Maj. Gen. Stephen Danner, the adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard, presents Lt. Col. Thomas A. Huber awards during Huber's retirement ceremony at the Ike Skelton Training Site. Huber served more than 27 years in the United States military. (Photo by Sarah E. Lupescu, Missouri National Guard).
By Sarah E. Lupescu
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - After serving more than 27 years in the military, a Missouri Air National Guardsman was recognized for his time and duty during a retirement ceremony at the Ike Skelton Training Site recently.
Lt. Col. Thomas A. Huber, of Jefferson City, knew he wanted to join the military someday when he was in fifth grade, he said.
"There is a song called 'The Ballad of the Green Berets,'" Huber said. "I heard that song on the Ed Sullivan show. I knew from that day on that I wanted to be a Soldier. When I got out of college, I enlisted in the United States Army."
Huber's many years of hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed.
"Thank you for all the service you have rendered in the past," said Maj. Gen. Stephen Danner, the adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard. "I hope that you'll be around this organization for many years to come."
Although he is retiring his uniform, Huber will still stay very close to the Missouri National Guard.
"I'm going to work as the real property manager in facilities here at the Ike Skelton Training Site," Huber said. "In addition to that, I'm going to continue to be a country lawyer."
Huber enlisted in the U.S. Army on Sept. 4, 1974, where he served as a squad leader with Headquarters Special Troops Battalion, VII Corps in Stuttgart, Germany. He later transferred to the Army Reserves and attended law school at the University of Missouri Kansas City. In 1983 Huber transferred Missouri Army National Guard and served as a legal clerk. He was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General Corps in 1985. In 2000, Huber transferred to the Air National Guard.
Huber's most recent assignment can be described as his dream assignment, he said. He has been attached to the Army National Guard where he worked with training and marksmanship.
"It was my dream job," Huber said. "I have had the nicest office in the world. My desk was ration's cases. The portraits on the wall were the clouds in the beautiful sky. And I got to launch bullets every time I showed up for duty. It was absolutely wonderful."
Huber, an avid marksman, enjoys any time he gets to handle weapons on the range, helping troops with personal matters, and training Soldiers on weapons and small unit tactics, he said.
Aside from marksmanship, participating in the annual Bataan Memorial Death March at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico was the highlight of Huber's career, he added.
"I did the Bataan Death March six times, three as an Airman and three as a Soldier," Huber said. "It was the hardest physical thing I've ever done in my life, but I loved doing it. I'd like to do it again as a civilian. That's one of the things I hope to do in the future."
Huber's military retirement is bittersweet.
"I'm going to miss my amigos," Huber said. "My whole National Guard career has been made very enjoyable and very pleasing because of the people and my assignments. I got to do what I love doing."
Huber counts his blessings and is grateful for the time he has served, he said.
"I think it's really a blessing to be a part of something that is noble and being a part of something that is bigger than you," Huber said. "It's been great to be in a place where you can use all of your talents and be with some of the most wonderful people that we have in the Missouri National Guard."
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Col. Timothy Jones presents Lt. Col. Thomas A. Huber awards during Huber's retirement ceremony at the Ike Skelton Training Site. Huber served more than 27 years in the United States military. (Photo by Sarah E. Lupescu, Missouri National Guard).