Brig. Gen. Marty Robinson, assistant adjutant general for the Missouri National Guard, presents the Meritorious Service Medal to Master Sgt. Don Thompson during Thompson's retirement ceremony. Thompson serviced more than 30 years in the U.S. military. (U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Clay Beyersdorfer, 70th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment).
By Pfc. Mariah F. Best
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - After serving more than 30 years in the military, a Missouri Army National Guardsman was recognized for his time and duty during a retirement ceremony at the Ike Skelton Training Site recently.
Master Sgt. Don Thompson began his military career in 1970.
"It's hard to say what part of my career I enjoyed the most over the 30-year span," said Thompson. "Seeing Soldier's advance in their careers, that's something I really found joy in."
Family support has been a major part of Thompson's success in his military career, he said.
"One thing I want to stay active in is the Family events," said Thompson. "We have a lot of good support with that and it's been really effective."
Thompson received the Meritorious Service Medal during the retirement ceremony for exceptionally meritorious service of duty during a distinguished 30-year career.
"Master Sgt. Thompson has displayed the highest standards of performance and service while contributing to the combat readiness of the Missouri Army National Guard," the award read. "Master Sgt. Thompson's determination, dedication, devotion to duty and selfless service epitomizes the noncommissioned officer corps."
Brig. Gen. Marty Robinson, assistant adjutant general for the Missouri Guard, praised Thompson and his Family during the ceremony for their display of unwavering support.
"It's because of the never ending cycle of support, that you have had the opportunities that you've had," said Robinson. "You stood on the broad shoulders of the people before you and there are a lot of people in this room and Soldiers who couldn't be here today because they had a chance to stand on your shoulders."
Thompson served as a platoon sergeant for the 735th Support Battalion in 1998 and then transferred to the 140th Regiment, Regional Training Institute as the senior small group leader for the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course and Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course in 2000. From 2002-2003 Thompson served as the RTI assistant branch chief for ANCOC. From 2004-2005 Thompson continued his service with the RTI as the operations noncommissioned officer in charge for phase III of Officer Candidate School, as well as the quality assurance NCO for OCS.
Thompson is best known for his duty as the first sergeant for Joint Force Headquarters, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment from 2008-2010, prior to deploying with the Agribusiness Development Team V as an agricultural specialist.
Thompson was joined by his wife Cindi, son Aaron and his wife Renee, son Jason daughter Jennifer and her husband Jon, and grandchild Gavin.
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Brig. Gen. Marty Robinson, assistant adjutant general for the Missouri National Guard, presents a Certificate of Appreciation to Cindi Thompson, Master Sgt. Don Thompson's wife, during her husband's career. Thompson serviced more than 30 years in the U.S. military. (U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Clay Beyersdorfer, 70th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment).