Col. Richard J. Poole, the former assistant commandant of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Center and School, was honored with a retirement ceremony for 25 years of service to the nation April 9.

During the ceremony, Brig. Gen. Mark A. Bellini, QMC&S commanding general, said Poole had a distinguished career, and he was a leader among Soldiers around the world.

“Jay’s the kind of officer who has always sought, found and handled the toughest assignments. He’s been that steady-state kind of person that makes sure things happen,” Bellini said to the ceremony’s audience. “He’s done all things while serving in five different Army divisions, and that’s a magnificent tribute to the kind of man that he is. Those who have been fortunate enough to serve with him know that he’s exceptionally caring, he’s a gifted person, he’s a dedicated leader, and he works from the heart.”

Poole said that it has been an honor to be an officer in the Army, to be working with Soldiers who are dedicated professionals.

“I was fortunate to command at the company, battalion and brigade level, and it was there that I realized that we have very little time with Soldiers and it’s precious,” Poole said. “As leaders we all owe it to our Soldiers…I’m proud of all we have achieved together over the years. We don’t choose the task we undertake in the Army, we simply join knowing that we’ll be tested…However, our strength is that with our dedication and training we have the ability and determination to overcome all obstacles.”

He reminded everyone that even though he was retiring, he will be an avid supporter of the Army.

Poole entered the Army as a quartermaster second lieutenant in 1982 through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at Longwood College. His initial assignment was with the 1st Cavalry Division.

He served at the Quartermaster Center and School commanding Companies T and E, and served as aide-de-camp to the 40th quartermaster general.

Other assignments and commands include the 8th Infantry Division, 1st Armored Division, Implementation Force Support Command, U.S. Army Personnel Command, Army Materiel Command and 2nd Division Support Command.

In August 2005, Poole assumed duties as the assistant commandant of the Quartermaster Center and School.

Poole is married to the former Melanie D. Lowery. They have three daughters: Candice, Julie and Heather.