By Spc. Sophia R. Klevemann, 316th ESC PAO
CORAOPOLIS, Pa. – Soldiers of the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) gathered at the T/Sgt Vernon McGarity Reserve Center here for a ceremony celebrating the lifetime service of six 316th ESC Soldiers Dec. 14. These Soldiers and their Families were recognized during a retirement ceremony for their outstanding leadership and service. Those honored were Col. David L. Brown Sr., Lt. Col. Daniel P. Hart, Sgt. Maj. Robert B. Murphy, Sgt. Maj. Thomas L. Schoolfield, Master Sgt. William T. Brown, and Staff Sgt. Kevin R. McGuire.
“I offer thanks and assurance to these six honorees today,” said Brig. Gen. Bud R. Jameson Jr., Commander, 316th ESC. “Without their own careers of service in turn, who would have been there today to teach, mentor and inspire the current generation of Soldiers, regular Reserve and Guard, who willingly served and sacrificed so nobly to seek out our terrorist enemies around the world and prevent them from being able to attack innocent Americans here at home.”
For these Soldiers, serving in the Army Reserve meant a lot.
Their time in service was met with honor and dutifully fulfilled by selfless service. The loyalty, respect, integrity and personal courage these men displayed is in keeping with the Army Values.
"I always wanted to be in the Army and I'm really fulfilling a dream I've always had," said Lt. Col. Daniel P. Hart, Human Resources Officer, 316th ESC, having admitted to dreaming of being a Soldier as a child.
"It was fulfilling," said Sgt. Maj. Robert B. Murphy, Senior Munitions Non-commissioned Officer, 316th ESC. "It was an adventure. I like to serve my country. It had the ups; it had the downs; but mostly it was a positive experience."
"I spent my whole adult life dealing with the service," said Sgt. Maj. Thomas L. Schoolfield, Chief Information Non-commissioned Officer, 316th ESC. "It was all I really knew at the time."
“I’m honored to have had the opportunity to serve,” said Master Sgt. William T. Brown, Material Readiness Branch Non-commissioned Officer-in-Charge, 316th ESC. “I love this country.”
As they say farewell to their fellow Soldiers, they can leave with confidence about the next generation of Soldiers whom they have mentored.
"I did a lot of mentoring by hands-on as well as constructive criticism, oral and written," said Schoolfield, ending 37 years of service, while celebrating his 35th wedding anniversary to his wife, Shirley.
Many like to lead by example when it comes to mentoring Soldiers.
"I think the best way to mentor Soldiers is to show them the task, and then let them work on the task," said Murphy, of Charleroi, Pa. "I tried to encourage my Soldiers by doing hands-on as much as possible."
"I tried to set the example," said Col. David L. Brown Sr., former Chief of Staff, 316th ESC. "I was an enlisted Soldier first for close to seven years, and I just always tried to set the example and lead; to coach, lead and mentor.
Army Values represent leadership: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. Upholding these Army Values are great signs of a great leader and many will continue to use them outside of the Army.
"I used them in my everyday life, and I still use them in my civilian job," said Schoolfield, of Hertford, N.C. "I take those Army Values and instill them in my employees at work. I build it as a part of their structure too." Schoolfield is a quality inspector supervisor for Huntington Ingalls Industries. "Those Army Values are a part of our key process here."
"I was very clear on the standards," said Hart, who had 31 years of service. I expected things to be done right and that the Soldiers had values and would do the right thing regardless of the circumstances. Hart now teaches health education programs as a Department of Labor employee, working for the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
When it comes to mentoring, Staff Sgt. Kevin R. McGuire Sr., a Human Resources Non-Commissioned Officer, 316th ESC, takes a slightly different approach.
"I tell them to put your creator first, whoever that may be, and always pay attention to detail," said McGuire, of North Braddock, Pa., who served 25 years.
In the end, retiring has left a good feeling with these individuals.
"I'm going to miss the activity," said Murphy, who served 30 years. "I'm going to miss coming to drill. I'm going to miss the people, but I'll be glad to move on to the next phase of my life."
"I am proud to serve,” adding, “I miss the camaraderie," said Hart, of Pittsburgh. "I miss being involved in the Army."
"I feel good about (retiring) now because I can spend a lot of time with my grandkids," said Schoolfield, who served 37 years.
The retirees leave behind a whole generation of Soldiers who are always training to be ready; to be "Fit to Fight; Fit to Lead."
"Fit to fight means having the confidence and ability to serve," said McGuire, an executive chef on the civilian side. "Fit to lead means having the confidence and strength to lead, and your Soldiers will have the confidence to follow."
“To me, it means being mentally, physically and spiritually tough,” said Master Sgt. Brown, of Marengo, Ohio.
Soldiers of the 316th are always striving to be the best they can be and be "Fit to Fit; Fit to Lead." With big shoes to fill, the Soldiers will hopefully have the same gusto and appreciation for the service as their predecessors had.
"It means a great deal that I was able to contribute my services to this great nation," said Col. Brown, of Pittsburgh, now a Department of Veteran Affairs hospital administrator. "When I was very young, I really looked at how I could contribute something to the United States of America. I think I had an opportunity over the 38 years to demonstrate my commitment to this nation and the people of this country."