Rosedale soldier honored for service
by Rory Doyle
Jul 12, 2013 | 4102 views | 0 0 comments | 72 72 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chief Warrant Officer Two Derrick Loumont Horsley, a Rosedale native, was recently honored for dedicating more than 25 years of service to the United States Army.

Horsley received recognition in April from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) during the Department of the Army Retirement Ceremony held in Virginia.

He was one of the proud 43 soldiers from across the country acknowledged for lengthy and honorable careers.

"It's very refreshing to be able to say I'm retired," said Horsley. "I could never say anything bad about the military, but after a long career, it's time to digress and relax."

The longtime leader has served around the globe throughout his profession, including stints in the Middle East, Korea, Germany, Italy and Alaska.

He said the military has taught his endless life lessons after growing up in the small-town Mississippi Delta.

"Joining the military has given me — someone who grew up in the Delta — an opportunity to see the world," he said. "Before that, I hadn't been anywhere. It's been amazing.

"My career shows that even if you're from the Delta you can expand your life by joining the military or going to college. The world is waiting for you — it's up to you to go out and get it."

Horsley is the son of Johnnie Mae Horsley, who still lives in Rosedale, along with a host of relatives. He also has two brothers and a sister living in Minnesota.

He and his wife of 28 years, Jessica, now reside in Fort Meade, Md. with their two children, Nicholas and Natasha.

"My retirement is a milestone for me, my children, wife and grandchildren," Horsley said. "I've always tried to be a mentor and do the right things for them to look up to."

Growing up in Rosedale, he became a Boy Scout (Pack# 314) and member of the Eagles football team. He lettered in football and was captain of the defensive team before graduating in 1984.

Immediately after graduation, Horsley enlisted as a personnel management specialist. He would eventually be promoted to Sergeant First Class (E-7).

He then graduated from the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy Battle Staff Course and became the course director of the Advanced Individual Training Department (AIT) at the Soldier Support Institute in Fort Jackson, S.C.

After training over 1,000 Soldiers, his team had a 1 percent attrition rate.

Horsley wanted his leadership and managerial skills tested on a higher level, so he applied and got selected to attend the Warrant Officer Candidate School.

After being commissioned as a Warrant Officer in 2006, he was selected by his company commander as the executive officer of the headquarters and headquarters company, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.

"I would say my two biggest highlights were being selected as an AIT instructor and a Chief Warrant Officer," said Horsley. "These were very honorable moments in my career."

Horsley has also received numerous awards for his achievements, including: Meritorious Service Medal (2), Army Accommodation Medal (7), Army Achievement Medal (5), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal (2), Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (3), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon (5) and the Army Good Conduct Medal (3).

Now finished with the military, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in business management with a specialization in leadership at Capella University.

Horsley is also an adjunct professor with Central Texas College and teaches when traveling to different military bases.