Soldiers Retire; 165 Years Collective Experience goes with them

06/07/2013  |  By Maj. Jennifer K. Mack 95th Training Division (IET) Public Affairs
The Griffon

Brig. Gen. A. Ray Royalty, commanding general of the 95th Training Division (IET) said that as a young captain, Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Minton, then a first sergeant, was his mentor and was responsible for guiding him through discouraging times. Royalty said, “he’s the reason I’m here today.” Minton retired with 41 years of service and was presented a Lifetime Membership in addition to his retirement awards. Photo by Maj. Jennifer K. Mack, 95th Training Division (IET) Public Affairs

FORT SILL, Okla.— The 95th Training Division (IET), headquartered here, held a retirement ceremony, April 20, at the Sheridan Theater to honor the service of five Soldiers. The retirees included Col. Michael R. Considine, Col. James R. White, Lt. Col. Norbert J. Garcia, Lt. Col. Timothy Williams and Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Minton.

The division commanding general, Brig. Gen. A. Ray Royalty, hosted the ceremony and said it was a tough day for the unit, but one that was well-earned for the individuals. All five Soldiers held key positions within the division and together had 165 years of collective experience.

The Soldiers’ careers varied--some were enlisted and later became officers--others crisscrossed from Active, Reserve and National Guard, but for all, their military service had a common theme: Army Values.

During his 26 year career, Lt. Col. Timothy Williams was awarded the First Grade Distinguished Medal from the President of Afghanistan for helping bring peace to Western Afghanistan. He also received recognition for helping improve the economy, and building schools in the Shindand area.

Photo by Maj. Jennifer K. Mack, 95th Training Division (IET) Public Affairs.

Col. James R. White is presented an award for retirement. From his 33 years of experience, he said the advice he would give to a new lieutenant is to not get comfortable. He said “comfort in a position leads to a lack of initiative and inability to lead and manage Soldiers effectively.”

Photo by Maj. Jennifer K. Mack, 95th Training Division (IET) Public Affairs.

A Lifetime Membership award is presented to Col. Michael R. Considine, flanked by his wife, Leslie. Considine said military service was and is a Family affair. He said his Family’s military legacy dated back to 1876 when an ancestor died at the Battle of Little Big Horn. His great uncle served in WWI, his father served in WWII, and later the Korean War. His brother served in Iraq and another is a retired aviation officer. In addition, he has a nephew that served in Iraq, and he and his two sons and another nephew all served in Afghanistan.

Photo by Maj. Jennifer K. Mack, 95th Training Division (IET) Public Affairs.

Lt. Col. Norbert J. Garcia said that most of his 27 year career had been active or mobilized and that he will miss living overseas. He served in Iraq, Germany, Honduras, Colombia, CENTCOM in Tampa, Fla. and Guantanamo.

Photo by Maj. Jennifer K. Mack, 95th Training Division (IET) Public Affairs.

Considine, whose military career spanned 38 years, said his father had the greatest affect on his service. He said, his father stressed many of the values that are identified today as the Army values. He said his father was a Soldier’s Soldier, and validated a leadership style characterized by selfless leaders who place Soldiers above personal ambition and believed great leaders have the moral courage to make tough decisions without sacrificing moral and ethical values. Considine is a resident of Pryor, Okla.Loyalty and selfless service of Soldiers in the division, said White, a resident of Oklahoma City, Okla., was the reason for his success. White’s career came to an end during his tenure as the division’s G-3 (Operations Officer). He had 33 years of service most of which was spent in the 95th. He held numerous positions and said that the division was “loyal to me and I have tried to return that loyalty.”

Garcia, a resident of Clovis, N.M., wore the uniform for 27 years. He said another Soldier told him early in his service that the “Army didn’t owe me a career.” He respected that advice and from then on took positions the Army needed to fill no matter what the job or location. He said he always tried to have fun and make the most of whatever position he was assigned even with his last assignment as the division’s G-8 (Resource Management Officer).

Before his position as the division’s command executive officer, Williams, a resident of Bentonville, Ark., served two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq and held various positions throughout his career. He said a highlight of his career was helping to bring peace to Western Afghanistan, specifically the Zerkoh Valley near Shindand, Afghanistan. After 26 years of selfless service, Williams said he will miss “wearing the uniform of the greatest Army the world has ever known.”

A sense of duty to the Army led Minton, a native of Greenville, S.C., to serve for 41 years and he culminated his career as the division’s command sergeant major. He thanked his brother and son who were in attendance and said that it was because of strong Family support that he was able to serve the Army in the capacity he did for so long.

The ceremony was followed by a reception where Family and friends gathered with Soldiers of the division to bid farewell to their comrades and express gratitude for careers that saw many transformations over decades.

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