NCO Honored for Superior Leadership During Pandemic

NCO Honored for Superior Leadership During Pandemic

Staff Sgt. Margot Gebers receives award
Photo by: U.S. Army

A combat medic stationed in Hawaii was honored Nov. 17 for her superior leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Staff Sgt. Margot Gebers, who enlisted in 2016, is assigned to Tripler Army Medical Center at Schofield Barracks, where she ensures that units are medically ready to deploy or redeploy, works with the reserve component and processes incoming soldiers. 

She was honored at the Angels of the Battlefield Awards, an annual event hosted by the Armed Services YMCA.

Each year, the group honors five military medics, corpsmen and pararescuemen from each service.  Honorees are chosen for demonstrating “selfless courage and unwavering sacrifice while saving lives on the front lines overseas or during emergency situations here at home,” according to the Armed Services YMCA website. 

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville commended Gebers, who has been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, for her “tremendous talents” and “willingness to take on the toughest jobs” as he presented the award.

“We’ve had a threat called COVID, a domestic threat that’s killed over 700,000 Americans, and Sgt. Gebers has been on the front lines of COVID for us also,” McConville said. “She’s in charge of our Soldier Readiness Processing Center, supporting our forces in Hawaii. ... She’s been involved in giving over 30,000 vaccines and increased the division’s rate to well over 95%.” 

In the past 18 months, the Army has mobilized 50,000 soldiers in support of pandemic response efforts. 

From the beginning, in early 2020, Gebers created an instruction plan for the Medical Simulation Training Center at Schofield Barracks that was compliant with social distancing guidelines, and it was the only course on post that was permitted to continue under pandemic conditions, according to the Armed Services YMCA.

As a result of her instruction plan, more than 3,500 soldiers, airmen, Navy corpsmen and Marines got vital training on how to help COVID-19 patients. 

Additionally, despite continued pandemic restrictions, Gebers completed pre-deployment health assessments, including pre-flight COVID-19 tests, for 1,500 soldiers in two weeks during summer 2020.

After being told that she would brief and administer COVID-19 vaccinations for over 17,500 soldiers in January 2021, Gebers took the lead, achieving a 40% vaccination rate for active-duty service members in four months. 

As the Army continues critical COVID-19 response efforts at home and abroad, Gebers plays a vital role in ensuring soldiers are ready for their missions, according to the Armed Services YMCA. She is currently leading pre-deployment health assessments for 1,200 soldiers who will train and assist with missions throughout the world, including Australia, the Philippines, Guam, Thailand, Japan and Malaysia. 

Whether she is instructing service members on how to treat COVID patients or leading a briefing, Gebers’ passion for training soldiers and treating patients remains constant. 

“I love training soldiers,” she said. “I love treating patients.”