U.S. Army Alaska chief of staff to serve as "Mr. Mom"

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 20:00
Eagle River man retires after more than 30 years of service
Col. Gary Agron poses with his wife, Gina, at his retirement ceremony Feb. 10 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Col. Gary Agron ended his three-decade military career in the same place he grew up — Alaska.

A 1977 East High graduate, Agron retired Feb. 10 as U.S. Army Alaska chief of staff on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

“That was a great position,” Agron said Feb. 21.

As a boy, Agron’s father, Alfredo, brought him to watch mock battles at Fort Richardson. Agron said he was honored to end his career in his hometown.

“It was a gratifying way to leave the Army,” he said.

Agron’s career has taken him all over the world, but “Alaska has always been our home,” he said.

In 2009, Agron moved back and settled in Eagle River with his wife, Gina, and sons Joshua, 12, and Matthew, 8. Agron said he and Gina have always wanted to live Eagle River.

“It’s just a great community to bring our kids up,” he said.

The feeling of closeness Alaska has is what brought Agron home, he said.

“That’s why we decided this is the place we wanted to have our retirement,” Agron said. “You’re coming back to your roots.”

The fact that his more than 30-year career is over hasn’t sunk in completely, Agron said.

“I feel like I’m still on leave,” he said.

Agron said he misses working with the troops more than anything.

“There’s just a special camaraderie that you have with your soldiers,” he said.

Agron, who’s commanded units from the platoon to the brigade level, said he’ll always remember the people he worked with.

“It was always the people that were probably the most memorable,” he said. “It was always about the people.”

It was inspiring each time to see young soldiers gain confidence and courage throughout training, Agron said.

“Those are the things that lifted me up every time,” he said.

Agron graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1981. He said his father, a 101-year-old World War II veteran, inspired him to enter the Army.

“It was really an honor to follow his footsteps,” Agron said.

Agron earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering and went on to get a master’s degree in systems technology, joint command, control and communications from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

After beginning his career in Fort Hood, Texas, Agron spent four years in Germany. He returned to the U.S. in 1989.

Agron took command of the 214th Fires Brigade, III Corps Artillery at Fort Sill, Okla. in 2005, and deployed to Iraq two years later. After his tour in Baghdad, Agron took the position of chief of staff for the U.S. Army Alaska.

So, what’s next?

For now, Agron said his time will be spent caring for his sons.

“I get to be Mr. Mom for a little bit,” Agron quipped.

And after that?

“Whatever the good lord brings to me,” he said.


Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or [email protected]

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