Guard honors retirees, hall of fame inductees |

Guard honors retirees, hall of fame inductees

Steve Ranson
Nevada Appeal News Service

The Nevada Army National Guard officially recognized 45 guardsmen from Northern Nevada who retired during the past year in a ceremony Sunday in Carson City. The retirees represent more than 1,000 years of combined military service.

Brig. Gen. William G. Burks, the adjutant general, commended the retirees and said their history is important for others still wearing the uniform.

“We have witnessed your acts of sacrifice and heroism, your compassion and courage, your unity and fierce determination,” Burks said. “We have been reminded that we are citizens with obligations to each other, to our country and for this we thank you.”

In addition to those retiring, the Nevada Army National Guard also inducted previously retired guardsmen into the Hall of Fame for contributions made to the Guard.

Retired Col. Joe Rooney retired from the Nevada Army National Guard in 2001 and continues to support programs for retired soldiers. He left active U.S. Army duty in 1972 and in 1977, he joined the Nevada Army National Guard as chief of the Recruiting and Retention Branch. Since his initial assignment, he held a wide variety of military assignments in both Carson City and Reno.

Rooney joined the Army National Guard as a full-time employee in 1991. He has held various full time positions. While serving as the state’s top training officer, he was instrumental in working with Naval Air Station Fallon in procuring the funding and developing a small arms marksmanship range south of Fallon on federal land.

Today, all branches of the military are able use the range.

Command Sgt. Major John Hefner, a resident of Douglas County, began his military service in 1979. He enlisted in the 3rd of the 163rd Cavalry as a legal clerk. In 1983 Hefner was placed on active duty and served in 221 Cavalry as a personnel NCO. He was transferred from 221st Cavalry to the comptrollers office for nearly 10 years overseeing pay operations, accounts payable and travel payments to soldiers. Hefner retired in March 2009 after 30 years of service.

Both men also received the Armed Forces Retired Commemorative award that is presented for exceptionally meritorious service to the Nevada Army National Guard and the community.