Retirement Ceremony for COL Richard R. Kelling, July 31, 2020.
Answer. We moved the flag, so I so you don’t get speared. Been a big day, okay? I just wanted you see me. So I’ll do this. So you know when you’re not scared. So when you really frightened, you bring me up. I just looked at your script, so I’ll just go like this. Mine is alternate. Right back to where you were. Way, way, back. Way, way, way. All right. Uh, yes. You America Beautiful, too. Uh, you first on this one. The first part That, um I guess it is First. Yeah. Bravo to you. We get it. Queues and everything. Good way, do you? I played it. I just It’s been months ago. I played Get rid of it. Just, uh All right, let’s get after this. What to way take, like place. Water, water hydrate. Everybody’s got Thanks. I can’t look out out of a bottle. So a lot of nice. That’s minutes. I’m not sure that I have faced pressure washing clothes. I don’t know what is sitting in the sun like this. Always, chaps, Why, that’s really fast when I’m playing jobs have helps, but WeII done place that we’ve done the awards retirement order. Things use me, Mrs Kelly. Post pins, Colonel killing. And then you guys go over. Palmer, give the gift. I direct everybody’s attention to you guys, so don’t screw up. Just give me at the dumps, girl. Just, you know, way e ah, way. Way e. Thanks a lot of ladies and gentlemen, the ceremony will begin in two minutes. Please take your seats. We do have plenty of bleachers up front and please take this opportunity to silence all electronic devices. You think? You OK? Open it. Thank you. Well, good. We are just a couple moments. Thank you. That’s true. Actually, I said my part in order. Did I do wrong? Actually, probably do something Your bacon there are gonna be cuddled up with. Yeah, okay, Steel. And there’s something about that month line you don’t want. And there are There are one of the chairs you’re already got me scored away. Thanks. Well, that was okay. Wing at third wing is never good. Okay. Thank you, sir. It’s gonna be guten talk, everyone. Today we have the privilege of honoring Colonel Kelling and to recognize him for over 28 years of faithful military service in support of today’s honoree, Major. General Dougherty and I would like to give a special and warm welcome to Colonel Kelling, family and friends who are in attendance today as well as those who are joining us virtually on behalf of Major General Dougherty and Colonel Kelly. Thank you to all distinguished military guests who are present today and also joining us online. Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the arrival of the official party and remain standing for the national anthem and invocation today. Major General Dougherty has deferred honors to Colonel Kelling in respect for the 28 years of service that Colonel Kelling has given to our nation in our state. Because we are outdoors, service members will salute the flag. Ladies and gentlemen, Chaplain Brewer will now give today’s invocation. Thank you. Please join me because they pray. Your Lord God, we thank you for this extremely beautiful day to celebrate the successful military career of Colonel Kelling. God, I thank you for giving he and his family the privilege and the blessing of serving our country for over 28 years. I thank you for guiding and protecting them over the course of his career. God, I thank you for bringing Colonel Killing to our guard family. Thank you for bringing to our team a man who has been an example of integrity and professionalism. A man who has been dedicated to striving with soldiers in the midst of their struggle. A man who is not afraid to proclaim truth to power. God, I pray that you would continue to give him wisdom and strength and compassion. I ask that you will use the opportunities and experiences that he has had in the army to provide a positive perspective and foundation for how he will continue to serve you and the people you place in his life in the future. God, I ask that is Colonel Killing and Jennifer enter into a new phase of life. I asked you draw them closer together and draw them closer to you. Give them purpose and meaning and continue to use them to impact the lives of other people in an extremely positive way. Guide us in this ceremony today and let it be a reminder that we are truly blessed in your holy name. I pray. Amen. Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. Colonel Rick Helling, was commissioned as an Army field artillery officer through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1992. Colonel Killing’s career spans numerous leadership and staff assignments at all levels of the Army and across the United States and Germany. His awards and decorations include Army and Joined awards, the Combat Action Badge, Air Assault Badge, Parachute, a Swing Army Staff Identification Badge and the Ranger Tab. He has also earned a number of foreign parachutist wings with the decorated soldier. It is no surprise that there is also a decorated system of support behind Colonel Killing. Perhaps his greatest award has been is 28 plus year marriage to his beautiful wife, Jennifer. They met in college at California State Polytech University in San Luis Obispo, California, and were married shortly before he went on active duty. Jennifer has been with Colonel Kelling through it all, and together they’ve lived all over the United States, including Hinesville, Georgia, where their oldest daughter, Amanda, age 24 was born at Fort Stewart and in Lichtenfeld, Germany, where their son Justin, it’s 21 was born. Their youngest daughter, Jenna, age 17 was born right here at Madigan Colonel, telling and Jennifer plan to stay in the South Sound area for the foreseeable future. For colonel killings. Complete biography, please. See the program. Ladies and gentlemen, I would now like to introduce todays presiding official, Major General Brett Dockery. Thank you. I really haven’t smiling underneath this mask. Nice toe. Get some fresh air. Well, what a great day it is for Colonel Rick telling his family and his friends. And what an honor it is for those of us in the Washington National Guard to conduct this retirement ceremony here today at the beautiful Camp Murray. In many ways, the setting is very fitting. As Rick has become a very important member of our team over the last several years and has really become a member of the Washington National Guard family. I’d like to extend a special welcome to members of Colonel Killings family who are here with us today as we heard Rick’s wife of 28 years and college sweetheart Jennifer. So, Jennifer, thank you for supporting Rick over his many years of service, especially during his multiple deployments, where you had to shepherd your family through the challenges that they faced at the time and you had to do all of that by yourself because Rick was deployed. You know, military spouses make the service of our soldiers possible, and you have done a superb job. And we thank you very much for enabling his service. Their daughter, Amanda, is we heard, born on the road in Fort Stewart, Hinesville, Georgia, and her fiance, Luke Brickowski. Their son, Justin, as we heard born in Germany, also part of the military career there dot agenda here, a local person born a beautiful Madigan. So Amanda, Justin and Jenna thank you for being great kids while your dad was serving our country. Thanks for moving every few years and leaving friends behind, even though I know that sometimes you didn’t want to do that. Thanks for understanding that what your dad was doing was so critically important to our country. You should be very proud of all that your dad has accomplished over his career. You helped him do it. And all of America is very, very proud of you. We look forward to great things come from the killing family in future years. So Rick Sister Melissa Yamashita and her boys air here Kai and Shea thanks for being part of the family support network that has been so important to Rick and Jennifer throughout all these years. They couldn’t have done it without you. And they wanted me to tell you that joining us virtually are Ricks parents Bob and Melinda killing Thank you for raising such a dedicated, hardworking, sharp young man who has placed the safety of our country ahead of his own needs. Being a parent is a tough job. I can attest to that. And the two of you should be rightfully proud of the amazing son that you raised and provided to this country. Thank you. We cannot express our gratitude to you enough. Jennifer’s parents, Charles and Laura, job virtually air here. Thanks for being great Parents is Well. Jennifer spent nearly 29 years facing the challenges of being an army wife and a mother during a period of unseen INGLEY. In unending conflict. Not everyone can handle those types of challenges and situations, but you raised an amazing daughter Who could our country thanks you as well. His brother Phil, and his wife, Lynn, his sister Diane, and other family and friends from across the military and also Ricks College and High school friends. Thanks to all of you for providing the love and friendship that the killings have needed over these many years of service to our country, we’re thrilled to have you join us here. Even virtually so, let’s all please give Colonel Kelly and his family a huge round of applause to thank them for all of their many years of dedicated service to our country. Okay, So while those of us in the Guard have seen Rick in action for the last three years as our inspector general, today he is capping a career that spans almost 29 years of dedicated service as an officer in our United States Army. Colonel Kelling is a modest, humble man, and he rarely talks about his past accomplishments. But I am here to tell you today that Colonel Rick Helling is nothing less than an American hero, and he is a soldier’s soldier, and that’s why he is so respected here in our organization. Rick began his career as a cadet in the ROTC program back at Cal Poly and graduated as a distinguished military graduate when he was commissioned as a young field artillery Lieutenant Colonel Kelling, then lieutenant, telling report. RIA completed Ranger School in the field Artillery Basic course before spending most of his career and very challenging assignments within the field artillery. He is a combat veteran who has played clinical rules in support of U. S military operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Kelling played important roles in some of the most storied units in the U. S. Army to include the seventh Infantry Division, the First Ranger Battalion, first Infantry Division, the 101st Airborne, the 25th Infantry Division, the United States, Army Pacific and the Department of the Army staff at the Pentagon, all while building a reputation as being one of the very best in his field. His assignment History includes service as a fire direction officer, a battalion s to a battalion assistant, s three, a battalion maintenance officer, a battery commander, Italian fire support officer, division plans officer, a brigade fire support officer, battalion operations officer, battalion executive officer, chief of plans, assistant division G three battalion commander, chief of staff, pay calm liaison officer, military aid to camp to the assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs and then later as the executive officer for the assistant secretary of the Army, deputy director of the Army Marketing Research Group, and then finally capping it all off. Here is the inspector general for the Washington National Guard. Clearly, Colonel Rick telling has done his duty in the service of our nation in a manner that only a very small percentage of the American people can also claim. I believe that our nation owes him a debt of gratitude, and we hope that a happy retirement and a successful, meaningful second career when he’s ready will be partial payment on that debt. Colonel Kelling is a man of courage, intellect, precision and action who has been on point for the United States for almost 29 years. He has lived his life according to the Army values. Those values includes self sacrifice for the good of the nation and the American people. And that is what has motivated Colonel Killing for all of these years. I know that those of us in the Washington National Guard have come to appreciate colonel killings, ability to analyse complicated situations and make excellent recommendations in a professional, precise and positive manner. So Rick. On behalf of the men and women of the Washington National Guard, I want to thank you for your many contributions to our team. You’ve been a key member here from the very first day that you arrived at Camp Murray. And your assistance has been vitally important, especially to me, as we have continually deployed forces overseas while also staying focused on our domestic responsibilities here in the state of Washington. So thank you so much from the members of the guard. Now, on behalf of all the soldiers and airman that you served with over the last nearly 29 years, Thank you for your service, your dedication, your courage and your total commitment. Will Rogers once said we must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day has been. Rick, you have reached the evening of your time with us here in the Washington National Guard and the United States Army. From our perspective, it has been a very splendid day indeed. We hope that you, Jennifer, and your entire family will have many more splendid days ahead of you as you begin this next exciting chapter of your lives together. So good luck and godspeed, Rick and killing family. Ladies and gentlemen, please remain seated for the presentation of awards. Major General Dougherty will now present Colonel Kelling with the Legion of Merit, United States of America. To all who shall see these presents greeting This is to certify that the President of the United States of America, authorized by acts of Congress 20 July 1942 has awarded the Legion of Merit to Colonel Richard are Kelling Office of the Inspector General National Guard Bureau for exceptionally meritorious service spanning over 28 years while serving in positions of increasing responsibility, culminating as the command inspector General for the state of Washington. Colonel Richard killings, exemplary service, inspirational leadership demonstrated superior technical knowledge coupled with his focus on mission accomplishment and genuine concern for soldiers, airmen, civilians and family members is a model of selfless service and patriotism. Those qualities will leave a lasting impression, an indelible mark of improvement on those who had the honor of serving with him and will continue to resonate for years to come. Colonel killings, superlatives Accomplishments are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself. The Washington Army, National Guard, the National Guard Bureau and the United States Army by order of the Secretary of the Army. Permanent Order number 17505 23 June 2020. Sighing. Richard F. Johnson, major general, US A. Deputy director, Army National Guard Major General Dougherty will now honor Colonel Killings family by presenting Mrs Kelling with a certificate of appreciation from the Army chief of Staff and all family members with the Washington Army National Guard Commander’s Award for guards and Support as a symbol of our appreciation for their service and sacrifice Certificate of appreciation to all who shall see these presents. Greeting This is to certify that Jennifer L. Kelling, on the occasion of the retirement of your spouse from the United States Army, has earned grateful appreciation for your own unselfish, faithful and devoted service. Your unfailing support and understanding helped to make possible your spouse’s lasting contribution to the nation. Signed James Seema McConville, General, United States Army chief of Staff, the Military Department of the State of Washington This is to certify that the governor of the State of Washington has awarded the National the Washington National Guard Commander’s Award for Guardsmen support to Jennifer L. Kelling, Amanda Kelling, Justin Kelling and Jenna Kelling. Insincere and grateful appreciation of your endorse, enduring loyalty and faithfulness. As Colonel Kelling served the state and nation, Colonel Kelling Service was instrumental in ensuring you and your family inherited a stronger nation and a safer world. During these years, you provided unwavering and unconditional support. You’re selfless dedication and your sacrifices reflect great credit upon you and the Washington Army National Guard. Signed. Brigadier General Daniel H. Don’t. Yeah, okay. Family members, You can please be seated. Thank you. Major General Dougherty will now present Colonel Kelling with the certificate of appreciation from the President of the United States of America. Certificate of Appreciation for service in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. Colonel Richard are Kelling. I extend to you my personal thanks and the sincere appreciation of our grateful nation for your contribution of honorable service to our country. You have helped to maintain the security of the nation during a critical time in its history, with the devotion to duty and a spirit of sacrifice. In keeping with the proud traditions of the military service. I trust that in the coming years, you will maintain an active interest in the armed forces and the purpose for which you served. Those who follow in your footsteps will draw inspiration from your commitment, Dedication and sacrifice is made to ensure the protection of our American freedoms. My best wishes to you for happiness and success in the future. Signed Donald J. Trump, Commander in Chief. Ladies and gentlemen, will you please rise as Major General Dougherty will now retire Colonel Kelling. Attention to orders. The Department of the Army Order number 34600 to 3. Dated 13 December 2019 By order of the Secretary of the Army, Colonel Richard Kelling is relieved from his active duty responsibilities. Effective 31 August 2020 Sign General James C. McConville, United States Army Chief of Staff, Certificate of Retirement from the Armed Forces of the United States of America To all who shall see these presents Greeting This is to certify that Colonel Richard Kelly, having served faithfully and honorably, was retired from the United States Army on the 31st day of August 2020. Signed James C. Macondo, general chief of staff of the Army at this time, I would like to invite Jennifer killing to come forward. Every retiree received the special retirement pin as a memento of their active duty service. At this time, I’d like to ask Mrs Kelling to place this pin on her husband’s lapel to symbolize transition from active duty to retired status. Thank you, Mrs Killing Lieutenant Colonel Palmer will now present Colonel retired telling with a gift from the soldiers, airmen and officers of the Washington National Guard. All of us with everything. A little something to put in that beautiful backyard on that big patty. Always remember. Ladies and gentlemen, please stand and Director attention to your far left for the retreat ceremony followed by the flag folding ceremony conducted by the Joint Forces Honor Guard as a warning to those who may be startled by loud noises, The cannon will fire one time as soon as retreat is sounded by the bugler bugler sound Retreat. Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. The Honor guard will now perform the flag folding ceremony. The flag folding ceremony, as described by the uniforms services is a dramatic and uplifting way to honor the flag on special days. like the retirement of Colonel Kelling in honor of his 28 years of faithful service in contributions to the United States Army. The flag folding ceremony represents the principles on which our country was originally founded. The portion of the flag denoting honor is the canton of Blue containing the stars representing states. Our veteran served in uniform the canton field of blue dresses from left to right, and is inverted Onley when draped as a pall on a casket of a veteran who has served our country honorably in uniform in the armed forces of the United States. At the ceremony of Retreat, the flag is lowered, folded in a triangle and kept under watch throughout the night as a tribute to our nation’s on her dead the next morning. It has brought out and at the ceremony of Rebel E Run, a loft is a symbol of our commitment to soldiers and veterans. After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a crock Tet, ever reminding us of the soldiers that served under General George Washington and the sailors and Marines who served under captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmate in the armed forces of the United States, preserving our rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today. Here, Colonel Richard are Kelling with great pride. We present the United States flag the Army retired soldier for life lapel button and soldier for life details to you as small tokens of our appreciation for your distinguished service to our army and our nation. We ask that you proudly display the soldier for life decal to signify your continued commitment to the Army, family and team soldier for life captures the essence of the warrant spirit and our armies culture. Even in retirement, you remain a valuable part of the Army team. A living testament to the saying once a soldier, always the soldier, a soldier for life in the years to come. Remember that when we show appreciation for the strength and selfishness of art, soldiers were saluting retired soldiers and those actively in uniform. We also extend our sincerest gratitude to your family members for their exemplary service and for all that they have given our nation in support of their soldier. We hope you remain a vital member of our army family by engaging with your local civilian and military communities. By doing so, you will continue to make a lasting difference. Display the flag where the button and display the deka with pride. They will remind you of your service and dedication to the United States of America. And they will remind all Americans of the men and women who defend our nation’s freedoms. Once a soldier, always a soldier, a soldier for life signed Michael A. Greenstone. Sergeant Major of the Army James C. McConville, General United States Army Chief of Staff Ryan D. McCarthy, Secretary of the Army Ladies and gentlemen, Colonel Kelling retired will now give his remarks. Okay, but for already so thanks, General Dougherty. Um, General Dent. Sergeant Major Ecclestone, fellow brigade commanders, Wing commander’s, um, staff. Thanks for coming out and sitting in the hot sun and listen to me bloviate for a second here. So I remember sending you a quick introductory email before I headed west with my family from ah, then Washington D. C. And you replied with something to the effect that I think you’re gonna find this Washington better than the one you’re coming from. Um, so I got a chuckle out of that, then. And Ah. So I decided it was fitting to lead with that now. And, sir, it’s been a pleasure, um, to serve with you. And I thank you so much for accepting my nomination to be your i g and welcoming my family to your family. So thanks to the 1 33rd Army Band. Appreciate it, folks. Um, you know, start first class, pal. Back Staff Sergeant Smith, Sergeants Chandler. Frank Reuter, Specialist angle on roller. Um, and thanks to the salute section from the 2146 field Artillery Regiment Sergeant Van Valkenburg, Sergeant 0 10 0 and specialists Fitzgerald and talking. So the honor Guard personnel Sergeant Stevens and specialists Mendiola who tends Imola. Narrator Thank you, Um, and then massive storm or pool from the G through shops. He and Lieutenant Colonel Palmer, um, helped put all this together. I can’t thank you enough. So there were two sayings that immediately came to my mind when I started writing this 17 page speech and a time myself and I promised tag I wouldn’t go over 27 minutes. So the first saying came from a fellow air Force staff officer at staff College, and it went something like this. If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute. And then the other saying, I got from a crusty old Army sergeant Major and he goes, Sir, keep it short. Your best known for the things you did last. So in true fashion, I waited until this week to start writing my speech. But all that I’ll attempt to provide. Or we’ve been a bit of storytelling, a few notable quotes, a hefty dose of appreciation, reflection and perhaps a pledge or two. And so, um, if you don’t catch an acronym if you miss a connection, in my words, or simply puzzled that the sheer poetry and brilliance that I’m about to unleash on all of you please feel free to engage me afterwards and buy me a beer adhering to social distancing. Of course, in all seriousness, it’s with tremendous gratitude that I stand here before you. It is setting for what I consider to be one of the greatest settings in the world. I would never think, have thought that I would have said this 20 years ago, 25 years ago, 28 years ago, that I would end my career serving the National Guard. But here I am. Thanks very much. So the last part was completely Ah, um impromptu. So looking back, but But I consider this closure the closure on opportunity of a lifetime. So, looking back, we and I say we a lot in this because I think I can speak for Jennifer that we could have never imagined that we’d be here. Um, and all the tremendous experiences that we’ve had. So for me, a loving and supporting life. Three great kids, our daughter’s one born on each of the coasts of the United States and our son in Germany. 11 PCs moves eight states, four years in Germany, countless field training exercises, travel and a handful of deployments. That has certainly been a journey. I recent I was recently afforded an opportunity for extended reflection. Some of you might chuckle at this. Um, So I took the time to add to my already prepared remarks. And don’t worry, it still won’t exceed 27 minutes, sir, like I promised. So I want to quote to you from a book I recently completed. Um, it was written by a guy named Phil Knight and I thought it was appropriate. And it goes something like this. I, like the publicly, acknowledge the power of luck. Athletes get lucky. Poets get lucky. Businesses get lucky. Hard work is critical. A good team is essential. Brains and determination are invaluable, but luck may decide the outcome in that rights are major or star made rock stone. Thank you, Um, and he knows what we’re talking about. But in truth looking back, it’s not hard to see that the many blessings that we’ve received, we’re really based on a higher order. And and I want to thank God for all of this. So our military journey our story started in an Army ROTC building on the campus of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. We could actually go back a little further to fraternity days, but that’s another story, and we weren’t in the military then. So I was looking for a a junior business major, and I was looking for a leadership class, and I was late. Of course, Um, when I walked into the RTC building, which happened to be on the same part of campus, is the business department, and I ran into a military science instructor. He was a short guy, so I had to look down on him. But it was all right because he was an armor officer at the time. Um, I still think he retired is an Army officer. I added that just because I don’t know why, but ah, but after a time talking with him, I was ready to add an M s 3/3 year ROTC leadership class to my, uh, to my curriculum. And so I did. But since I was adding a class after the quarter, it already started. The instructor gave me the option of either writing a book report or exercising with the other ROTC cadets once a week. And I immediately thought to myself writing her book report required reading the book first. And so I immediately opted for the physical training and the rest is history. So here’s to the ROTC cadre at Cal Poly State University. An army officer, an armor officer that opened my eyes to the opportunities in the military to a crusty old SF master sergeant, a full time US Army Reserve captain, a ranger qualified a air defense captain who convinced me I took it I had who convinced me that I had what it took to be successful and helped develop my leadership skills. I remember the RTC star major telling me, Sir, life’s tough and it’s tougher if you’re stupid. Well, I try not to be stupid, although my wife and number of Mayan CEOs might argue differently, and I eventually worked hard, perhaps for the first time in my life. It was an Army Ranger school where I had my first serious recollection of just how lucky I was about to become. I was in the mountain phase, and that’s the third phase of Ranger school multiple leadership positions, positive spot reports. And I ended up getting peered by my classmates again because in the desert face, I got appeared for falling asleep in a two time peer minute. Day one recycle holy cow. So I walked back into the barracks and there’s my other ranger buddy who had gone through Ah oh BC an airborne school with and he had a broken leg so he couldn’t complete Ranger school. Then I got called in the company commander’s office, and it just so happened that the our eyes recommended that I continue on with Ranger school. And so I did. I was lucky. Not long into my first assignment, a guy by the name of Major Joe Votel, you might have heard of him. Meant to call that a Vardy. The Vision artillery s one shop, but accidentally called our battalion s one shop fuel artillery battalion. Well, I happen to be in the s ones office. When he called and he was looking for Ranger qualified lieutenants to come, BFS owes in the Ranger in the Ranger Battalion, then First Battalion. So there were two of us in the battalion at the time, and the guy to my right didn’t want anything to do with it. And I said, Hell, yeah, I interviewed on the phone. I completed the Ranger assessment in selection course. And then I went to the first Ranger Battalion while at the first Ranger Battalion. I ran into a guy named Kevin Owens, and he was one of the field grades there. And it was funny because I never thought I would run to run into then Major Owens again. But it just so happened that when I was in Kosovo preparing to give up commanded of my artillery battery. I was looking for another job and my fire sport in CEO at the time in Savannah, he moved up to be the Ranger F. So And guess who command? Yes, who was commanding Second Ranger Battalion major Kevin Owens. So I came and I was his battalion. FSO So the Ranger and CEOs Nixon, Ross, DuPont Jackson into my Charlie Battery 1 16 mates in Germany Gorman Perez Swift Sesil Seeing an Ingram who taught me the enormity of my responsibilities, whose job was to impart the measured application of violence and death. I thank you. My experience of the 101st started off. There were five of us coming out of C. G S C. There are four brigades. I thought for sure I’d be a shoo in to be a brigade after, so I didn’t attend Sam’s guess where they sent me and send me to the division plant shot. I got to serve for a future Army G three, and then I became, ah, the Brigade Fire support officer for a famous or infamous colonel by the name Mike Steele, which I serve ah, combat rotation in Iraq. He’s also the brigade commander who had a an American flag for every soldier assigned and or attached to the brigade flowing over the headquarters. And that was the flag that was just flown unfolded for May. So I thank you. So why was it the 101st? I got an extended tour and did two combat tours there, and I put in my command select list, and I was selected for command in Hawaii. I know it’s tough. Somebody had to do it and I was able to Spain and I was able to stay in Hawaii for four years so our oldest daughter could complete high school again. I am thankful we asked for an assignment in the Pentagon, and it was granted headquarters Department of the Army, where I was afforded another opportunity to learn how our me policy was developed and exercised at the highest levels and, more importantly, the trickle down effect it had of those policies and then finally stationing here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with the Washington National Guard here Can’t Murray our life. Our military experience is truly have been a blessing. But since I was serving as an inspector general time, I feel that this last assignment deserves a little more expansion. So it’s an I G. You have a lot of bosses. I have the army. I g have the Air Force I g. I also have the National Guard Bureau. I g. I have General Dockery is the tag I have General Dent. And I have General Horn. Then General Welsh. Um and it was general dense predecessor of General Turner. You sat me down one time, about 90 days after I got here and explained three phases of being an I g here in the Washington National Guard and went something like this. So the first phase you get here, you’re awful piss and vinegar, and you want to change the world and make it into the likeness of what? You think the army should be the second phase after you kind of figure things out. Hopefully listen to an N. C. O. Or two, maybe a senior ranking officer. You gotta figure out why things are the way they are and you get a different perspective, and then third phases, you actually get a period of time before you PCs or retire in my case can actually do some good. And then he kind of said under his breath, You know, Rick, this isn’t a general officer producing assignment, and I’m like, Holy Castor, Really? But I knew that, of course. So thanks to General Turner and in his wisdom that he imparted on me when I first got here. So it’s a general stock. Cody Dent, Welsh warn Turner and senior enlisted Visors Armel Almond, Ecclestone and Hunnicutt Brigade, a wing commander’s chiefs of staff and fellow staff and civilian employees. Thank you. Thank you for welcoming me as a member of your team and making my job that much easier to traditional guard servicemen and women, most with full time jobs as teachers, engineers, carpenters, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, you name it and most of which you have families all selflessly giving of themselves in service to the state of Washington and in many cases, to our nation. You have my deepest respect and admiration, as I alluded to earlier, did not get here on my shell sheer brilliance and natural good looks. So I’m gonna thank a bunch of people and it’s gonna come in rapid fashion, and if you don’t hear your name, it’s OK. Get with me afterwards, you could buy me a beer So the countless civilians, not commission officers, warn officers, commanders for sergeants, sergeants, major and iron majors and fellow officers. EDS and Carol Franklin Shoemake Kohler Bannister Stream Era Goal it for finals EMP Birdman Route, Gekhi Perez Wallace Show Maker. Ropati Side, Jacqueline Hanky Corley Stitch Keen Munger Artists Work Bassett and James You all have been parted some good on me and my family, and I am eternally grateful to my Wang. Excuse me, Washington National Guard Inspector general Teammates Bridgeman Skaff buys Inker Palmer girding Seiler and cruised many of which, who couldn’t be here. Thanks very much into my new teammates at Nike. Thanks for listening in. Hopefully you’ve got a kick out of some of this. So the here comes the hard part. So I want to thank my parents who couldn’t make the trip there at Sun City, Arizona, and I hope that got through and got connected. I am reassured. I got the thumbs up from the family. Thanks, mom and Dad, you provided me all the opportunities a little youngster could could hope for. But most importantly, you provided an example of hard work and what it meant to be family. To my sister Melissa and her boys, into my sister and brother from another mother, Diana Phil, who are hopefully on the line. Thank you for keeping me grounded and willingly serving as a sounding board throughout all these years. To my in laws parents Charles and Lord Job brothers Michael and Richard. I’m almost positive you’re is clueless about where the army would take us when we were when we got married at Cal Poly. But you trusted me with your daughter. You gave us your blessing and have been supporting and supportive the entire time. Thank you to my family are three amazing kids. Jenner, a future marine biologist. Where yet, Justin, hopefully a future army soldier, A non commissioned officer. You better make it. And Amanda, already a doctor of physical therapy and soon to be Mrs Luke Risk Kowske. Thanks for taking pictures, brother. And finally to my lovely wife, you brought three awesome people are kids into the world and took care of me when I needed it and kicked me in the pants when I deserved it. I feel I’m the luckiest guy in the world and I think all husbands feel that way. But on this day, I think it’s especially so all right, How am I doing on time? So the current challenges in our country our country is experiencing have precluded personal connection. On many ways, we’ve been accustomed to divided us in many ways. We could have never imagined and brought hardship to so many strange leaders and social systems and ability and elevated important issues to a new light. And, by the way, it is precluded me the opportunity for a reception. So I apologize. But this is also a time of opportunity. I heard general officers told me that once I’ll bet there’s not a person among you is not spent more time reconnecting or connecting with your family and loved ones received more hugs were spent more time outdoors in cleaner air. Hopefully, it’s been the former rather than on zoom Google meet teams Facebook, Um or face time. So personal challenge to each of you leave this world a better place. Then you found it. Do it in your own personal way. Life is short. Do good. Look for goodness. One minute of anger robs you of 60 seconds of happiness. Be an agent of change for the better work to work, to connect on a personal level. Seek commonality. You may not be able to see the smiles from behind your face mask or the other person’s face mask, but a word of kindness or a helpful de done without being asked is powerful. Focus on simple things and don’t let the complex get in your way. It’s never too late. Just do it. It’s kind of like a savings account. In the end. The more you do now, the better we will all be. So in parting is a soldier for life. I will strive to set the example for others to follow. I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. And under no circumstances Well, I ever embarrass my country. Thank you. Please rise for the benediction and remain standing for the Army song You already are. Thank you. You got it? Thank you. Please join me as I pray You’re God. I ask that you bless Colonel Kelling and Jennifer in the future that you have planned for them. guide them in the decisions that they will have to make strengthen them in times of weakness, comfort them and during times of grief, encourage them during times of distress. I ask God that you let the friendships and the memories gained through their time in the army service an anchor of strength and resiliency and their next chapter in life. And let the words of your scripture ring true. For I know the plans I have for you plans to prosper you and to not harm you to give you a future and a hope. And now, for everyone who hears these words, may the Lord bless you and keep you. I mean, he causes face to shine upon you. May the Lord be gracious to you and give you peace. Amen. Way, Way Do all Give me. I saved you all from that singing into the microphone. Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes today’s ceremony on behalf of Colonel Kelling and his family. I would like to thank you for for participating in today’s ceremony. We encourage you to share your felicitations with Colonel Kelling on an individual basis that feel safer and more comfortable for each of you. Thank you for your attendant