21st TSC holds Year of the NCO

Story and photos by Sgt. Fay Conroy

The 21st Theater Sustainment Command held a Year of the NCO retreat and retirement ceremony March 12 at Panzer Kaserne.

Officiated by Maj. Gen. Yves Fontaine, 21st TSC commanding general, the ceremony was held to celebrate the Year of the NCO and to honor three retiring Soldiers.
“This retreat is an opportunity to not only recognize Soldiers and their families who after faithfully serving our nation are retiring, but also a chance to pay tribute to our nation and those who serve on this day,” Major General Fontaine said.

The guest speaker for the ceremony was Command Sgt. Maj. Roger Blackwood, command sergeant major of the 1st Armored Division.
“The retreat ceremony historically marks the end of the working day for Soldiers, but most importantly, it is to honor our nation’s colors and ideals that the colors represent for our country – the principles of freedom and liberty that those who serve in and with our Armed Forces of the United States of America have courageously stepped forward to defend every day with the dedication, commitment and capability that is valued by our nation and respected by many around the world,” Command Sergeant Major Blackwood said.

The Soldiers retiring were Lt. Col. Joseph Bray, 21st TSC assistant chief of staff for personnel and administration, who served in the Army for more than 20 years; Sgt. 1st Class Jeffery Troxel, 21st TSC HHC motor sergeant, who served in the Army for 22 years; and Lt. Col. Thomas Blair, 18th Military Police Brigade rear detachment commander, who served in the Army for 21 years.

Colonel Blair retired Feb. 20 and now works as a Department of the Army civilian at U.S. Army Europe headquarters in Heidelberg.
“I think it was a first class event. It always is, and I really appreciate it,” Colonel Blair said. “I always come here as an audience member, but really standing out here brings a new light to it.”

Colonel Bray said the ceremony was exciting and helped him receive closure.