FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - A Soldier and a federal employee from the Fort Campbell Warrior Transition Battalion were named among the best in Army's Warrior Care and Transition Command Cadre of Excellence awards for 2019.
The former WCT command, which announced its renaming Jan. 6, to the Army Recovery Care Program, oversees the evaluation and treatment of wounded, ill and injured Active-Duty, Guard and Reserve Soldiers requiring complex medical-case management through its network of Warrior Transition Units and Battalions located at major medical treatment facilities and through Community Care Units across the country.
ACRP cadre is composed of Soldiers and civilians dedicated to supporting wounded, ill and injured Soldiers through the process of medical care, rehabilitation, professional development and achievement of personal goals. The cadre are the front line leaders caring for wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and their families ensuring their recovery and reintegration. Each year, through the Cadre of Excellence Program, ACRP recognizes its most dedicated in the categories of Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Nurse Case Manager, Primary Care Manager, Social Work Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Human Resources, Patient Administration Specialist, Transition Coordinator, Management Analyst, and Chaplain.
Fort Campbell WTB's Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Mercedes was named top Platoon Sergeant Army-wide within the ACRP and federal service civilian Ms. LaToya Myers took home top honors in the Human Resources category. Both women were praised for their dedication and support to wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and families they serve in the WTB program at Fort Campbell.
As a platoon sergeant for the WTB, Mercedes serves as the first line supervisor for wounded, ill and injured Solders at the battalion and is their first link to the command. The platoon sergeant facilitates the resolution of administrative matters, and helps guide Soldiers at the WTB as they undergo care.
"We have all kinds of Soldiers, Active, Reserve, National Guard, and everybody has different military occupational specialties - I learn from them," said Mercedes, who is a motor transport operator by training. After serving 12 years in line units, she applied to serve as cadre at the WTB in order to do something different. "Here we are more specialized in helping the Soldiers with their medical needs."
Mercedes must stay on top of her Soldiers' treatment, rehabilitation and transition. While some of her Soldiers may return to duty, others may not and she must help guide them through the Medical and Physical Evaluation Boards, the Army's Integrated Medical Disability Program, and transition planning. In other cases Mercedes has had to help families navigate the loss of their Soldier through terminal illness.
"This job is very demanding. You've got to be emotionally tough to be here," she said, "But it's satisfying and it is an indescribable feeling to be recognized in this type of field because we really don't have time to stop and see what we have reaped."
Myers, who has been with the battalion's human resources section for nearly 12 years, said her job is both challenging and rewarding.
"Being employed at the WTB allows me to give back by supporting the nation's Soldiers and their families. I have learned valuable skills and lessons that will remain with me for life," said Myers. An Army veteran herself, Myers uses her mettle everyday at the WTB.
"Soldiers come here from all over and you have to do the right thing. Their unit might be in another country and they are being air-flighted here. They may have family members in another state and I have to coordinate to get family members and household goods from one area to another area. Or we have Soldiers in other locations and we have to go TDY to do home visits with them because they are not in the vicinity or condition to come here. One thing we have to be here is very flexible."
To learn more about cadre opportunities in the ACRP visit https://wct.army.mil/ and select the Cadre tab.