177th Regional Training Institute holds first annual retirement dinner

Story by CPT Jordan McElroy

 

On November 3rd, the 177th Regiment (Regional Training Institute) of the Michigan Army National Guard held their first annual retirement dinner at the Kellogg corporate headquarters. It included a social hour, a historical uniform display, a dinning in, music from the 126th Michigan Army National Guard band, and a formal ceremony that included remarks from Major General Stone, the Assistant Adjutant General.

Overall, it was about the ten honorees and their contributions to the National Guard – and for those retirees, it was about the people. “The overwhelming themes of the evening were family and faith. We are brothers and sisters like no others.”  Said Sergeant First Class (retired) Janell Henderson. “We share[d] much more than a meal, we share[d] memories. We [were] reminded of the reason why we do what we do.”

(During the dinning in, Soldiers and retirees exchanged stories and memories, reflecting on what was for some a 29+ year career.)

“For me and many others it’s about those with whom we served.” said Sergeant Major (retired) Christopher Knight. “Many that retire from service poured their heart and soul into serving others.”

( Major (retired) Ian Mitchell Receives a Minuteman Statue by Colonel Dilg and Command Sergeant Major Russell, the command team for the 177th Regiment. Every Honoree received a statue and coin. Some Soldiers were presented their departing award and a Flag set if they had not yet received them.)

 

There were many who contributed to the success of the evening. Kellogg Corporation, who offered to host the event, provided the facilities and volunteers to simplify the process. The 126th Band, led by Sergeant Douglas Olmstead, also contributed to the event.

(The MIARNG 126th Band provided music for the event, creating a relaxed but still military atmosphere.)

(Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Jeremy ‘skip’ Maynard gives departing words of wisdom as he reflects on his distinguished career.)

 

Each retiree was given the opportunity to address the 70 Soldiers and family in attendance before giving their final goodbye. “The greatest privilege of my life was to lead Soldiers. I am grateful for the opportunity to do it for over 20 years” said Major (retired) Ian Mitchell.

“Our goal was to make this fully about the retirees, and with the tremendous support of the Kellogg’s Company the staff put together an evening that did just that.” Said Colonel Kenneth Dilg, the 177th Regiment Commander. “The emotion on the faces of the retirees, their family members, and people in the audience told the entire story. This retirement dinner set a great standard for the 177 RTI and I look forward to the next event.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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