ARL says farewell to Col. Clarke

July 16, 2014

ARL director Dr. Thomas P. Russell conducted a retirement ceremony for Army Col. Matthew T. Clarke, commander of the Simulation and Training Technology Center in Orlando, Fla., on July 2, 2014.

Clarke served in the Army for nearly 30 years and spent the last two at the STTC. He also served as the acting military deputy for ARL and the acting director of the Human Research and Engineering Directorate.

The ceremony was well attended by Team Orlando members, including Army Maj. Gen. Jon Maddux, the new program executive officer for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation; Dr. Laurel Allender, director of HRED; Col. Bradley Crites, commander of the Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation; and many other military, academic, and industry leaders.

Clarke's stepfather, Dr. Paul Richards, opened the ceremony with a moving invocation that celebrated the Army officer's nearly 30 years of dedicated service to the United States.

During his remarks, Dr. Russell stated: "The most important thing I actually do in my career is to have the opportunity to retire officers at the end or their careers. But, I want to break protocol for a moment ... and recognize the family first. Missy, Noah, Josh, it's really been your support that has made Col. Clarke's career as successful as it is today. Thank you very much for what you have done to support him and the U.S. Army for the past 29 years."

Prior to Clarke's official retirement, Dr. Russell presented him with a Legion of Merit medal for his achievements, dedication, and exemplary performance of duty during his distinguished military career.

The Old Glory Guard performed the time-honored tradition of passing the retirement flag while the dates of Clarke's commission were read aloud. After the retirement flag was passed to Clarke, he presented it to his mother, Dr. Janet Richards, as a thank-you for all of her support.

"I must say that it was an absolute joy to work in ARL and be part of the STTC experience," Clarke said "This is an organization full of innovation, talent, and dedication. It is an organization that will build the future through creative and effective technologies to train, assist, protect, and enhance our Soldiers so that they remain the best soldiers in the world."

Clarke was born in Groton, Mass., and grew up as an "Army brat." He received a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and was commissioned through the ROTC into the Army Corps of Engineers. Clarke holds a master's degree in acquisition management and contracting from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

Clarke relinquished his responsibilities to Lt. Col. Joseph Lisella, who became the acting commander, until Col. Gary Laase assumes command later this summer.


Last Update / Reviewed: July 16, 2014