By Michelle Milliner, ARL Public Affairs
ARL director, Dr. Thomas P. Russell, was in Orlando on July 8 to retire Col. Gary L. Lasse, deputy director, Human Research and Engineering Directorate at the Simulation and Training Technology Center (STTC). Laase served the Army for more than 30 years, spending the last year at the STTC. The ceremony was well attended by the Joint Services and the industry and academic leaders of Team Orlando.
Russell thanked Col. Lasse for his more than 30 years of selfless service and for his leadership role at the STTC. “The leadership you have provided the center during your tenure was outstanding, and the advice and counsel you provided me, Dr. Allender, and the entire ARL leadership team was always extremely valuable. You were the right person at the right time to lead this fine institution.”
Prior to his official retirement, Russell presented Laase with the Legion of Merit for his achievements, dedication, and exemplary performance of duty during his distinguished military career.
Laase was also formally inducted into the Ancient Order of Saint Barbara, a field artillery, military society which recognizes a select few field artillerymen whose careers have embodied the spirit, dignity, sense of sacrifice, and commitment epitomized by Saint Barbara.
The Old Glory Guard performed the time-honored tradition of passing the retirement flag while the dates of Laase’s commissioning were read aloud. After the retirement flag was passed to Laase, he presented it to his son Austin as a token of thanks for his sacrifice and support.
In his closing remarks, Laase listed the five most important values he lived by: sibling, husband, father, leader, and patriot. “These are the values I tried to live by, and as I served this great Nation, they are the principles that have endured my life and made me who I am.”
He continued by thanking the STTC workforce for their dedication to providing superior research and development technologies to the Warfighter. “I am thankful to have served as the director of the STTC, even if my time was short. It has been a pleasure working with you.”