By Sgt. Neysa CanfieldOctober 11, 2017
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - Pfc. Boaz Koski, the chaplain assistant for the 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., earned the title of 101st Abn. Div. Chaplain Assistant of the Year, Sept. 20, here.
The Kalama, Washington native, who enlisted in the Army in 2016 as chaplain assistant, said winning the board was not just about showing his leadership his determination to win, but also a way to represent his family.
Koski said that at a young age his father, who served in the U.S. Navy for four years, explained to him and his siblings that they shared the responsibility of bringing a positive light to the family name.
With that in mind, after winning the board in June, he continued to study as much as he could in order to prepare for the year board.
"I would [take] 30 minutes every day to study to really refresh my memory," said Koski. "I would also focus on those areas I was weaker in to make sure I was prepared for any possible questions."
Although preparing for the division board was important, his daily work tasks took priority, Koski said.
"The week before the board, I was actually in class learning to be an [Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training] trainer," he said. "I was extremely focused on making sure I put my whole effort in that course, as it's something I find important."
Regardless of having to balance two things at once, Koski said that was not stopping him from performing the best he could.
"I expect for myself to be the best I can be and perform at a higher level than what I am currently at," explained Koski. "It's not just about being on time and in the right uniform, but also about being able to perform your job competently."
For Maj. Jonathan R. Fisher, chaplain for the 101st Abn. Div. Sust. Bde., 101st Abn. Div., Koski's determination to succeed was no surprise.
According to Fisher, during his first months as the brigade chaplain, Koski made an impression on him.
"When I first arrived to the brigade, we were without a brigade chaplain assistant for about four to five months," explained Fisher. "I quickly leaned on [Koski] to be the acting brigade chaplain assistant because he showed he had that internal drive and commitment to continue learning."
Fisher said that he feels proud to have Koski on his team and knows he will influence his peers.
"The sky is the limit for [Pfc. Koski]," said Fisher. "He has those personal and professional qualities that the Army looks for in a leader."