Man recognized during military retirement ceremony

Staff Reports

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Richard S. Gutknecht, a resident of Columbus, received several awards during a ceremony for his retirement from the military after 26 years.

Gutknecht, 48, a graduate of Hauser High School who entered the military with the active Army in November 1989, will officially retire Aug. 31. His career also has included time in the Indiana Army National Guard.

During the June 30 ceremony at Stout Field in Indianapolis, he received the the Honorable Order of Saint Martin Award, which is reserved for senior leader quartermaster soldiers and civilians who have performed conspicuous, long-term service for, or on behalf of, the United States Army Quartermaster Corps.

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Also at the ceremony, Gutknecht was recognized as a Distinguished Hoosier by state Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus, and also received the Meritorious Service Medal from Lt. Col. Marcus Thomas. The Meritorious Service Medal is presented to members of the United States armed forces who distinguished themselves by outstanding meritorious achievement or service to the country.

Gutknecht has been the property book officer for Camp Atterbury and Muscatatuck Urban Training Center since August 2012, helping to transform the joint training complex from a wartime mobilization platform to a world-class training venue, according to his military biography. In that time, he has redistributing or turned in more than $60 million worth of military equipment.

In 2008, Gutknecht volunteered to mobilize to Afghanistan with the 1-19th Agribusiness Development Team, under then-Col. Brian Copes. Because of the size and structure of the team, Gutknecht served as the logistics officer and performed unit supply duties. As the first team of its kind in Khost Province, Gutknecht helped establish the unit’s footprint, both in equipment and infrastructure, according to his biography.