Skip to Content

My.Army.Mil. Learn more about your Army media. How you like it.

Fort Hood Press Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: March 3, 2015 6:03:47 PM CST

III Corps, Fort Hood honors retiring heroes

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey N. Colt, First Army Division West commanding general converses with retirees over breakfast at the Blackjack Dining Facility on Fort Hood, Texas, Feb. 26. The breakfast was an informal meet-and-greet the day before the formal III Corps retirement ceremony. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Tony Foster, Division West Public Affairs)

By Staff Sgt. Tony Foster, Division West Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas — III Corps and Fort Hood, alongside First Army Division West, held a breakfast for 15 Soldiers and a civilian retiring from active federal and civil service, Feb. 26.

“The breakfast was intended to be an opportunity to meet the retirees at a more personal level,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey N. Colt, Division West commanding general and speaker for the next day’s retirement ceremony. “It was a chance to hear some of their experiences and for them to meet others who are facing the same or similar life frustrations.”

Attendees gathered at the Blackjack Dining Facility on Fort Hood to meet the Division West command team of Colt and Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick K. Akuna, Division West command sergeant major. Soldiers, spouses and civilians sat together and conversed as they enjoyed breakfast.

“The breakfast was different and unique,” said Sgt. 1st Class Niarcos de’Shong, 85th Civil Affairs Brigade noncommissioned officer.

Not only was the breakfast an informal meet-and-greet, but a prequel to the formal retirement ceremony that would take place the very next morning.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey N. Colt, First Army Division West commanding general, talks with Rosanna Honts, III Corps Mission Support Element financial management specialist, over breakfast at the Blackjack Dining Facility on Fort Hood, Texas, Feb. 26. Honts was the only civilian to be offered in the formal retirement ceremony, Feb. 27. She is also a veteran of the Women’s Army Corps. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Tony Foster, Division West Public Affairs)

“I like it a lot, because we got to meet those that were going to conduct the ceremony. As I sat and listened, I realized that we had some of the same things in common,” added de’Shong.

The room was filled with laughter and reminiscent memories of years of service. From the ranks staff sergeant to colonel as well as one Department of the Army civilian, all found common ground, and experiences to relate to.

“I enjoyed getting to meet some of the other retirees and hearing their plans and what they’ve done in the past,” said Rosanna Honts, III Corps Mission Support Element financial management specialist and veteran of the Women’s Army Corps. “Maj. Gen. Colt was absolutely wonderful. He spoke with everyone with such ease.”

The retirement ceremony began the next morning at III Corps headquarters. The retirees, their Families and supporters, all listened attentively to Colt as he gave words of appreciation.

“Leaving the service for many is an understandably difficult transition to make and in most cases, whether we overtly admit it or not, the profession and its way of life, is really an addictive waver of love,” said Colt. “Love of challenges, love of teamwork, and most importantly, the love of a fellow Soldier and our Family members.”

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey N. Colt, second from right, First Army Division West commanding general, Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick K. Akuna, right, Division West command sergeant major, pose for a photo with Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jesse E. McCoy, Jr. and his wife, during a retirement ceremony at III Corps headquarters on Fort Hood, Texas, Feb. 27. The previous day Division West command team hosted a breakfast for the retirees at the Blackjack Dining Facility on post. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Tony Foster, Division West Public Affairs)

The retirees arouse when called upon, just as they did to serve their country, to receive their awards and flags for their dedicated service.

At the conclusion of the ceremony and their careers, some had different feelings as they faced an excitingly new, yet unknown future.

“It’s been a long, hard road to get here and it will be interesting tomorrow,” said Col. David Hinckley, deputy of III Corps Surgeon’s office. “It’s kind of closing a chapter to a book.”

“Retirement is a big step,” said de’Shong. “You go from something you know to the unknown, which is no different than when you started in the Army.”

In closing, Colt emphasized the pride, respect, and appreciation he personally has for each of the new retirees.

“We owe the retiring Soldiers and Families our professional respect and personal appreciation,” said Colt. “They’ve certainly earned it. It makes me incredibly proud to serve with them and for them.”

For more information contact:
First Army Division West
First Army Division West
(254) 553-5010
Fort Hood, TX 76544
[email protected]