Four retire during installation ceremony

1Sgt. LaKeela Walker, with the 20th CBRNE Command, shares a few remarks during the Installation Retirement Ceremony at the Ball Conference Center Aug. 24. | U.S. Army photo

Two Soldiers and two civilians were recognized for their service to the nation in front of a full auditorium of family, friends, co-workers and APG leadership during the Installation Retirement Ceremony at the Ball Conference Center Aug. 24.

APG Senior Commander Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor presided over the ceremony and presented awards assisted by Sgt. Maj. Adrian Borel, with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, or CECOM. The honorees include Lt. Col. Luis Muñiz, U.S. Army Public Health Center, or APHC; 1st Sgt. LaKeela Walker, 20th CBRNE Command; John Badstibner, CECOM; and Keith Hoddinott, APHC.

The U.S. Army Field Band Capitol Clarinets, from Fort Meade, Maryland provided music, and Garrison Chaplain Resource Manager Capt. Michael Kayle delivered the invocation.

Taylor commended the retirees for their 117 years of combined service.

“It means a lot to us, to me, that we get to honor people like you,” he said. “This is how we express what we value.”

Taylor added that Department of the Army civilians and Soldiers are on “one team.”

“I am very proud of you and very grateful for your service,” he said.

Lt. Col. Luis Muñiz

Lt. Col. Luis Muñiz was awarded the Department of the Army Legion of Merit; the DA Certificate of Retirement; and the U.S. flag and pin.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Puerto Rico, Muñiz culminates his military career as an optometrist, assigned to the U.S. Army Public Health Center. Previous assignments include Iraq, Germany, Kosovo, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; and Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Lt. Col. Luis Muniz

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Humanitarian Service medals; and the Presidential Unit Citation. His education includes a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico; a Doctor of Optometry from Inter American University of Puerto Rico, School of Optometry; and Refractive Surgery Management Course, Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Muñiz officially retires Sept. 30 with 25 years of service.

AHPC Director of Clinical Public Health and Epidemiology Col. William Rice said Muñiz had “an exemplary career.”

“He is and always will be an Army optometrist, a Soldier’s optometrist,” he said.

Muñiz thanked his family, friends and fellow Soldiers he served with at APG and throughout his career. Married with two children, he said he looks forward to spending more time with his family. His plans include moving to Florida and traveling the U.S. in a recreational vehicle.

“I am looking forward to seeing if all they say about retirement is true,” he said. “I will see how it goes.”

1st Sgt. LaKeela Walker

1st Sgt. LaKeela Walker was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal; the DA Certificate of Retirement; and a U.S. flag and pin.

Walker entered the Army in 1997 as a chemical operations specialist. Her stateside and overseas assignments include Korea, Germany, Fort Hood, Texas; and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. She holds an associate degree in general studies from Central Texas College and is currently pursing a bachelor’s degree.

1st Sgt. LaKeela Walker

Her awards and decorations includes the Army Achievement, National Defense, Iraqi Campaign and Global War on Terrorism service medals, and the Overseas Service Ribbon. Walker is a member of the Honorable Order of the Dragon and the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club.

Walker officially retires Oct. 1 with 20 years of service. She is married to 1st Sgt. Dameon Walker, and has three children.

“I am going to just relax and enjoy my family for a few months,” she said. “Then look for a job.”

Keith Hoddinott

Keith Hoddinott received the Department of the Army certificates of appreciation and retirement.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he was was formally trained in soil science at the University of Connecticut. After completing a Master of Science program at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York, he left the doctoral program to assist Army installations in complying with resource conservation and recovery act legislation. While serving as a civilian, he rose to the level of an Army Master Consultant and attained the status of “fellow” in the American Society of Testing and Materials. He received numerous awards culminated by the Award of Merit, the society’s highest award.

Since 2005, Hoddinott has served as APHC’s point of contact for investigating allegations of non-Vietnam exposures, uses and storage of tactical herbicides. These investigations have resulted in helping to dispel allegations of tactical herbicide use at Okinawa, Korea, Guam and several locations in the U.S.

Keith Hoddinott

Hoddinott is certified by the American Registry for Certified Professionals in crops, agronomy and soils. He also holds a license in the state of Maryland for nutrition management.

He officially retired Aug. 1 with 36 years of federal service.

Hoddinott, who is married, plans to spend more time working on his farm in Northern Harford County. He and his wife sell vegetables, baked goods and handmade wooden crafts at the Bel Air Farmers’ Market.

“It feels very releasing to not have the daily responsibilities of coming in [to work] and finding out what your daily assignment is,” Hoddinott said about retirement.

John “Jack” Badstibner

John “Jack” Badstibner received the Department of the Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service; and Department of the Army certificates of appreciation and retirement.

Badstibner hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He began his federal career in the Defense Logistics Agency in 1981. His DLA tenure included positions as a professional accountant, payroll chief, voucher examination chief, deputy, accounting and finance officer. From 1991 to 2001, he served with the Defense Finance Accounting Service.

In 2001, Badstibner began his Army tenure in the 21st Theater Support Command within the U.S. Army Europe in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He sustained standard Army supply and maintenance systems supporting Army and Air Force logisticians during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001, Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, and CECOM in 2009, initially with the Logistics and Engineering Organization at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey and now with the Software Engineering Center at APG.

John “Jack” Badstibner

Badstibner culminates his career as the CECOM SEC Architecture and Data Services Branch chief. He officially retires Sept. 3 with more than 36 years of service.

Steve Ridings, CECOM SEC Engineering Services Division chief praised Badstibner’s dedication to his job.

“The success of the Engineering Services Division is truly reflected by Jack’s contributions,” he said. “As Jack prepares to enter his well-earned and deserved retirement, he leaves behind a lasting imprint on his colleagues and the Army.”

Badstibner, said his plans include relaxing, volunteering, traveling and researching his genealogy.

“I will take four to six months [off] for retrospection and introspection,” he said.

For information about or to participate in an installation retirement ceremony, contact Lisa Waldon at lisa.m.waldon.civ@mail.mil or 410-278-4353.

 

Story by Rachel Ponder, APG News