On April 13, 1st Sgt. Joel Gibbons retired from the Tennessee Army National Guard following a change of responsibility ceremony at Knoxville’s National Guard Armory on Sutherland Avenue after 23 years of service.
Gibbons, originally from Niagara Falls, New York, officially retired on March 29 after following in the footsteps of his father and two older brothers by enlisting in the U.S. Army in August 1989.
During his career, Gibbons deployed to Iraq for both Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm as a member of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and again with the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and 2010.
Gibbons has received the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal, among numerous other awards attained during his career.
During the ceremony, Gibbons passed his current responsibility as 278th Regimental Headquarters Troop First Sergeant to 1st Sgt. Rob Holdway of Greenville.
Gibbons said, “It was both a privilege and honor to lead his unit,” and he learned from everyone he served beside.
In appreciation of Gibbons’ service, Headquarters Troop Commander, Capt. Greg Smith, presented Gibbons a mounted scabbard and cavalry sword from the soldiers of the unit. He also received a congratulations letter from Gov. Bill Haslam, with a framed certificate of appreciation from the 278th commander, Col. Frank McCauley and Regimental Command Sgt. Maj. Vincent Roach.
Gibbons works as a homicide detective sergeant with the Clarksville Police Department and lives with his wife, Katina, and family in Clarksville.
He said, “I look forward to having more time to spend with my wife Katina and our sons Eli, Charles, Preston, Zackary, and our daughter, Savana.”