Count Holley blesssed to receive AUSA award
December 11, 2009
- Honored for contributions to on-and-off-post communities
- Consummate professional
In Acts 20:35 Jesus says, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Emmet Holley, the Fort Knox garrison manager, lives by those nine words, which inspire him to help others on Fort Knox and in surrounding communities.
On Nov. 14, Holley was honored for his contributions to the on-and-off-post communities with the Association of the United States Army Civilian of the Year award.
Garrison Commander Col. Eric Schwartz said Holley was the choice for the award because he is the consummate professional.
"(He is) the best possible example for other civilian employees," said Schwartz. "It seemed the perfect fit to have this award of excellence go to Emmet Holley."
Schwartz added that Holley is behind all the accomplishments in the garrison.
"Every garrison success has his footprint," explained Schwartz. "He is the best sounding board for leaders and workers alike. There is no better advocate for the garrison, and we rely on his knowledge of our operation and pragmatic approach to getting our mission done."
A retiree after more than 25 years of military service, Holley is a member of the local AUSA chapter.
Although Holley\'s position as garrison manager is demanding and consumes a lot of his time, he is dedicated to giving back to the surrounding communities. He said it's a matter of scheduling and prioritizing time.
He serves as chairperson for the American Institute for Cancer Research and March of Dimes. He is also a volunteer at Elizabethtown's Warm Blessing where he assists homeless families.
"I am a pots and pans guy," said Holley. "All I have to do is wash those dishes. I have good health and I am still active. Someone is getting a benefit from my labor. It's a stress reliever for me."
Holley attributes his upbringing and those who helped him as the reason why he volunteers and assists others. He added that sitting on board doesn't require a lot of mental effort.
"People helped me in my life in western Tennessee," explained Holley. "Guys who sat on Boy Scout panels and recreation when I was growing up didn't know me (but yet they still helped out).
"This is my way of thanking them. I have been blessed. My way of giving back for what people (have done) for me is time and lending a little expertise."
Holley added that he sits on various boards also because he wants to have an impact on Soldiers and Family members. He pointed out that many local organizations support the military in one way or another.
He said that the church was important in his life and in shaping his values system. Holley believes that welcoming new military Families into the fold of his church is important. He said doing that helps the Soldier feel connected.
Holley is the class director of the adult Sunday school at his church, and he also teaches a Soldier Bible study to personnel in the 194th Armored Brigade.
"I don't have a uniform on when I am talking to (the trainees)," he said. "I am sharing information from the Bible.
"I am there for them. If we can save one Soldier from stress, we have done our job."
Although Holley feels humbled by receiving the award, he said it's an affirmation that he is doing a good job at being as a leader and volunteer. He said it's always good to receive a pat on the back.
"It's a simple and overused clichAfA (I always say), do the best you can at whatever it is you have the opportunity to do," he said.
As a manager Holley believes in face-to-face interaction. He often visits post organizations just to say hello. He said garrison employees are amazed that he visits without calling.
Holley pointed out that it's difficult to determine how a person is feeling through an e-mail.
"Do the best you can with the resources you have to try to make someone's life better," said Holley. "Try to treat people fairly. (Treat people) how you want them to treat you.
"I want all employees to have the feeling they are being treated fairly."