RICHMOND, Va. (4 May 2013) -- While 3rd Brigade, 94th Training Division managed to bag two unit safety awards during the 80th Training Command (TASS) second Semi-annual Safety and Occupational Health Advisory Council meeting, Staff Sergeant Jessica Hebler, Headquarters 2nd Brigade, 94th Training Division, scored an Exceptional Individual Safety Award and a surprise birthday celebration.

Hebler thought that she was at the 80th TC headquarters to attend the meeting and represent the brigade during the command's dinning out, May 5, 2013. She had no idea that she'd be receiving an award, nor did she know that Tobey Maxley her unit's supervisory staff administrator, told Virgilio Munoz, the 80th TC's, safety officer, that Hebler's birthday was on the same day that she was scheduled to receive the award.

"I coordinated with Col. [Clarence] Combs, the chief of staff, to see if it was ok to recognize her birthday," Munoz said.

Hebler said she was shocked when Nydia Negron, 80th TC family programs director, walked toward the stage with a birthday cake while the audience and the individuals on stage, which included Maj. Gen. Bill Gerety, 80th TC commander and Command Sgt. Maj. James Wills, the command senior NCO all sang happy birthday to her.

"It was kind of embarrassing, but funny at the same time," said Hebler, who had a similar experience last year when she participated in Sergeant Audie Murphy Club board proceedings on her birthday.

"I'm making a habit of this," she said.

As the brigade safety noncommissioned officer Hebler monitors the safety issues of 5 subordinate battalions, and she conducts periodic inspections.

"I make sure they have their meetings, and they submit their reports on time, and they're doing their Composite Risk Management, and I make sure they each have a SOP [Standing Operating Procedures]," Hebler said.

Col. Edwin Lugo and Command Sgt. Maj. Jenny Bryan, 3rd Brigade commander and senior noncommissioned officer, accepted the level one Commander's Excellence in Safety Award for the brigade, and they also accepted the level three award on behalf of one of their subordinate units, Regional Training Site - Maintenance, Fort Hood, Texas. The level 2 award went to 10th-80th Battalion, 97th Training Brigade, 102nd Training Division, and another individual award went to Staff Sgt. Jimmy Godlewski, safety NCO, HQ, 6th Battalion, 1st Brigade, 100th Division.

"The safety award is to recognize the units that go beyond their responsibilities," Munoz said. "It's not just checking the block, these units exceeded the expectations from a safety point of view; the way they took care Soldiers, equipment and property."