(Left to right) Lt. Col. Derek Campbell, 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment commander; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ryan Treat; Staff Sgt. Trevor Ward; and Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Magni, 2-13th senior enlisted advisor, stand at attention during the retirement review, March 9. (Photo by Nathan Clinebelle)

Passing of the Torch: Graduation ceremony sends off retirees

By Emily Hileman, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ryan Treat and Staff Sgt. Trevor Ward were recognized for their service and dedication to the United States during the 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment’s Basic Combat Training graduation ceremony on March 9 . This event was the first retirement review to be held during a BCT graduation since the post changed the way it honored retirees earlier this year.

The recognition began with the Army Training Center and Fort Jackson Chief of Staff, Col. Carter Price and the 193rd Infantry Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Travis Wirth presenting the retirees with their Army Retiring Soldier Commendation Program Package, which includes a letter from the Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth, Army Chief of Staff, Gen. James C. McConville, and Sgt. Maj. Of the Army Michael A. Grinston; a retirement flag; retired lapel button; and two “Soldier for Life” window stickers. They also received a Certificate of Appreciation from President Joe Biden and the Certificate of Retirement from Gen. James C. McConville.

“Fort Jackson and the Army recognize that every person who joins our ranks is a Soldier for Life,” Price said. “Combining the two events serves to symbolize the literal beginning and conclusion of Army careers. It links the Army’s newest Soldiers to their professional heritage, metaphorically passing the torch from our retirees to the graduating class.”

At the ceremony, Spc. Diego Serrano, Company A’s Soldier Leader of the Cycle, also presented both retiring Soldiers with a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of his unit.

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Crandall, who attended the event, said he has been to several retirement ceremonies on various posts and this “was a great ceremony.”

“Most ceremonies are about the same,” he added. “I think holding it here in front of these people was even better because of the loud noises people make. It’s a good way to send them off.”

Treat said he would recommend anyone retiring to participate in the ceremony. “When retirement services told me the retirement ceremony was going to be with the graduation, I immediately tripled my guest list. I can’t say enough good things about it. I had 2,000 people cheering me on,” Treat said. “It was amazing. It was better than any retirement ceremony I’ve ever seen.”

Retired Sgt. 1st Class Eugene Kennedy was in attendance to watch his son, Spc. Doniel Kennedy, Company B’s Soldier Leader of the Cycle, graduate from Basic Combat Training in today’s ceremony.

“It’s good to honor them and recognize them. It was short and to the point and didn’t take away from the graduating Soldiers. It was excellent,” he said.

Those who are retiring soon and want to participate in a Retirement Review Ceremony, should contact Retirement Services at 751-5495 or visit them at Room 211 in the Strom Thurmond Building on post.