The V.I. National Guard lost 166 years of experience Saturday during a ceremony honoring five people retiring after decades of service.
More than 300 people gathered in the auditorium at the St. Croix Educational Complex to honor the five: Lt. Col. Stanley S. Jones, Command Sgt. Maj. Eugenie J. Santos, Command Sgt. Maj. Hollis D. McIntosh, Master Sgt. Edgardo Sanes, and Sgt. 1st Class Leonard R. Frett Sr.
State Command Sgt. Maj. Mona Barnes commented each of the five retirees had been her superior at different points in her military service, and she thanked each of them for the important influence they had on her career.
Major General Renaldo Rivera, the adjutant general for the VING, reminisced about each of the five retiring members.
Following the general’s remarks, each retiring member was called up one at a time, their biographies and orders read, a series of awards, plaques and gifts from their colleagues and co-workers were presented, and finally, they were given a chance to make some final remarks.
The retirees and the highlights of their service:
• Lt. Col. Stanley S. Jones: Jones received a direct appointment as a second lieutenant in the Army National Guard in 1978, and assigned as radio-TV officer for the 685th Public Affairs Detachment in St. Thomas. By 1989, he had achieved the rank of major, attending a variety of advanced courses and training, and was given his first command, as detachment commander of the headquarters unit. In 1991 he became assistant chief of staff, with direct responsibility to the chief of staff and the adjutant general. After graduating from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, he was selected battalion commander of the 104th Troop Command and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1993. His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the National Defense Service Medal, the Virgin Island Commendation Medal, and the VI Long and Faithful Service Medal. Jones was one of 12 children born to his parents, has been married to Ione Farrington Jones for 37 years, and is the father of three sons
• Command Sgt. Maj. Eugenie J. Santos is the first Hispanic and the second woman ever to hold the rank of command sergeant major in the V.I. National Guard. Born in Christiansted, she graduated from St. Croix Central High School before enlisting in the V.I. National Guard in 1976. Santos has served in a variety of assignments, including food service specialist, personnel records specialist, chief administrative non-commissioned officer and first sergeant. She was command sergeant major for the 104th Troop Command and currently serves as the G3 sergeant major in the Joint Force Headquarters section. Her decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with a silver oak leaf cluster, and the Virgin Islands Emergency Service Ribbon with Numeral 4.
• Command Sgt. Maj. Hollis D. McIntosh: Born on St. Croix in 1955, she graduated from St. Croix Central High School in 1974, enlisting in the Guard later that year. She holds an associate degree in general studies from Central Texas University, is scheduled to earn a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science from Ashford University in 2012, and currently has a GPA of 3.9. She was first assigned to the 661st Military Police Company, and since then has worked as a unit clerk, section chief, detachment sergeant administrative and supply technician. Her current assignment is sergeant major for recruiting and retention in the Recruiting and Retention Battalion. Her awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Master Recruiter Badge. She is the mother of two children and grandmother to two.
• Master Sgt. Edgardo Sanes: Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1965, Sanes moved with his family to the Virgin Islands in 1969. Graduating from St. Croix Central High School in 1983, he attended the Intramerican University of Puerto Rico until 1985, the same year he enlisted in the Army. While on active duty, he was a personnel actions specialist at Fort Knox, Ky., and later in Fulda, Germany. In 1991, after six years on active duty, he returned to St. Croix and joined the V.I. National Guard. He worked in a variety of personnel positions and was administrative and budget NCO for the Counterdrug Task Force until 1995. His most recent assignment is non-commissioned officer in charge of the Joint Force Headquarters. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the VI Emergency Service Ribbon, and the VI Long and Faithful Service Medal. He is married to the former Yvonne Vasquez and is the father of three children and grandfather to one.
• Sgt. 1st Class Leonard R. Frett Sr. was born on St. Thomas and graduated from Charlotte Amalie High School n 1969. Immediately after graduating, he joined the V.I. Police Department and served as an officer until 1972. In 1976 he joined the V.I. National Guard, completing the Military Police Course at Fort McClellan, Ala., and later reclassifying as a food service specialist sergeant with the 651st Maintenance Company. In 2003, he deployed with the 661st Military Police Company to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Upon returning, he managed the Security Guard Force and the Physical Security Program. In 2006 he performed a Humanitarian Civil Assistance mission to Ecuador. His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Army Commendation Medal, the Virgin Islands Commendation Medal, and the VI Emergency Service Ribbon.