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NEWS | April 22, 2024

Final Formation for Departing Soldiers

By Staff Sgt. Lauren Kirk, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

In a poignant display of respect and camaraderie, the Kentucky National Guard held its Final Formation ceremony Saturday at the Boone National Guard Center, bidding farewell to Soldiers of various ranks who are concluding their service.

The Final Formation Program, overseen by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Adriane Graf, Joint Forces Headquarters retirement and discharge officer, assists Soldiers with out-processing from the Kentucky National Guard whether the Soldier’s term of service is expiring (ETS) or the Soldier is retiring.

“Soldiers receive a one-on-one review of their records and individual counseling to ensure they are fully aware of their entitlements and benefits,” explained Graf. “Final Formation is not intended to be a retention event, but Soldiers can be retained. They will also have the opportunity to meet with prospective employers seeking employees with prior military service.

Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Pesis served 21 years as a medic with the Kentucky National Guard.

“Never thought about how impactful I was until I saw my Soldiers out at a restaurant one evening,” said Pesis. “We talked about so much of our pasts, and how I had been an inspiration to many.” Pesis will be retiring after 21 years of service, including deployments overseas and vital roles in domestic disaster response efforts. “The camaraderie and sense of duty within the Guard have been my guiding force,” Pesis remarked during the event.

The event concluded with a shared meal to the departing soldiers, symbolizing the end of their current duties and the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.

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