Dr. Russell places the retirement pin on Col. Clarke’s lapel.
ARL director Thomas P. Russell retired Col. Matthew T. Clarke, commander of the Simulation and Training Technology Center in Orlando, Fla., on July 2, 2014. Clarke served the Army for nearly 30 years and spent the last two at the STTC. Clarke also served as the acting military deputy for ARL and the acting director of the Human Research and Engineering Directorate.
The ceremony was well attended by Team Orlando members including Maj. Gen. Jon Maddux, the new program executive officer for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation; Dr. Laurel Allender, director, HRED; Col. Crites, commander for the Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation, and many other military, academic and industry leaders.
Family is the cornerstone of support for a military service member.
Clarke’s stepfather, Dr. Paul Richards, opened the ceremony by providing a moving invocation that celebrated his 30 years of dedicated service to the United States.
During his remarks Dr. Russell stated, “The most important thing I actually do in my career is to have the opportunity to retire officers at the end or their careers. But, I want to break protocol for a moment…and recognize the family first. Missy, Noah, Josh, it’s really been your support that has made Col. Clarke’s career as successfully as it is today. Thank you very much for what you have done to support him and the U.S. Army for the past 29 years.”
Prior to his official retirement, Dr. Russell presented Clarke with the Legion of Merit for his achievements, dedication and exemplary performance of duty during his distinguished military career.
The Old Glory Guard performed the time-honored tradition of passing the retirement flag while the dates of Clarke’s commissioning were read aloud. After the retirement flag was passed to Clarke he presented it to his mother as a thank you for all her support.
As part of Army tradition, Mrs. Clarke is given roses to thank her for her support of her husband during his Army career.
“I must say that it was an absolute joy to work in ARL and be part of the STTC experience. This is an organization full of innovation, talent, and dedication. It is an organization that will build the future through creative and effective technologies to train, assist, protect, and enhance our Soldiers so that they remain the best soldiers in the world,” remarked Clarke during the retirement.
Clarke was born in Groton, Massachusetts, and grew up as an Army brat. He received his Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and was commissioned through the ROTC into the United States Army Corps of Engineers. He holds a Masters Degree in acquisition management and contracting from the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA.
Col. Clarke relinquished his responsibilities to Lt. Col. Joseph Lisella, who became the acting commander until Col. Gary Laase assumes command in the summer.
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