David M. White
Public Affairs Office
Eisenhower Army Medical Center
Sgt. 1st Class Rolanda Wilder, Eisenhower Army Medical Center's career counselor, was recently named Career Counselor of the Year for the entire Department of the Army.

Career counselors work with soldiers and commanders on retention, reclassification and reenlistment initiatives, helping soldiers in their reenlistment windows decide whether to stay in the service, transfer to the reserves or move into a different classification. This is a vital role for the Army and its soldiers.

In December, Wilder participated, and succeeded, in a face-to-face regional competition before moving to the Army-wide competition where the task was to "convince 15 sergeants major" that their future lay in continuing as a soldier.

EAMC's Command Sgt. Maj. William Allen said Wilder is "good at what she does because she really cares about the soldiers and helps them continue to serve the mission and the people of the United States.

"I am extremely proud of her, and what she has done," Allen said. "Her dedication to the retention mission will shape the Army for a decade or more."

A native of Belcourt, N.D., Wilder enlisted in the Army right out of high school and has been on active duty for 15 years.

"I really did want to 'see the world,' as they used to say in the ads," she said. She also was attracted to the Army benefits program but admitted that a change of scenery from North Dakota was a plus.

"EAMC and the Army are blessed with people of Wilder's caliber," said Col. David Ristedt, EAMC's commander. "Her work is valuable to continuing EAMC's mission of ensuring readiness of America's soldiers, and the health of their families and our beneficiaries. I'm proud to say the Army's Career Counselor of the Year represents this organization."

Wilder is no stranger to Eisenhower or Fort Gordon, however. She was born at EAMC when her father was stationed here in 1985. Although her father didn't make a career out of the Army -- leaving after five years -- his daughter is tilting toward 20 years, with an eye to earning a Masters in Business and a second career in nonprofit work. It's a plan she's given some thought to … after all, that's what she does for a living.

--- 30 ---