Acting Secretary of the Army virtually hosts FY21 Career Counselor of the Year Award Ceremony

By Dontavian HarrisonFebruary 8, 2021

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Acting Secretary of the Army Hon. John Whitley, and Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston, virtually hosted the annual Career Counselor of the Year Award Ceremony Feb.4.

This year’s CCOY winners are Sgt. 1st Class Jackie Lord, Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and Sgt. 1st Class Morgan Smith, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas.

“Career counselors are a critical link in our competition for talent,” said Mr. Whitley. “Because of the high quality counselors like those that competed, our brightest and best Soldiers are given the information they need to make an informed decision about re-enlisting.”

Each year two winners are selected, one from the Active Component and one from the Reserve Component. The winners receive a Meritorious Service Medal and The Sergeant Major Jerome Pionk Excellence in Retention Medal.

“Career Counselors keep our Soldiers informed of their options and provide opportunities for continued service and the benefits that come along with that,” said Sgt. Maj. Grinston. “Dedicated professionals, like Sgt. 1st Class Lord and Sgt. 1st Class Smith, who can help Soldiers navigate that process, are one our Army’s greatest strengths.”

The Army has implemented the new ‘People First Task Force,’ to include the way we manage talent. Getting the right people in the right jobs is truly talent management and career counselors are integral in that.

“The competition this year was fierce and showed the determination and grit of each candidate,” said Mr. Whitley. “Your work will be even more crucial in the coming years ensuring that the Army remains a reflection of society, we must ensure a diverse formation.”

Dating back to August 1975, The CCOY was first implemented into the Army to recognize the most outstanding career counselor for their high production.

The most outstanding career counselor is determined by a variety of board appearances, individual qualifications, commander’s evaluations, and recommendations. The CCOY competition consists of five events that included an Army Physical Fitness Test, to an administrative review to ensure accuracy in uploading bonuses and accuracy in completing re-enlistment packets.