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NEWS | June 13, 2022

75th Innovation Command hosts its first retirement ceremony of year

By Maj. Emily Vetter 75th Innovation Command

Five retirees who served in the 75th Innovation Command were honored at a ceremony held at the 75th headquarters, June 10, 2022. They were Col. Maurice D. Millican, Col. Gregory S. Olinger, Lt. Col. Troy A. Barry, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Janice Cummings and Sgt. Eduardo A. Montijo.

Each of the retirees were presented awards and certificates to honor them for contributions they made during their careers. Family members present at the ceremony also received certificates and recognition.

Maj. Gen. Martin F. Klein, Commanding General of the 75th IC, delivered opening remarks at the ceremony. He spoke of the vast contributions the retirees gave the United States Army Reserve during their combined 137 years of service.

“It’s amazing what you have done for the Army, but more amazing than that, is what I believe each and every one of you will do with your families and your communities,” said Klein.“I would just ask that you bring the Army Values, the Warrior Ethos, and the Soldier’s Creed into your communities, and you do your best to instill those into the people who you interact with on a daily basis.”

Each retiring Soldier also gave a short speech to those in attendance. Millican, the 75th IC chaplain and a Houston native, spoke first. He said that during the summer of 2000, he and his wife had just finished visiting the World Trade Center’s Tower 2 observation deck when they sat by an Army chaplain on a bus.

“I said, ‘tell me what you do.’ He told me what chaplains do: nurture the living, care for the wounded, and honor the dead, and I said, ‘I can do that; I want to do that,’ so I joined the Army, and it’s been a great run,” Millican said.

Olinger commissioned from the United States Military Academy at West Point and has served over 30 years.

“It’s been a distinct honor and pleasure to have served with you all and to have been able to serve this nation,” said Olinger. Olinger has led the 75th Innovation Command’s Mountain View Group since 2018.

Barry, the command surgeon, spoke next.

“During my [27 years of] service, I learned that it is an honor to serve. It’s an honor to serve our Constitution and our country,” said Barry.

Barry initially joined the Army in 1986, and will retire after a total of 27 years of service.

Cummings, who also serves as civilian Executive Assistant to the 75th IC commanding general, has served in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve over 40 years. In addition to thanking her fellow retirees and others with whom she served, she spoke of the changes she has witnessed during her years of service.

“People first, winning matters, Army Strong,” said Cummings, as she signed off on her speech.

Last to speak was Montijo, who worked in the human resources section of the 75th IC.

Montijo joked, “Isn’t it a great day to be a Soldier? Even better to be a retiring Soldier!”

The ceremony culminated with closing remarks by Sgt. Maj. Suzanne Polk, chief human resources sergeant major for the 75th IC.

“Today marks the culmination of each of their extraordinary and dedicated military careers. The United States Army is better with having them being a part of it. Their coaching, teaching, mentoring, guidance, and encouragement to the fine personnel in this command has made the unit infinitely better. Tomorrow, this command will be a little emptier without these fine officers and Soldiers walking through these hallowed halls,” Polk said.