Four Soldiers compete for MDW career counselor of the year
(From the left) Staff Sgt. Paul P. Melendez, Staff Sgt. Christopher P. McCuiston, Sgt. 1st Class Patrick B. Burnish and Staff Sgt. Shaun C. Holman pose for a photograph Nov. 19.

By the finish of the fourth weekend of November, one Military District of Washington Soldier will realize he has been bestowed a special honor.

The MDW career counselor of the year exams and boards commenced during the six o'clock morning hour of Nov. 22 and out of a quartet of candidates, one would be named the CCOY by midday at Fort McNair.

Sgt. 1st Class Patrick B. Burnish, Staff Sgt. Shaun C. Holman, Staff Sgt. Christopher P. McCuiston and Staff Sgt. Paul P. Melendez are vying for the career counselor of the year award. Melendez is an installation career counselor at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Holman is currently assigned to Fort Belvoir while Burnish and McCuiston serve as 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) career counselors.

"This is one of those pivotal moments every career counselor should experience," said Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and the Military District of Washington Command Career Counselor Sgt. Maj. Willene Orr. "The PT test has not been done in the past, but it begins at 6:15, and then the exam begins at nine. At 10:15, the board starts."

Burnish hails from Canton, Ohio and was a member of the Army National Guard in his home state for nine years. He volunteered to be a career counselor in 2009. He is married and a father of two children.

McCuiston calls Ann Arbor, Mich., home and joined the Army in 2003. The father of four also served at Walter Reed Medical Hospital and lists winning the career counselor of the year award as one of his top goals.

Holman is a Lexington, Ky. native and enlisted in the Army following high school graduation in 1999. He has been assigned to the Military District of Washington as a career counselor since 2012. The staff sergeant is married and has two daughters.

Melendez has 11 years of Army service and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in business administration. He is married and has two children. His goals include winning the CCOY competition and retiring from the Army as a sergeant major.

Page last updated Mon November 25th, 2013 at 00:00