FORT SNELLING, Minn. –
First Sgt. Eric Jerauld and Sgt. 1st Class Brandy Jerauld both celebrated their retirement from the U.S. Army Reserve on April 19, 2023, at the headquarters of 88th Mission Command Support Group, 88th Readiness Division, on Fort Snelling, Minnesota. Col. Stacy Goodman and Command Sgt. Maj. Sara Buhr hosted the event. Among the attendees were their children, Owen and Haley, Brandy’s mother Debra Strickland, and Eric’s parents Marijane and retired Col. Gary Jerauld.
Both NCOs enlisted in 2001, as band members. Eric was initially in the Washington, D.C. National Guard, and transferred to the Army Reserve in 2004. The Jeraulds would serve together in the 85th and 484th Army Bands, and then the 88th MCSG.
Eric says that their marriage hasn’t been a typical dual enlisted Army marriage. Many times, one servicemember must make sacrifices in their careers to help the other succeed. “We’ve been lucky in that we have been able to work and travel together a lot,” he said. “We have awesome parents who have been able to help with the kids, and before we had kids, they watched the dogs and stuff like that.” He also said that having a military spouse has made some other aspects of serving less stressful. “We both understand a little better if the other has to go off to a school or stay late at the office to get something done.”
Both Eric and Brandy made it a point to say that they’ve been supportive of each other’s careers, while doing their best to maintain separate lives at their units. “Because of our jobs, we’ve served in the same units, but we never were ‘that couple’,” said Brandy. “We always made sure that we had our own identities.” “We did our best to keep work at work,” said Eric. “And when we get home, we’re like different people.”
Both had similar advice for Soldiers who are looking to make it to retirement themselves. “Your career is your career,” said Brandy. “The sky is the limit. Take those schools, get that education. It helps in your military career and the civilian world.” Eric went on to say that it’s also about networking. “There’s lots of opportunities to learn new skills, but also to meet new people. You’ll probably run into them again in the future.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Sara Buhr, the senior enlisted adviser in the 88th MCSG gave a poignant speech at the Jerauld’s retirement ceremony. “1st Sgt. Jerauld is a legacy for the Non-Commissioned Officer Corps,” said Buhr. “He emulates compassion and consideration and has brought heart and mind through his action, and purpose.” Turning to Brandy, Buhr said “She is authentic in word and deed. She has used her voice as a Soldier to assist others in knowing what we are for, what talent looks like, and what empathy looks like while you serve your Nation.” Buhr thanked both newly retired NCOs for their service.
The Jeraulds will both finish their Army Reserve careers — effective on May 1 2023 — on the staff of the 88th MCSG, with Eric serving as the chief operations noncommissioned officer, and Brandy as a senior human resources NCO. They are retiring to their home in Lake St. Louis, Missouri, along with their two children Owen and Haley. Their future may not be as regimented and planned as the last two decades of their lives in the Army Reserve, but as they have been for the majority of their careers, they’ll be together.