DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA-- Army Corrections Command recognized Sgt. 1st Class Makeshia Smith, United States Army Corrections Activity-Korea, 94th Military Police Battalion, 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command as the 2015 Corrections Professional of the Year at Camp Humphreys, Dec. 2015.
Smith executed the demanding responsibilities of the Prisoner Service Branch Chief, a role typically assigned to a sergeant major. Smith's selection was based on her outstanding leadership, work ethic, integrity, technical proficiency and selfless service while serving at the USACA-K. Smith believes she owes the award to her team.
"I have one of the best teams in the correctional field," Smith said, "I couldn't ask for anything better. It makes my job that much easier."
Sgt. Roxanna Barrios serves as a correctional officer in Camp Humphrey's correctional facility prisoner service branch. This is Barrios' second time working with Smith. Barrios commented on Smith as a teammate and her superb leadership style.
"I met her when I first came into the Army. She demands a lot out of us but I was very grateful because she taught me a lot," Barrios said, "She is my mentor and I'm very grateful to be under her leadership."
Smith has served as a correctional officer in the Army for almost 16 years. She sought a career in law enforcement from childhood. She finds the position rewarding.
"We are taught to do IPC [interpersonal communication] skills. We do see some transformation of the prisoners who want to do their own thing to gaining the respect and trust from the staff," Smith said, "We attempt to help them in the areas we are allowed to so that they can be better citizens when they get back on the outside.
Smith also served as the Status of Forces Agreement Liaison, the billing official for the facility's government purchase credit card, master resiliency assistant instructor and the Prisoner Deposit Fund Coordinator. Her actions as the fund coordinator resulted in satisfactory results during the brigade quarterly audit.
Smith has earned 6 credit hours toward a Master's in Criminal Justice, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. She continues education through the National Organization of Victim Assistance to maintain her certification with the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program Review Committee and maintains her Army Corrections Activity Correctional Supervisor Certification.
Smith demonstrated selfless service to the community and unit by volunteering with the youth choir and praise dance team at her local church, and Genesis Girl's Republic of Korea Teaching and Empowering Achieving out-reach group for girls age 10-18.