Story and Photos by
Sgt. Gaelen Lowers
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs
FORT SHAFTER — U.S. Army-Pacific hosted its annual Career Counselor of the Year competition, here, Dec. 4-9, to determine who would move on compete at the Department of the Army level.
The competition was between one Soldier from each command under USARPAC: Sgt. 1st Class Joanne Blatchley, U.S. Army-Alaska (Reserve component); Sgt. 1st Class Carlos Dubon, 25th Infantry Division; Staff Sgt. Celeste Imel, 8th Theater Sustainment Command; and Sgt. 1st Class Steven Schack, USARAK.
“It’s just like anything in the Army,” said Sgt. Maj. Scott Montgomery, retention, Reserve component sergeant major, USARPAC. “Competition is always good; it forces people to push themselves. As noncommissioned officers, we are bound and obligated to set certain standards, and those standards are all about honor.”
The competition consisted of an Army physical fitness test, a written exam, warrior tasks and a board. The competition concluded with an awards dinner held at the Hale Koa Hotel, Waikiki.
The winners of this year’s competition were Dubon and Blatchley.
The winners will go on to compete at the DA-level competition during the week of Dec. 23.
“It’s a pretty strenuous process that we go through,” said Master Sgt. John Styles, retention operations, USARPAC. “Therefore, we weed out the ones that maybe wouldn’t be a good representative, and we come up with the best career counselors.”
Montgomery echoed Styles’ statements.
“I feel it is one of the most needed careers in the Army,” Montgomery said. “Career counselors are the ones that monitor and make sure we re-take the most qualified Soldiers for the Army at this point.
“By doing these competitions yearly, it lets everyone know, even the secretary of the Army, the importance of retention and what it does, and the part it plays in the Army as a whole,” Montgomery concluded.
Sgt. 1st Class Joanne Blatchley, USARAK (Reserve component)
Sgt. 1st Class Carlos Dubon, 25th ID
Staff Sgt. Celeste Imel, 8th TSC
Sgt. 1st Class Steven Schack, USARAK