Missouri Guardsman retires after 42 years of service

Maj. Gen. Stephen Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard, recognizes Sgt. Maj. Gary Blackorby on his retirement after 42 years of military service. (U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Clay Beyersdorfer, 70th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment).

Maj. Gen. Stephen Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard, recognizes Sgt. Maj. Gary Blackorby on his retirement after 42 years of military service. (U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Clay Beyersdorfer, 70th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment).

By Pfc. Mariah F. Best
ngmo.pao@us.army.mil

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - After serving in the military more than 40 years, a Missouri Army National Guardsman was recognized for his time and duty during a retirement ceremony at the Ike Skelton Training Site recently.

Sgt. Maj. Gary D. Blackorby, a Novinger native, began his military career in 1971.

"I've been real lucky to have really good Soldiers everywhere, above and below me," said Blackorby.

Maj. Gen. Stephen Danner, the adjutant general of the Missouri Army National Guard, talked about how Blackorby has always been a "cool" leader.

"The thing that so much impressed me about him as a sergeant major is he always took care of his troops," said Danner.

Blackorby received the Legion of Merit Medal during the retirement ceremony. He received the medal for exceptionally meritorious service spanning 42 years in positions of responsibility culminating as a logistics sergeant major at Joint Forces Headquarters.

"Blackorby always placed care for Soldiers before himself," the award read. "He expressed true proficiency, leadership, integrity and skill that improved every unit in which he served."

Throughout his National Guard career, Blackorby has held numerous prestigious positions. He served as the 35th Infantry Division Support Command command sergeant major, 35th Area Support Group command sergeant major, 735th Support Battalion command sergeant major, the 135th Signal Battalion command sergeant major, and culminating as the Joint Forces logistics sergeant major.

Blackorby is retiring from his position as a military technician at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop, command sergeant major, located at ISTS.

His daughter Melissa Colbin, sons Jake and Nick, and friend Lori Pratte joined Blackorby during the ceremony.

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