An Honors & Retirement Ceremony at White Sands Missile Range on Nov. 29, 2018, featured a promotion to the rank of Senior Executive Service, Length of Service awards totaling 370 years, Commander's Awards for Civilian Service and four retirements.
"This is an honors and retirement ceremony to honor all of you who do so much, but, I have to tell you – the honor today is truly mine!" said Brig. Gen. Greg Brady, Commander of White Sands Missile Range. "As I recently emphasized while speaking at a Veterans Day ceremony at St. Paul's in Las Cruces, it's not great leadership that makes WSMR and our nation's military the best in the world, but dedicated, talented, hard-working individuals like you."
Acting Executive Director Rick Meador was officially named the White Sands Missile Range Executive Director and joined the ranks of the Senior Executive Service in a swearing in ceremony conducted by Brady.
Brady said Meador's track record and demonstrated talent in the job earned him the permanent role.
"Rick Meador. Well, it's been a long road to where you are today. Years of uniformed service and then your entry into the civil service. Congratulations on being officially named our White Sands Missile Range Executive Director and joining the ranks of the Senior Executive Service. These are great achievements for you personally, professionally, and for the installation," said Brady.
The Length of Service Awards were presented to:
Margaret Barrett-Tyree - 30-Year LOS of Service Award
John Hunter - 30-Year LOS Award
Arturo Dominguez - 35-Year LOS Award
McDonald Jacob – 35-Year LOS Award
Ruben Soto - 35-Year LOS Award
Frederick Stephens - 35-Year LOS Award
Alfred James – 40-Year LOS Award
Arthur Rodriguez – 40-Year LOS Award
Alfredo Poblete - 45-Year LOS Award
Ivan Winner - 45-Year LOS Award
"It is so gratifying to take part in a ceremony like this that gives me an opportunity to say thank you to extraordinary public servants. Just think about all the knowledge in this room with us today," said Brady.
Putting their years of service into historical perspective, the length of service award recipients represented 370 years of military and civil service. Looking back in time that many years, it would take one back to the year 1648 when key world events included the collapse of the Ming Dynasty, and possibly the last year in which the overall human population declined.
Those with 45 years of service began government service in 1973, back when commuting to work cost a whopping 40 cents a gallon. People paid that to fill up a brand new Ford Galaxie 500 that could be driven off the lot for only $3,800. And driving it home to a new house in those days would cost about $32,000.
If you traveled back to WSMR in 1973, you could have witnessed the first launch of the Navy's Talos missile – a missile used as a low-altitude supersonic target.
For those with 35 years of service, their time as a civil servant began in 1978, which was an eventful year at WSMR. It included historic CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite reporting from the Trinity Site, and Secretary of Defense Harold Brown bringing a team of national media to witness a demonstration of the Navy Tomahawk cruise missile.
Those who began their first year of government service in 1983 witnessed a ribbon-cutting ceremony at WSMR signifying the grand opening of the new High Energy Laser Test Facility.
Those honored during their retirement ceremony were Cynthia Cook, John Smith, Arturo Dominguez and Peggy Galarza
"I am honored by the brief time I have served with you. You have served your country so well, and we all wish you the very best as you conclude your government service and begin the next phase of your lives. I know all of you will look back on your careers with great pride at what you have accomplished," said Brady.
Other award winners recognized were:
Commander's Award for Civilian Service
Army Achievement Medal:
FCA1 Matthew Burger
FCA1 Chad Champlin
FCA3 Elizabeth Olson
GM1 Collin Vlazny
Certificate of Recognition/Star Note: