By Ms. Mary Ann Davis (IMCOM)May 20, 2019
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz recently began a new awards program to recognize Army civilian professionals and their contributions to the garrison mission.
The USAG RP Army Professional of the Quarter / Year Program highlights and rewards organizational work and behaviors that support and further the mission, goals, values and initiatives of the garrison. Civilian employees displaying efficiency, innovation and economy of government operations are nominated to recognize their superior work and special acts or services to the garrison.
Award categories for USAG RP Army Professional of the Quarter / Year are:
Category I: GS-01 through GS-11 (and equivalent Appropriated Funds, Host National and Non-Appropriated Funds)
Category II: GS-12 through GS-14 (and equivalent APF, HN and NAF)
Nominations are submitted by the 10th of the third month each quarter (December, March, June and September). Directorates and special staff sections may nominate one Army professional per quarter. Quarterly winners receive a certificate, garrison commander's coin and a photo prominently displayed in the command group building.
Army Professional of the Second Quarter -- Category I is Erinn K. Burgess, Public Affairs Office, and Category II is Marshall Fiedler, Directorate of Emergency Services.
As the Army Professional of the Second Quarter and first recipient of the new award, Burgess said, "I feel honored to be one of the first recipients of the USAG RP Army Professional of the Quarter Award," said the PA specialist. "It's a great feeling to have my efforts recognized."
This quarter was the culmination of a year-long endeavor creating a new website for the garrison, she said.
"This project was the bulk of my efforts in 2018, and in the first quarter of 2019 I put the finished product forward for the Army's Keith L. Ware Communications Awards. USAG RP took first place at Installation Management Command level, went on to compete at Department of Army level, and won first place there as well," she said.
Creating the new garrison website was a test of resilience for Burgess, who completed 80 percent of the website when an unexpected server error deleted the majority of her work, causing her to start all over.
"It was hard seeing more than 200 hours of work erased overnight, but I had to stay focused on the task and redo the work instead of letting it completely bring me down," she remarked. "In the end, it was worth it. The final product brought me a great sense of accomplishment and helped me achieve these honors from DA and USAG RP."
As tough as it was to create, Burgess found the work rewarding.
"I enjoy that my job is a constant learning experience. I was brand new to the Public Affairs field when I started this job, and I've had the opportunity to learn so much from my coworkers. I appreciate that they challenge me and trust me with things I've never done before because it allows me to grow," she said. "This job has set the stage for me to develop into a well-rounded Public Affairs professional, and I'll be able to carry those skills with me when I move with my husband to his next duty station."
Burgess said the support of her family is the mainstay of her successful career.
"I'm thankful for my family -- my husband, Ben, and our two furry children, Sam and Dino -- who support me in all of my personal and professional goals. It's easy to do well at work when I have the best team ever at home," she said.
As the winner of the Army Professional of the Second Quarter -- Category II, Fire Chief Marshall Fiedler with the garrison's Directorate of Emergency Services, said it was an honor to be recognized for his work, however, "nothing is possible without a solid team effort. So much credit belongs to the men and women of the USAG RP Fire and Emergency Services and DES leadership."
During the second quarter, Fiedler was in charge of one of the largest, most diverse fire and emergency service departments in the Army, and running such a large group comes with challenges. The greatest challenge being time management, he said.
"It takes a lot of work and cross-coordination to ensure our team's readiness to respond and support of our Soldiers and Army families, as well as our civilians," the chief said. "There's one thing that I've learned since Day 1 in the garrison -- there is never nothing to do. This quarter was no different -- time needed to be invested in planning and those plans had to be accompanied by action. The balance between the two are of the utmost importance to our mission."
Fiedler's duties were tough but gratifying, he said, because, "It is a pleasure to get out to the fire stations, visit with the firefighters and each station's leadership. That time is invaluable."
Lastly, the chief thanked DES leadership and all the fire officers and firefighters for making his tour here more rewarding, but most importantly, "I'm so grateful every day for my wife, Cheryl. Without her support and endless patience, I would be incomplete," he said.
Army civilians are a cadre of civil servants dedicated to a professional code of service and support to our Soldiers and families, USAG RP Deputy Commander Dr. Kevin L. Griess.
"They ensure the safety and security of our Army community, ensure the combat readiness of our forces and work diligently to improve the wellbeing of our community every day," the deputy commander concluded. "It is our honor to recognize these professionals through programs such as this. The difficulty lies in selecting the few each quarter out of the many outstanding civilian employees working in our garrison."