FORT McCOY, Wis. –
What began for him with a commissioning ceremony as the distinguished military graduate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1985 culminated in a sun-soaked afternoon ceremony here July 30, 2022.
The now retired Maj. Gen. Darrell J. Guthrie was celebrated during a retirement ceremony attended by friends and family following a morning ceremony where he turned over command of the 88th Readiness Division to Maj. Gen. Matthew Baker.
“It’s truly a great day to be a Soldier and I’m humbled to have been able to have served as a commissioned officer for 37 years and two months alongside some of the finest Soldiers and Civilians one could ever hope to serve alongside,” Guthrie said.
As host of the ceremony, retired Maj. Gen. Mark McQueen, a long-time friend of Guthrie, spoke about their meeting during a deployment to Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Endeavor as part of the implementation force for the Dayton Peace Accords.
“Arguably, Darrell is the type of leader that the Army was longing to develop as it pivoted to a values-based leadership model,” McQueen said. “He lives and breathes these values. Not as a catchy recruiting phrase, but genuinely it is who Darrell is at his core.”
Guthrie, during his speech, talked about how his leadership was shaped by three command sergeants major he calls his battle buddies.
“You are what makes the difference in our Army and Army Reserve,” Guthrie said. “You are indeed the backbone of the Army. You changed my view about leadership and my trajectory by your leadership.”
Guthrie was first commissioned as a field artillery officer in 1985 and served in Germany. While there, he deployed as part of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Upon leaving active duty for the Army Reserve, Guthrie began his career in the civil affairs realm, deploying to Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, and serving in successive command responsibilities before his final role as commanding general of the 88th RD.
What he praised most during that time was the resolve of his family: wife Shari, and children Pierce, DJ, Jean and Chase.
“I knew you were always there for me and your mom, doing your best to excel and succeed at school, the arts and sports, specifically baseball and youth corps, Boy Scouts, dance competitions, and Chase’s Eagle Scout,” he said. “You all were amazing to me.”
Guthrie will “move into a new season of life” now that he has hung up his uniform for the last time. He and his wife will be moving to Texas where he will resume his law career and enjoy the spoils of his growing family.
“Shari and I are blessed beyond measure. Thank you for making this such a special event for us. We are Army strong and a Soldier for life,” he concluded.