30-Jun-2021 Source: US National Guard
The longest serving member of the Pennsylvania National Guard will soon retire after 45 years of continuous service.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael Moy, a UH-60 helicopter repairer and crew chief with 1st Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment, 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, 28th Infantry Division, will retire June 30, 2021. He joined the Pa. National Guard March 21, 1976, and became a military technician in 1999.
Moy credits his longevity in service to staying healthy and to his unit making use of his knowledge and experience to train the next generation of aviation Soldiers, especially while the 28th ECAB prepared for its recently completed overseas deployment.
“I’ve done this my entire adult life, so this is a bittersweet moment,” he said.
In 2018, Moy received the General William Moffat Reilly Medal, which is awarded annually to the Pennsylvania National Guard Airmen or Soldier who at the time of presentation, has served faithfully for the longest period. This award recognizes long, faithful, and continuous service in the Pennsylvania National Guard. All service must be honorable and continuous.
Moy said his most memorable experiences in the military are his three deployments to Iraq.
“That’s where everything comes together and your training has real-world application,” said Moy. “You always hear ‘train as you fight,’ and a lot of Guardsmen think ‘well, what’s the chance of me actually getting deployed?’ It’s actually quite high.”
Moy said his proudest moment during his long service was when he helped rescue eight people and three pets during flooding in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 13, 2018.
“I came in that morning just to show people the capabilities of the hoist,” said Moy. “We finished that and were on the flood relief mission an hour later. We got quick turn on fuel, brief for the mission, hopped in the aircraft, got the equipment that we needed and launched.”
Over the next couple days, Soldiers with the 28th ECAB worked with their counterparts in the Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team, a joint partnership between the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, to carry out hoist rescues of 19 people, two dogs and a cat.
Although his retirement will mean the loss of 45 years of institutional knowledge, Moy is confident those who are taking his place will do a good job
“Being a Soldier, you are replaceable,” said Moy. “Imagine you put your finger in a glass of water. As soon as you remove that finger, that hole is filled. So you’re replaceable, so train your replacement. That’s the most important thing- to train the next generation.”
“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve,” he added. “We’re part of that 1 percent … we’re the 1 percent that stepped up to the plate, signed our name on the dotted line and said ‘we’ll do this.’”