Their journey began in Germany and ends 27 years later at the Redstone Arsenal.
Kathleen Riester is retiring from the Army Community Service on March 31, where she will serve as the Army Financial Readiness Program Manager and Emergency Relief Officer. She has spent her entire career at ACS.
“It was a great ride,” said Riester.
“When Carl was stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas, our daughter was 5 or 6 years old. I had the opportunity to attend graduate school at Kansas State University and received my Masters in Human Development and Genealogy. And I did that because I wanted to work with military families. And I’ve been doing that for 27 years. “
She started in Frankfurt, where her husband Carl was stationed with the V Corps. After a year at V Corps, they moved to Heidelberg, where, as manager of the volunteer program, she carried out a lateral transfer for the installation. After a few years she joined the European ACS headquarters in Heidelberg. After nine and a half years in Germany, she joined Redstone Arsenal in 2003.
She was a GS-7 when she started her career in Frankfurt; and she retires as GS-12.
After 20 years in the army, Carl retired in Heidelberg and began working for the building contractor Northrop Grumman. He was in the gym and exercising when Riester told him about her job at Redstone. She had signed up for the priority placement program and the computer was adapting her skills to ACS, Redstone Arsenal. She had followed Carl throughout his army career, but now it was his turn.
“And for the first time in my married life, my husband followed me,” said Riester with a laugh. “I said ‘honey, what do you think of Redstone Arsenal?’ He said, “Where the hell is Redstone Arsenal!”
The Madison resident and her 37-year-old husband have a daughter, Cecilia, who lives in Kansas City, Missouri.
Riester’s father was an Air Force pilot when she was born in Charleston, South Carolina. She grew up in South Miami, Florida and moved to Clarksville, Tennessee when she was 10.
“The first thing I’ll do is go to the beach with the family,” she said of her retirement plan. “And then I’ll do my hobbies of gardening, quilting, reading, and traveling.”
You and Carl, logistics analyst at Redstone Test Center, are happy with their Madison community. “We have some nice strong roots here,” she said.
Riester quoted a verse from her favorite poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter” by Lewis Carroll:
The time has come, ”said the walrus.
To talk about many things:
Of shoes – and ships – and sealing wax –
Of cabbage – and kings –
And why the sea is boiling hot –
And whether pigs have wings. ‘
Jeannie Johnston is the Army Community Service director. “Kathleen has been an excellent employee who is greatly missed by all of her customers and employees,” she said. “And I wish her all the best in her next endeavor. She was a valued contributor to the Redstone community. “