all of you who are here that had a part in helping me in getting to where I am today,” Puster said. “I couldn’t be prouder of you and the history you represent. You look great and I appreciate it.”

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