Retirement - a departure from 42 years of service


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice Archive/2009/May/090527-01.html

FORT CARSON, Colo. (USASOC News Service, May 27, 2009) – This month ends a long career of an exceptional Special Forces officer. Chief Warrant Officer Five William P. Mellars, a native of Washington, Penn. and graduate of Washington High School, reluctantly retires from the U.S. Army May 31 after serving more than 42 years of reserve and active duty service.

Mellars, one of the Senior Warrant Officers for 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, Colo., is one of two Vietnam veterans still on active duty serving in Special Forces.

Mellars entered the Army in 1966 and soon served two tours in Vietnam with the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV).

After 16 years, he left active duty service in 1982 and for the next eight years served in the Army Reserves before returning to active duty in 1990. In 1992, then a Master Sgt., Mellars made another career change and became a Warrant Officer.

With more deployments than Mellars can count to Southwest Asia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq. He has served as a Human Resources Specialist, Weapons Sergeant, Infantry Senior Sergeant, Special Forces Senior Sergeant, and his latest duty as an S3 Operations Planner for 10th SFG(A).

His military education includes the Basic Airborne School, Free Fall Jumpmaster Course, Free Fall Parachutist Course, Joint Civil Affairs Staff Planner, Jumpmaster Course, Ranger Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (High Risk) Course, and Warrant Officer Candidate School and Basic Course.

His awards include the Bronze Star medal, Meritorious Service medal (2nd award), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation medal, Joint Service Achievement medal, and the Army Achievement medal (4th award).

His decorations consist of the Army Good Conduct medal (2nd award), the National Defense Service medal (3rd award), the Vietnam Service medal, the South West Asia Service medal with service star, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service medal, the Iraqi Campaign medal w/two service stars, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development ribbon (3rd award), Army Service ribbon, Overseas Service ribbon (2nd award), Army Reserve Component Overseas Training ribbon (2nd award), NATO medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign medal, and the Armed Forces Reserve medal.

Mellars also wears the Combat Infantryman badge, Expert Infantryman badge, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Expert Rifle, Pistol, & Grenade badge, Parachutist badge, and Military Free Fall and Jumpmaster badge.

Mellars and his wife Beverly have two children and it is no mystery that Mellars’ 25-year-old son would follow his example.

Staff Sgt. Mellars, an Engineer, enlisted in 2006, and earned his Green Beret in May 2008 with his father and family proudly looking on. He is also assigned to 10th SFG(A); making him the third generation of Mellars to serve in the Army as Chief Mellars’ father, Lt. Col. (Retired) Charles Mellars, of Washington, Penn., served as an Artilleryman in World War II.

Retirement is not a novelty to this family and Mellars’ father Charles, and mother, Evelyn, are witnessing another family tradition while watching their grandson’s career just beginning to grow.

Chief Warrant Officer Five William P. Mellars (right), a native of Washington, Penn. retires from the U.S. Army May 31 after serving more than 42 years of reserve and active duty service. A member of 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, Colo., Mellars is pictured here with his son at his promotion to Staff Sgt. in January 2009. (Photo courtesy of 10th SFG(A) Combat Camera)
Wows, that's quite an impressive career. I wonder how many Vietnam vets are still left on active duty? The article mentions one other in SF (CSM of SOCOM? I think the guy I'm thinking of is a CSM anyway).
Kinda sounds like my dad. He's been in 32 years so far and has like 8 or so for him to get the retirement pay that he wants. He's been in the military well over half his life and over twice of mine.
Awesome, neat to see the picture of him with his son at the promotion ceremony. Congrats on your retirement Chief (is this correct term?) and thank you for your service.