Army Retirement Services Celebrates Six Decades of Service

Maj. Crystal Boring, Communications Director, U.S. Army Soldier for Life

“In 1955, our mission was to provide contacts for 79,000 Soldiers. Now, that number is more than 1 million,” said Mr. John Radke, Chief, Army Retirement Services, as he kicked off the RSO 60th Anniversary Event on November 16, 2015. “The methodologies have changed, but the mission has not,” he added.

More than 100 people gathered in the Hall of Heroes on November 16 to commemorate RSO’s six decades of service. The event was hosted by Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel Allyn, and featured comments from Mr. Radke as well as retired Lt. Gen. James Lovelace, a co-chair of the Chief of Staff of the Army Retired Soldier Council.

“We went from seven to 116 Retirement Services Officers (RSO) both CONUS and OCONUS. RSOs are the face of the program,” said Mr. Radke, briefing some retirement services history. “Today, everything from Facebook to MyArmyBenefits provides comprehensive support to retiring Soldiers and their families.”

For six decades, Army Retirement Services has provided pre and post-retirement trainings, support, information and more. The office also publishes Army Echoes, a newsletter specifically geared toward the retired population. Army Echoes is now available online and as a blog. The event on November 16th celebrated this rich history as well as the dedication of retirement services officers located on every installation across the United States and abroad as well as at each State Joint Forces Headquarters and Army Reserve Regional Support Command.

“There are countless men and women working without the spotlight,” said Gen. Allyn, describing the Army’s RSOs. “Army RSOs work quietly in communities across the world,” he added.

As co-chair of the Chief of Staff, Army Retired Soldier Council, Lt. Gen. Lovelace interacts with RSOs and retiree councils on installations to receive feedback and assess challenges and opportunities. “The Warrior Ethos is demonstrated day in and day out by RSOs,” he said.

The ceremony concluded with a cake cutting. Gen. Allyn was joined by the longest serving Retired Soldier present, Vietnam Veteran retired Capt. Brad Snyder, and the most recently Retired Soldier present, retired Sgt. First Class Germaine Terry.

Army Retirement Services will continue to celebrate its 60th anniversary throughout the next year. Check in on Facebook and Twitter for history, information, photos and more.