FORT KNOX, Ky. (Aug. 12, 2016) -- Nashville Battalion's education services specialist is U.S. Army Recruiting Command's 2016 recipient of the Davis-Kunisch Memorial Award, which recognizes the command's most outstanding ESS of the year.
Ron Williams received the award Aug. 10 here at USAREC headquarters at the hands of Brig. Gen. Donna Martin, USAREC deputy commanding general.
He said being selected for this award is a great honor.
"Pretty much, what it means is the command trusted me and allowed me to do what I thought I needed to do to support our Soldiers," Williams said.
Education Services specialists help improve and maintain recruiters' access to schools, educate recruiters about Army education programs, and assist recruiters with their own personal education goals.
Tony Castillo, USAREC education division chief, is not surprised Williams is the winner.
"He truly cares about recruiters, goes the extra mile, and does things beyond the scope of his duties to help them," Castillo said.
Williams recently worked with local and state legislators to include service members in a state program that offers free tuition to recent college graduates.
Passed two years ago, the Tennessee Promise Program offered students, immediately beginning college the semester after graduation, two years of free tuition at any state community college. When Williams discovered the law exempted newly enlisted National Guard and Reserve members from all military branches, who had to first attend basic and advanced individual training before beginning college, he helped to get the benefit deferred for them.
"It was because it was going to affect our [ability to recruit], Williams said. "We couldn't say 'Join the military, we'll help you with money for college,' when the state is giving [them] free tuition. Now that the law [is] changed, we can say, 'We can give you more money to help you stay in college.' So it had to do with helping our Soldiers recruit grads. This helped us with our Reserve mission."
Recently, Williams was asked to serve on the board of the Tennessee Scholars Program by the program's director. The nonprofit organization recognizes outstanding students across the state.
The Davis-Kunisch Memorial Award is given in honor of James Davis and William Kunisch who both previously served as USAREC education division chief, and according to Castillo, are responsible for establishing the ESS field in the command.