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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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Payroll employee retires after nearly 33 years

By Pamela Jackson | | January 7, 2010

Cherry Garrett, finance technician, Civilian Payroll Liaison Office, Office of the Comptroller, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, was retired during a ceremony held in the office of the base commanding officer Dec. 29.

Lt. Col. Donald Finn, director, Operations and Training Division, MCLB Albany, was the retiring official.

A federal employee since Dec. 31, 1966, Garrett began working for the federal government at Marine Corps Supply Center Albany.

During her near 33-year career, she has worked several jobs to include card punch operator, supply clerk, fiscal accounting clerk and payroll clerk.

“I’m not one who minded getting up early in the morning and going to work. I’ve never had a problem with that,” Garrett said. “I like the work I do because it is interesting to me.”

While working as a payroll clerk in the Civilian Payroll Liaison Office, Garrett performed several duties to include allotments, direct deposits, corresponding with banks verifying information and filing.

She also enrolled new employees joining the command into the payroll system and removed those checking out of the command. 

Garrett, who is quiet and reserved, describes herself as a “behind-the-scenes worker.”

“Although my job is customer service, I don’t deal with people all the time and that’s fine with me. I like being in the background doing the work,” she said.

According to Garrett, the biggest challenge she faces is making sure everyone gets paid correctly.

Garrett, who has provided customer service for many years, said she is going to miss the people she has served.

“I have met many people over the years and will miss seeing them on a daily basis,” she said.

She describes her work environment as “living with two sisters,” since she has worked with the same coworkers in for more than 17 years.

“When you work together this long, you become family,” she said.” I have enjoyed working in this (Civilian Payroll) office and will miss my coworkers.”

According to coworker Janice Holt, finance technician, Civilian Payroll Liaison Office, they have worked so long together that they could finish each other’s sentences.

Holt also said Garrett was very accurate in her work and paid very close to attention to detail.

“Cherry was happy to work on long reports, keying and inputing large amounts of data in the computer and made very few errors,” she said.

Garrett who has assisted many customers throughout her three decade career, said if she had it to do all over again that there would be nothing she would change.

William G. Barnetson, financial supervisor, Office of the Comptroller, said she will be missed.

“I have worked with Cherry for about a year and she has been an outstanding and dedicated employee and it has been a pleasure to supervise her,” he said. “When I became the supervisor, she was instrumental in helping me learn the civilian payroll process. She deserves the best in her retirement, and I wish her a long life.”

Janet Haviland, comptroller, Office of the Comptroller, shared the same sentiment.

“Cherry has been a wonderful employee,” Haviland said. “Cherry has provided great customer service. Anything anybody needs with their pay or time and attendence, she is right there willing to help. Cherry will be missed.”

Garrett has made a list of items she wants to accomplish during retirement.

She plans to devote more time to her favorite hobby, reading.

When she is not reading, she will be creating a photo album for each of her children.

She also mentioned that one of her long-term projects is to create a cookbook of her family’s favorite recipes for each of her children.

Garrett has been married to her husband, Jerry, for 42 years and has three children and two grandchildren.

Marine Corps Supply Center Albany
Punch card operator and supply clerk
Dec. 1966 - July 1969

Naval Air Station Albany
Punch card operator and supply clerk
July 1969 - July 1974

Marine Corps Supply Center Albany
Punch card operator and supply clerk
July 1974 - May 1978

Birth of second child
May 1978 - Aug. 1980

Disbursing Office
Fiscal accounting clerk
Aug. 1980 - Feb. 1981

Birth of third child
Feb. 1981 - Jan. 1989

Disbursing Office 
Fiscal accounting clerk
Jan. 1989 - April 1992

Civilian Payroll Office
Payroll clerk
April 1992 - Dec. 2009