Sergeant Major of the Army
Kenneth O. Preston, USA, Ret.
Director, Noncommissioned Officer
and Soldier Programs
Greetings from the Association of the United States Army.
As I write this article, I reflect on the recent celebrations of the United States Army’s 238th birthday.
First, a special thanks to AUSA’s Francis Scott Key Chapter for inviting me to speak at a breakfast meeting and celebrate this special occasion with all of you at Fort Meade, Md.
The highlight of this breakfast was participating in the cake cutting ceremony with Lt. Col. (Ret.) Alfred H. M. Shehab, a veteran of WWII; Sgt. 1st Class (Ret.) Carlo DePorto a veteran of WW II, Korea and Vietnam; and Sgt. Maj. (Ret.) Raymond J. Moran, a veteran of Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Desert Storm.
He was also the 2001 recipient of the AUSA Sergeant Major of the Army William Bainbridge Award for his dedicated service to the NCO Corps.
To these three soldiers and all of our retirees and veterans who served – our soldiers today stand on your shoulders.
Your service, dedication and commitment to our profession of arms served as the foundation for our Army today and the continued evolution of our Army in the future.
This month we recognize our Army Recruiters of the Year in AUSA News, and we will formally recognize these great noncommissioned officers at the 2013 AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition.
These three noncommissioned officers represent the epitome of our profession in the eyes of the American public every day where they serve.
Making the commitment to become a member of the Army profession is a life-changing decision. For all of us who wear or have worn the uniform of a soldier, we recognize these recruiters for the life-long impacts they make on our soldiers serving today.
This year’s Army Recruiter of the Year is Sgt. 1st Class Krystal Jarrett assigned to the 3rd Medical Recruiting Battalion, Indianapolis Center, Ind.
"We, as recruiters, are a direct reflection of the Army and, in some communities, we are the only contact a community will have with the Army. If we do not live up to our ‘Army Values’ and act as true professionals, it could taint the community’s view of the Army," Jarrett said.
Adding, "Our team has built many effective relationships within our community. An example is the great relationship we have with Indiana University School of Medicine.
"This relationship not only allows us to reach our mission, but allows students the opportunity to achieve their goals of helping others in need by becoming a physician," she added.
The Army National Guard Recruiter of the Year is Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Mannel of the Wisconsin Army National Guard.
Mannel said, "You definitely have to believe in what you do. You have to work hard. You have to be true to yourself. Make sure time management is one of your priorities. You have to balance your personal with your professional life."
Adding, "I think that’s what really helped me be successful."
Judged on their performance before a National Guard board of command sergeants major representing each recruiting region, candidates competing for recruiter of the year are judged on their recruiting performance and their total soldier attributes and achievements.
"It’s great to have represented my Recruiting and Retention Area Command and the state of Wisconsin," Mannel said.
The United States Army Reserve Recruiter of the Year is Sgt. 1st Class Mariela Richardson, Thornton Recruiting Center of the Denver Battalion.
"The best part about being a recruiter is the relationships that we build throughout the community. A soldier is as accustomed to the Army community as civilians are to theirs. Interacting with each other teaches and benefits us all," Richardson said.
The soldiers assigned to the Thornton Recruiting Center have worked hard to build strong and enduring relationships throughout the community.
Richardson added, "The relationship built between our team and the mayor of Thornton City has been one of the greatest relationships made and has impacted us both in the community and the Army. Inviting the mayor to our future soldier events creates unity between the Army and local leaders."
Don’t forget, the 29th Annual Army Ten-Miler is Sunday, Oct. 20, followed by the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition’s three days of professional development forums, senior leader discussions and exhibits that spark imagination and showcase cutting edge technologies for the future.
Join us at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for this unique experience and opportunity to see our profession Oct. 21 to 23.
Still Serving, Still Saluting!