Guard’s Rowe retires after 38 years of military service

Capt. Stephen Rowe receives the Meritorious Service Medal from Missouri National Guard Chief of Staff Col. Wendul Hagler. (US Army photo by: Spc. Adam Winters)

By Spc. Adam Winters

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A Missouri National Guard sergeant first class retired as captain after 38 years of military service to his country.

Capt. Stephen Rowe was honored with a retirement ceremony at the Ike Skelton Training Site. During the ceremony, Rowe was presented with numerous awards and decorations including a Presidential Certificate of Appreciation for his distinguished and extensive career.

Rowe's military career began with his enrollment in the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Northeast Missouri State University in Kirksville, Mo. A few months after commissioning in 1973 as a second lieutenant, Rowe was called to Active Duty to serve as an armor officer at Fort Leonard Wood. Rowe served in the Active Army for three years where he commanded a tank unit.

After completing Active Duty, Rowe returned to the United States Army Reserve where he rose to the rank of captain and served in a number of positions to include infantry company commander, training officer, and brigade maintenance officer.

Rowe left the Army Reserve and entered the Individual Ready Reserve for a brief period of time. Shortly after, he enlisted as a sergeant in the Missouri Army National Guard's 1175th Military Police Company.

Rowe remained in the Guard enlisted ranks for 23 years in many different capacities as a team leader, battle and nuclear biological chemical noncommissioned officer (NCO), squad leader, logistics NCO, and administrative NCO.

As a squad leader, Rowe earned the rank of sergeant first class and led his troops during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Noble Eagle and peacekeeping missions in Italy and Panama.

Rowe held a staff member appointment for a massive road construction training project in Alaska that aided thousands of island-bound Alaskan natives enabling them to better support themselves and their families.

Since Rowe spent time as a commissioned officer, the Missouri National Guard saw fit to reinstate his rank as captain as he enters retirement.

Rowe plans to retire to Alaska with his wife, Shiela Rowe.

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