A military career spanning more than two decades has ended for a Maryville soldier.
Master Sgt. Dale Sharp recently retired from the Missouri Army National Guard after 13 years. He had previously served for nearly a decade on active duty.
Most of Sharp's Guard career was spent with the 1-129th Field Artillery Battalion, headquartered in Maryville.
During his active duty service, Sharp was stationed in Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; and Okinawa, Japan. He was deployed twice by the Guard, once to Germany and once to Kosovo.
"It's always good to be a part of something bigger than yourself," Sharp said. "There's nothing better than being in the Army and defending your country. Whether you go into combat or not, you're still doing your part."
Now that his military career is over, Sharp plans to enter the private sector in either business management or human resources. He said he believes the values he learned in the Army will continue to stand him in good stead.
"If you look at what's wrong with businesses today, a lot of it deals with honesty and integrity issues," Sharp said. "That's something (in the Army) ingrained in you all the time. I bring that to the table.
"The other thing is you accomplish the mission. Sometimes you don't have the best plans, the best tools or the best programs, but you still have to get it done. I have 20 years of getting it done."
A 1990 Maryville High School graduate, Sharp completed a degree in business management from Northwest Missouri State University in 2012.