NY Army National Guard Warrant Officer Gerard Ford, a North Massapequa resident, retires after 41 years of military service
LATHAM, NY (10/23/2018) After 20 years of service with the New York Army National Guard, and with 21 years of Marines service before that, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Gerard M. Ford, a North Massapequa resident, has retired from the military.
Ford's service was recognized during a Sept. 9, 2018 ceremony at Camp Smith Training Site near Peekskill.
retired Sept. 9, 2018. For 19 years Ford served as the 369th Sustainment Brigade's branch chief for Special operations (SPO) in the Sustainment Automation Support Management (SASMO). Sustainment automation is responsible for making sure that life-sustaining resources, like 'beans and bullets,' make it to the Soldier in a timely manner to keep them ready to support and fight in U.S. military missions and campaigns. Ford has been at the head of those operations for the 369th for over ten years.
The unit was nicknamed the Harlem Hellfighters during World War I when it was an African-American infantry regiment.
"Chief Fords experience, dedication, and selfless service is an example of the quality of soldiers within the ranks of the Hellfighters," said Col. Stephen M. Bousquet brigade commander.
Bousquet explained that Ford's legacy will live on through all of the individuals he has mentored through his 41 years of service.
Ford, enlisted in the Marines on March 23, 1977 as a radio operator. He became a Warrant Office in the Marines as an information systems technician before deciding that he wanted to serve his state as well as the country.
He signed on to the New York Army National Guard in the same role also as Warrant Officer in September 2000.
"I am blessed to have served with two branches, there are more similarities than you would believe," Ford said.
Sustainment automation operations were the heart and soul of that deployment and Ford was a mentor to any Soldiers who crossed paths with him, Bousquet said.
"He was a great leader, and mentor, he was like a father to us, said Spc. Roseyine Velez a unit supply specialist said of Ford "He taught me everything I know in the field."
Learning to be a good leader has been "the most challenging thing for me in my military career, Ford said.
"What I will miss the most is the loss of community. The 369th is a family to me, that's going to be making leaving difficult, but it's time for me to retire," Ford said. "The leadership of the 369th gives me personally a lot of confidence as I leave."