After a long and distinguished career in both the military and the federal government, Centreville's George Chernesky is retiring and moving to Tennessee with his wife Cheryl. Chernesky, of Gate Post Estates, made his mark locally as president of the Southwest Youth Association (SYA).
He held this position for more than seven years until stepping down in 2002. During his tenure, he laid the groundwork for the future creation of a youth sports complex, the Fields of Dreams, off Bull Run Post Office Road.
Chernesky also served 26 years in the Army — 15 years active duty and 11 years in the Reserves, retiring in 1991 as a colonel. His service included two tours in Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Air Medal.
After the military came 22 years in the Pentagon in the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Since November 1984, Chernesky has been Comptroller of the Joint Staff. He managed financial resources totaling more than $800 million annually and provided acquisition-management guidance and oversight to the Joint Staff.
His civilian awards include five Joint Meritorious Unit Awards and the coveted Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Civilian Service Award. But as of June 30, he will retire from the Federal Government. His retirement ceremony will be this Thursday, June 24, in the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes.
"I'm going to miss the people, but I won't miss the traffic, one iota," he said Tuesday. "And I look forward to getting involved coaching youth sports again in Tennessee because I firmly believe in the future of our youth. I've enjoyed my time working with the children of Centreville and SYA, and I wish them all the best."
The Cherneskys lived in Centreville for the past 16 years, but will now make their home in Kingsport, Tenn. "My wife comes from that area, and it's gorgeous," he said. "We already bought a house and moved in April to the foothills of Tennessee. We live on a lake near Bristol, where the NASCAR races are."
Son Jason, 25, is a consultant for IBM in Arlington, and son Adam, 23, pitches for a baseball team in Rockingham County, Va., and hopes to join a minor league team.