By Ezekiel HoltNovember 26, 2013
On Nov. 6, Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, Army Surgeon General, announced Capt. Kenneth Roberts of the Northern Regional Medical Command's (NRMC) Human Resources (G-1) as one of the four Army Medical Department (AMEDD) winners of the award.
The award is named for the late Lt. Col. Karen Wagner, the only AMEDD officer to lose her life during the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. It is presented annually to outstanding AMEDD Human Resources Professionals in four categories: the Regular Army, Army Reserve, Civilian focusing in Military Human Resources and civilian focusing in Civilian Human Resources. Capt. Roberts won for the Army Reserve Component from a field of 18 nominees.
Prior to her assignment to the Pentagon, Wagner served as the Secretary of the General's Staff to Maj. Gen. Harold Timboe with NRMC's precursor organization, the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command. The parallels between Wagner and Roberts are far more than coincidental.
"Capt. Roberts embodies all of the wonderful traits demonstrated by Karen Wagner on a daily basis and I can attest to that having [had] an office next to each of them at different times in my military and civilian career," recalled Mrs. Lisa Weatherington, the NRMC Deputy Director for Human Resources. "Both human resources officers demonstrated compassion for Soldiers and their families, loved taking care of others and supported their communities tremendously."
Roberts and Wagner were [both] firmly wedded to their vision and principles, their passion for people, and leading by listening," agreed Leon Coleman with NRMC Warrior Transition Office.
Wagner's legacy is not lost on Roberts. "This is a huge award and a huge honor," he commented, "She was an awesome Soldier and I want to reflect upon her in terms of my future success and continuing to follow in her footsteps."
The NRMC Human Resources staff was also enthusiastic about Roberts' selection for the award. "We are so proud of Capt. Roberts' recognition and I am sure he will represent the HR community, the Corps, AMEDD and our Army with great dignity," commented Col. Jacqueline Chando, the NRMC Assistant Chief of Staff for Human Resources.
Maj. Malcolm F. Rascoe, who nominated Roberts for the award, likened him to Teddy Roosevelt's "Man in the Arena."
"He's a solid professional who puts time and consideration into his craft but never asks for any type of credit. He's been in this for six years, he pushed DAMPS-A packets when they were paper packets…this is the credit he is due."
Roberts' impact on fellow members of the Human Resources staff was also noted. "He has set the bar for me in striving to following his lead in terms of Command support, mission development, mission completion and ethical communication," recalled Stephanie Colvin, "his distinctive accomplishments have provided a guide for me as I strive for excellence throughout the remainder of my career and as I travel through life."
Roberts' service outside the workplace was also noted. "The guy donates time to kids, something he doesn't have to do," pointed out Maj. Rascoe. "I'm into martial arts," confirmed Capt. Roberts, "that's a part of my life and my martial arts group participates in events and fund raising for different cancer research groups, especially St. Judes."
As a winner of the Karen Wagner Leadership Award, Roberts will receive Memorandum of Commendation and Certificate of Appreciation for the Surgeon General and the Commemorative Medal of "Phoenix" at a ceremony to be determined.