By 1st Lt. Thomas Herron, 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery, Unit Public Affairs Representative
The tradition of serving our State and Nation is alive and well in the Kansas National Guard. The 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery, headquartered in Hiawatha, recognized three of its members: Sgt. Maj. Randy J. Rice, Madison; Master Sgt. Scott D. Baruth, Wamego; and Sgt. 1st Class Michael R. Maschmeier, Marysville, in a retirement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 9.“The retirement ceremony is our nation’s expression of appreciation for a job well done and an official recognition of a long period of faithful and honorable service to our country,” said Maj. Jeff Mann, battalion executive officer. “Today we will celebrate the career accomplishments of Sergeant Major Randy J. Rice, Master Sergeant Scott D. Baruth and Sergeant First Class Michael R. Maschmeier after a combined 103 years of military service.”
“I stand here inspired,” said Lt. Col. Larry Leupold, battalion commander. “Individuals like these soldiers before me, make me proud and honored, even after 25 years of service, to wear the uniform. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the families of these Soldiers for the love and support given through the years of their service. Without family support our service members would not be able to serve with such distinction.”
Rice enlisted in the Kansas Army National on July 23, 1980, and served for more than 31 years, with a break in service. Rice deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005-2006. Rice distinguished himself in his position as the Joint Operations Center noncommissioned officer in charge where he trained on and managed countless state emergency response efforts for the state.
“The National Guard has been good to me and my family,” said Rice. “From education benefits, health care, and access to lifelong learning, the National Guard has made me the man I am today.”
Baruth enlisted in the Kansas Army National Guard on Oct. 14, 1975, and served for more than 42 years. Baruth deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, 2007-2008, and Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2009-2010. “The National Guard was the right fit for me,” said Baruth. “It allowed me to have a civilian career and still serve my country. The training and education I received in the National Guard helped me in all aspects of my life.”
Maschmeier joined the Kansas Army National Guard on April 3, 1987, and served for more than 30 years. Maschmeier deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003-2005, and in support of the Multinational Force and Observers 53 Egypt Sinai, 2009-2010.
“Everyone here is my family,” said Maschmeier. “The National Guard has been my second family for over 30 years. All the people I have met throughout my career will be what I miss most about my service.”