News: FORSCOM’s lead for its LandWarNet forces retires from Active duty after three plus decades of service
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Florence
FORT MCPHERSON, Ga. - Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces Command, Deputy Chief of Staff G-6, Brig. Gen. Ronald M. Bouchard, reached the pinnacle of his active duty Army career as he retired from the United States Army after serving more than 33 years.
During his last 15 months of active duty service, which were served here at FORSCOM headquarters ; Bouchard, a New Hampshire native, has been responsible for facilitating, training, mobilization, deployment, sustainment, transformation and reconstruction of conventional LandWarNet forces, providing relevant and ready command, control and communication capabilities to combatant commanders worldwide in defense of the Nation, both home and abroad.
Gen. James D. Thurman, FORSCOM commanding general, was the host of Bouchard’s retirement ceremony. Thurman said he was excited to recognize such an exceptional Army leader, yet Tuesday’s ceremony was “a bittersweet day” for the command. Nevertheless, he explained that Bouchard’s time here was well spent.
“There are very few officers in the Army today who have such a wide range of experience and our soldiers in this Command have benefitted immeasurably from [Bouchard’s] wisdom and guidance since his arrival in the headquarters,” Thurman said.
During the ceremony, Thurman presented Bouchard with several retirement awards and certificates to commemorate his years of military service. Bouchard also received several letters of gratitude and congratulations from National and Army leaders to include President Barack Obama, Army Secretary John M. McHugh, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli and Army Chief Information Officer/G-6, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Sorenson.
“‘Ron has been putting the needs of others before his own and spent three decades rising through the ranks and taking on some of the most challenging jobs in the Army Signal Corps,” Thurman said. “As Ron will tell you, his most enjoyable times [in the Army] was when he was leading American soldiers; making a difference in the lives of young men and women who chose to serve this country and each other.”
Bouchard began his military career about 37 years ago as a Reserve Officer Training Corps student at the University of New Hampshire. Prior to college, he worked to complete high school while working on a loading dock for a women’s shoe factory in Manchester, N.H.
“I could not have asked for a better opportunity. It was the hand of providence,” he said.
Many of those in attendance at the retirement ceremony were Bouchard’s family members and friends from New Hampshire and also Army comrades Bouchard and his family met throughout his military career.
“I have been so blessed with the family that I was born into, and the family that I married into,” he said reflecting on the tradition of military service within his family and the support he has received all these years.
One of Bouchard’s comrades traveled from Japan to serve as the guest conductor of the ensemble that played during the ceremony. Chief Warrant Officer 4 Stephen L. Campbell conducted the band for both of Bouchard’s brigade changes of command in Korea.
“Marcia [Bouchard’s wife] and I are very pleased they are here with us for my last formation,” Bouchard said. “’Chief Campbell’ and the band always puts a spring in your step and a smile on your face. Today is a wonderful day and an example of Army tradition at its finest.”
“The sky is the limit when the right relationships are formed and nurtured,” he explained. “For the last 33 years, I have been surrounded by the best and the brightest.”
Bouchard gave a special thanks to his current staff and said they have “consistently provided superior analysis and recommendations.”
“Their hard work and dedication reflect well on U.S. Army Forces Command and FORSCOM G-6,” he added. “You should be very proud of your many accomplishments.”
Bouchard also gave thanks to the various non-commissioned officers who throughout his career provided great support.
“Our NCO Corps has never been more professional,” he said. “They are truly the backbone of the Army and of the ‘Signal Corps’.”
The ceremony was concluded by Brig. Gen Richard McPhee performing “Auld Lang Syne” on bagpipes, followed by the audience standing and singing “The Army Song.”
Bouchard’s assignments include Battalion Signal Officer, 2nd Battalion 37th Armor, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division; Division Main Platoon Leader, 141st Signal Battalion, 1st Armored Division; Squadron Signal Officer, 2-10th Air Cavalry Squadron, 7th Infantry Division; Brigade Signal Officer, 2nd Brigade, 7th Infantry Division; Company Commander, 127th Signal Battalion, 7th Infantry Division; S-3 and Executive Officer, 304th Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade; Executive Officer to the Deputy Manager, National Communications System; Assistant Executive Officer to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Department of the Army; Battalion Commander, 307th Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade; Deputy Commander, 516th Signal Brigade; Director, Resource Management, United States Army Air Defense Artillery Center and Fort Bliss; Chief of Staff, United States Army Cadet Command; Commander, 1st Signal Brigade/G6 Eighth U.S. Army/Korea Region Chief Information Officer; and Executive Officer to the Commander, UNC/CFC/USFK; Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Signal Center and Fort Gordon, Fort Gordon, Georgia, and Director for Communications System, U.S. Pacific Command.
Bouchard’s military education includes Airborne School, the Signal Officers Basic and Advanced Courses, the Communications-Electronics Staff Officer Course, the Combined Arms Service Staff School, the Command and General Staff College, the Joint Professional Military Education Course, and the United States Army War College. General Bouchard received his undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s of Business Administration (Comptroller) from Syracuse University.
Bouchard’s awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal with OLC, the Legion of Merit with 3 OLCs, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with 6 OLCs, the Army Commendation Medal with OLC, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with OLC, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korea Defense Service
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