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    Georgia Guard general officer retires after serving over three decades

    Retirement Speech

    Photo By Spc. Chasity Williams | U.S. Army Brig. Gen. John Gentry, outgoing commander of 78th Troop Command, Georgia...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Amy King 

    124th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    Friends, family, and members of the military community gathered at Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, Ga., 16 July 2023, to honor U.S. Army Brig. Gen. John T. Gentry, Jr.’s 32 years of military service. The retirement ceremony was preceded by a change of command ceremony in which General Gentry relinquished his last military leadership role as the commander of the 78th Troop Command to its new commander, Brig. Gen. Theodore R. Scott III. Brig. Gen. Gentry officially retires on August 1st.

    U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Tom Carden, The Adjutant General of the Georgia National Guard, opened the ceremony with remarks about the culture and legacy of Brig. Gen. Gentry's career.

    "Don't listen to me. Go look at the scoreboard," said General Carden. "Look at the great work, the body of work was already in place […] but every one of those commanders made it a little bit better, and the belt became a little bit tighter."

    Maj. Gen. Carden continued about the legacy of leadership within the 78th Troop Command and how when it became to select its next commander, the decision was a “no-brainer.”

    "If you walk out the door and walk a few steps down the road, you'll come to our headquarters. You'll see a memorial wall there. There are forty-three faces on that memorial wall," stated General Carden as he began to speak about the type of leaders who impact the organization. "I can tell you that Brigadier General John Gentry, and his family, have bent the odds in favor of us winning the next fight and reduced the odds in making sure we never put another face on that wall."

    Brig. Gen. Gentry's career began with his commission as a second lieutenant in the field artillery in 1991 through the Reserve Officers Training Corps at Presbyterian College in South Carolina, where he also earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. It then grew with positions of increasing responsibility to include serving as the firing battery commander at 1st Battalion, 214th Field Artillery, commander of the 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery Regiment, and commander of the 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.

    Brig. Gen. Gentry reflected on his long career as an officer and artilleryman during his retirement speech. He acknowledged those who impacted his development and reminisced about the beginning of his service as a new officer in the 118th Field Artillery.

    "I love being a field artilleryman. There is nothing like a battalion charge seven, time-on-target, at night, on Taylors Creek property," said General Gentry. "We're gunners. Gunners will always fight together. We'll always drink together. We'll always mourn together."

    Brig. Gen. Gentry has earned numerous awards and decorations including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal.

    During the ceremony, Brig. Gen. Gentry's wife, Katherine, was awarded a Georgia Commendation medal for her support of the Georgia Army National Guard. His daughters, Anna and Caroline, were presented with certificates of appreciation.

    "I believe God called me to serve in a way that uses my talents," said Brig. Gen. Gentry in his closing remarks. "This is why my family and I serve a greater cause than self."

    He concluded his speech by resonating his decades of service with each line of the Soldier's Creed. He stated that despite his retirement, he is an American Soldier for life and a warrior, and a member of the Georgia Guard Team.

    "Thank you," concluded Brig. Gen. Gentry. "And may God continue to bless these United States of America."



    Date Taken: 07.16.2023
    Date Posted: 07.16.2023 19:18
    Story ID: 449320
    Location: MARIETTA, GA, US

    Web Views: 556
    Downloads: 1