It was a bitter-sweet experience for those who worked with Bausman as his guidance and expertise will be missed, but all wished him the very best of luck and a long and happy retirement.
Bausman at first declined having any type of celebration or fanfare for the event, but later agreed to a potluck as part of a “hail and farewell” to also welcome incoming employees. These included the incoming deputy commander, retired Army Reserve Col. Larry Cruz, the new supervisory contract administrator, Ken Thomas, and transferred quality assurance inspector, Ron Smith.
After the depot commander, Lt. Col. Gregory Gibbons, introduced the incoming staff members, Cruz began the retirement event. First to speak and make presentations was former commander, retired Lt. Col. William Johnson, Jr.
Johnson arrived from Tampa, Fla., with a bag of interesting and entertaining gadgets that he assured Bausman were standard fare that would be required for his retirement. With Bausman retiring in Nevada, there were also nickels and quarters to help alleviate his jobless boredom by playing the slot machines.
Chuck King, government environmental specialist, presented Bausman with an embellished photo of him, glorifying his days as a rock and roll star prior to entering government service. He also gave him some additional change, including pennies, for future Nevada entertainment.
Bausman was presented with a box engraved with the word “Retired” from Shelley Hartmann, executive director, Mineral County Economic Development Authority. She said, “This is to retire all your ties in and all the other things you will no longer need.”
Don Dockrey, range control officer, Expeditionary Systems Evaluation Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, gave Bausman a replica of a United States Marine Corps officer’s sword that functions as a letter opener. Andre Curry, deputy general manager, SOC Nevada LLC, gave him a mag light. Karl Raue, chief quality assurance, presented him with some beverages, including Ensure for mixing cocktails. Cruz gave him other gifts from the staff with the assistance of employees.
Later, Ken Rosemore, SOC reutilization officer, played a song with his guitar shirt to commemorate Bausman’s lost rock and roll days as a band member of Teazer. Russell Collier, site manager for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, read a cowboy poem that he composed honoring Bausman.
Comments from previous Commanders were shared by Lucy Engebretsen, administrative specialist.
Johnson sent a note expressing his “deepest appreciation for Kirk and Kathy’s service to our Nation” and shared thoughts about Bausman as a husband, father, son, grandfather, and munitions expert.
He said, “Kirk is a confidant. As the deputy commander, you have given so much of your time, energy, commitment, and your life to train, advise and assist the commander of Hawthorne Army Depot. You continue to give and ask for nothing in return showing three generations what it means to be humble, proud, and generous. Just like a BBQ farewell, nothing fancy, just some family, coworkers and friends. On behalf of a grateful nation, I considered it an honor to have served with you and an honor to call you my friend.”
Former commander, retired Lt. Col. Kimberly Gilbert Mason told him, “It has been a real pleasure working with you. I personally thank you for your leadership, counsel, mentorship and friendship. It was an honor and privilege to share the challenges of command with you.”
Remarks sent from former commander, Col. Craig Short, stated, “Thanks for all the support during my tour in command. Your dedicated teamwork, tireless commitment and sense of humor got us through and was a huge key to my success. I also know that my time with you provided only a mere snapshot of your entire career. However, from the stories you told it is clear that these characteristics have been with you the whole time. I’m sure Kathy will enjoy having you around more so she can get her fair share of your time. I wish you all the best in your transition and look forward to seeing you again.”
When a commander changes at an installation, a Change of Command ceremony is held. It was determined to be fitting to conduct a Change of Responsibility passing of the colors between the retiring and incoming deputies to the commander. Bausman gave his tie to the commander who gave it to Cruz who donned the apparel.
Gibbons thanked Kathy Bausman for her support of her husband and she was presented with flowers and a certificate of appreciation.
Gibbons commended Bausman for his thirty years of government service and articulated details from his career.
Bausman began his civil service career in 1983 as an Ammunition Specialist at Savanna Army Depot, Savanna, Ill. He remained there until 1985, at which time he transferred to Sierra Army Depot. He spent 22 years at Sierra Army Depot working in various areas under two different commands. While there he was designated as the subject matter expert for large rocket motors for demilitarization by NASA. Then in October 2007, Bausman assumed the duties of deputy to the commander at Hawthorne Army Depot for more than seven years until his retirement.
Gibbons gave Bausman a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of his retirement and presented him a certificate of appreciation upon his retirement thanking him for his contributions to the Army.
Additionally, Gibbons presented Bausman with the Superior Civilian Service Award and accompanying medal. The award was signed by Brig. Gen. Kristin K. French, commanding officer of the Joint Munitions Command. JMC operates a nationwide network of conventional ammunition manufacturing plants and storage depots, and provides on-site ammunition experts to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed. JMC’s customers are U.S. forces of all military services, other U.S. government agencies and allied nations.
The award said “Kirk Bausman has distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious service while serving as the Deputy to the Commander from 14 October, 2007 to 31 January, 2015, culminating over 30 years of exemplary service to the Department of the Army. He has managed the world’s largest ammunition storage depot with a $33 million per year base contract. In addition, he has had oversight of training operations on the depot for over 40,000 warfighters and oversight of the installation’s restoration program consisting of 28 projects valued at $9.6 million. He has seen substantial environmental remediation completed. His outstanding leadership, relentless pursuit of excellence, and focused vision for the future are in keeping with the highest traditions of Government Service and reflect great credit upon herself, the Hawthorne Army Depot, the U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command, the Army Materiel Command and the Department of the Army.”
Upon receipt of the awards, Bausman said, “The awards I received were due to the good people I’ve had the opportunity to work with throughout my career.”
He also added, “I’m thankful there was able to be an overlap with Larry Cruz and Ken Thomas. It helped me to feel I could retire knowing I’d passed along the duties and responsibilities to capable people.”