One noncommissioned officer and three government civilians with more than 141 years of combined service were hailed for their sacrifices to the nations during the installation retirement ceremony at the post theater Jan. 25.
The commanding general of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, RDECOM, Maj. Gen. Cedric Wins presided over the ceremony and presented awards, assisted by RDECOM Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Gutierrez. The honorees included Steven J. Signoretti of the Communications-Electronics Command, or CECOM; Ruth E. Badstibner, also of CECOM; and civilian Melvin M. Spence and Sgt. 1st Class Ophelia Sheppard of the 20th CBRNE Command.
Wins hailed the sacrifices of the retirees and their family members and called the opportunity to recognize the service of retirees, “special.”
“This is an opportunity to come together to collectively share our stories,” he said. “I think it shouldn’t be lost on anyone in this audience the amount of sacrifice these retires gave to this country.
“On behalf of Aberdeen Proving Ground,” he told the retirees, “I wish you the very best in your future endeavors, and I wish you Godspeed. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this moment.”
Steven J. Signoretti
Signoretti, who was accompanied by his mother, Agatha Signoretti, was awarded the Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award and DA certificates of appreciation and retirement signed by Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, APG Senior Leader and CECOM commander.
A native of Oceanside, New York, Signoretti enlisted in the Army in 1977. He trained in Strategic Microwave Systems and Satellite Communications Equipment repair, and served until he was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant in 1986.
He began his civil service career at Tobyhanna Army Depot in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania in the Automated Systems division until he left in July 1991 for an assignment with the U.S. Army Materiel Support Center – Korea, where he spent the next 12 years. He served as the AMC equipment manager, U.S. Army Materiel Command, from May 2003 to February 2005.
While with CECOM he served at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, in Korea and at APG as National Maintenance Team Lead; Director for Maintenance; and Chief, Maintenance Division-LRC.
He retires as chief of the Field Support Division, CECOM-Software Engineering Center.
His past awards include the Korean Civilian Service Medal; the Superior Civilian Service Award; and the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.
Signoretti retired Nov. 25, 2017, with 40 years of service.
He thanked his wife and everyone he’s ever worked with for their support.
“I will not miss the hours, but I will certainly miss working with all of you,” he said. “It has been my honor and privilege to serve beside you.”
Ruth E. Badstibner
Badstibner, who was accompanied by her husband, John, was awarded the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, and DA certificates of retirement and appreciation signed by Taylor. John Badstibner received the DA certificate of appreciation.
Ruth Badstibner began her civil service career in 1984 as an inventory management specialist in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She eventually moved on to the DLA Systems Activities Center where she was named the Year 2000 Project Manager. She served in Germany prior to coming to APG where she was responsible for price and credit processing for CECOM.
Badstibner holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Robert Morris University and master’s degrees in Executive Management and Program Management from Ashland University and the Keller School of Management.
She retired Nov. 11, 2017 as a logistics management specialist, CECOM-LRC, with more than 33 years of service.
Melvin M. Spence
A native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Spence enlisted in the Army in December 1976 and retired from active duty December 2000 as the senior enlisted advisor at the Army Test and Evaluation Command’s Aberdeen Test Center.
After transitioning from the Army, he worked as a production manager and as a contract machinist before he entered civilian service at APG in 2002.
Spence served as a toxic material control operator for the U.S. Army Technical Escort Unit, and later as a physical science technician in the
Mobile Expeditionary laboratory of the Chemical Analytical Remediation Agency where he conducted several stateside and overseas missions. In 2005, he deployed to South West Asia in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Spence culminates his career as a physical science technician with the Analytical and Remediation Activity of the 20th CBRNE Command.
A graduate of Columbia Southern University, Spence hold a bachelor’s degree in Project Management. He and his wife, Mary, have five adult children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Spence said his future plans include relocating to Virginia and writing a book.
He retired Jan. 6, 2018, with 40 years of service.
Spence said, except for his wife, who he thanked for sticking with him, “through good times and bad times,” the only thanks he has to offer is to God.
“I give my thanks above all to God,” he said. “I’ve got to give him all the glory.”
Sgt. 1st Class Ophelia Sheppard
Sheppard was awarded the DA Certificate of Appreciation signed by President Donald Trump; the DA Certificate of Retirement from Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley; and the U.S. flag and pin.
Sheppard hails from South Carolina. In March 1994, she attended One Station Unit Training at Fort McClellan, Alabama, and graduated as a Chemical Operations Specialist. Her past duty assignments include Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Wainwright, Alaska; Fort Stewart, Georgia; Camp Walker, Korea; and Schweinfurt, Germany. She deployed three times in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Iraqi Freedom III, and Iraqi Freedom 10-12.She retires March 31 as a chemical demilitarization/stockpile safety noncommissioned officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Chemical Material Activity Operations Center.
Her awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service, Army Commendation, Army Achievement, and Good Conduct medals, and the Drivers Badge. She also is a recipient of the Order of the Dragon (Bronze Medallion).
Shepard, who was accompanied on stage by her sister, had several family members in attendance.
“I want to thank my family for coming out and supporting me on this wonderful occasion,” she said.