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gil farewell smallA retirement ceremony was held for United States Army Colonel Carl Giles at the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), Stavanger, Norway.

Presided over by Major General Erhard Buehler, Commander JWC, the ceremony honoured Colonel Giles, JWC's former Chief, Joint Exercise Division (JED) and Special Advisor to the Deputy Commander, who retired on Thursday, 26 June after nearly three decades of service.

Joining him for this special day of celebration was his wife, Monica and elder brother Lieutenant Commander (Ret.) Kevin Giles, as well as the JWC staff, family and friends.

"For the last 28 years, it has been my great honour and privilege to lead and serve with the young men and women of America's armed forces. It has been the most challenging and rewarding experience in my life. And more recently, it has been my great pleasure to serve with you here at the JWC. Equally challenging experience, very enriching and filled with memories that Monica and I will cherish for the rest of my life," Colonel Giles said, adding: "My time here at the JWC has been outstanding and I am proud to be a part of this team. Not only because JWC has such a tremendous impact on the whole Alliance, but also because I have gotten to meet and serve with the wonderful people of NATO's international community here in this great country. I always wanted to leave on a high note and my time here is a pretty high one. I leave the Army certain that the next generation of soldiers will step up and quickly fill the gap: they are ready, they are battle-hardened, and they are much more experienced and capable than my generation. And the Army is in very good hands. The mission will continue."

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Colonel Giles thanked the people and leaders he worked with throughout his career with a special recognition for the Non-Commissioned Officer Corps. He thanked his family for their support over the many years and deployments they endured. He then thanked all the guests for sharing this special day with him and his family at the JWC.

The guest speaker of the event was Lieutenant Commander (Ret.) Kevin Giles who, in his remarks, talked about the moments his brother made him proud, while lauding his accomplishments from the very beginning, a job perfectly done with commitment and passion.

Following the reading of the orders and presentation of the United States flag, Mrs. Monica Giles was recognized for her contributions in sharing the burden of military service, and for her dedicated service as a member of the Army Family as well as the JWC community. Major General Erhard Buehler then delivered a speech where he honored and thanked Colonel Giles for his tremendous service, steadfast commitment and professional leadership.

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Colonel Giles joined the JWC in January 2012 and served as the Chief of the Joint Exercise Division until May 2014.

During his tour here, the JWC has transformed NATO's exercise programme by introducing a complex, collective defence scenario that integrates the joint HQs from stakeholder Nations into strategic, operational and tactical training venues.

Additionally, the JWC has operationalized multi-echelon training for NATO units, enabling more HQs to training simultaneously.

Colonel Giles contributed to the continued expansion of the Combined U.S. – NATO collective training enterprise and he was a key driver in the design and delivery of several robust, multi-echeloned ISAF Mission Rehearsal Exercises. Colonel Giles leaves as a legacy a vision of a more focused, efficient and effective NATO exercise programme that will lead the JWC and NATO into the future.