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A farewell message from the Chief, Army Retirement Services

Greetings to All.
 
I am retiring from this position effective June 30, 2016. It has been my personal honor and professional privilege to be the Chief of Army Retirement Services here at HQDA since late January 2002. My intent is to continue to serve our Army and nation for many years to come — but not as a full time employee. I will do as many of you do as Soldiers (or Spouses) for Life — still loving our Army and its Soldiers and families, but operating in a slower traffic lane. My wife and I will spend more time with our children and their wonderful spouses, and our five splendid grandchildren.
 
As I look back over these years I know that I have been blessed to serve with many superb
leaders, peers and teammates at all levels. I am especially grateful for the tremendous backing of my fellow teammates here in the Army Retirement Services Office, and at the Army G-1 level with highly supportive senior
leaders, to include every Army Chief of Staff (CSA) and Sgt. Major of the Army we have worked with. Amongst my greatest champions are the six Co-Chairs of the CSA Retired Soldier Council, and the 100+ council members they led over the years I have been here. As I depart, I know they will continue to serve you, other Retired Soldiers, their families, and surviving spouses, all in an exemplary way.
 
Once again, I encourage each of you to stay engaged with our Army as it best fits your individual circumstance. Tell your Army story and the challenges you encountered, and how you handled your tough times, and what you learned about serving others. Be sure you highlight the personal satisfaction you receive as you look back on a life of service. If you are in a position to hire and/or mentor former Soldiers, please do. Inspire young Americans to join our Army and become part of something bigger than themselves. Continue to volunteer on post or in your local area. Be an advocate for our Army now and always. I pledge to continue to do the same. There is no sunset on patriotism! America and our Army still needs your dedication and individual talents. Continue to be a Soldier for Life.
 
I remain an optimist regarding our Army and our nation. Despite the rhetoric all around us during this election year,
I continue to believe in our American dream and the value of military service to our fellow citizens.
 
Without question we face significant challenges domestically and in the world. However, we remain a strong
country, partly because of your faithful service while in uniform and since you retired. I ask you to keep the faith in our Army; stay informed; and always keep our troops, their leaders, and their families in your prayers.
 
I leave you with the words I have displayed in every office I have had since I entered active duty in 1971. Perhaps they can be as meaningful to you as they have been to me over all these years:
 
THANK YOU for your service. God bless you, your family, our
Army and our nation, now and always!
 
Sincerely,
John W. Radke
Chief, Army Retirement Services