MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – Madigan’s own Sgt. 1st Class Jackie Lord, competes and wins the title of Army Active Component Fiscal Year 21 Career Counselor of the Year.
Acting Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John E. Whitley and the 15th senior Army Career Counselor and Sgt. Maj. Stuart C. Morgan presented Lord with the Sgt. Maj. Jerome Pionk Excellence in Retention Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal and certificate during a Microsoft Teams live stream Feb. 4.
“I'm honored to be part of a group of professionals and represent our great field,” Lord said after her name was announced.
Career counselors guide Soldiers to the best opportunities suited for their individual paths. They work to retain, re-class and re-enlist soldiers. They are the Army’s talent management specialists.
“Because of what you do, that we're able to both keep the best and brightest, the people we need, the Soldiers we need in the United States Army, and we're able to match them to the jobs where they're most needed,” described Whitley.
Out of 10 competitors from the active component who represented the winners from each major command in the Army, Lord finished first.
Lord is no stranger to this competition; last year she won at the region and Army Medical Command levels.
This year presented different challenges.
New to this year’s competition was an evaluation of performance throughout the competition fiscal year and a double-blind panel of five sergeants major, in addition to the traditional physical fitness test and 50-question written exam.
Relatively new to the position of career counselor, Lord wins this coveted award after only 3 years in this role, and 14 years of Army service.
A small group of leaders from Madigan and Regional Health Command-Pacific cheered Lord on and celebrated her victory.
In attendance at celebration was Brig. Gen. Jack M. Davis, the deputy commanding general of Regional Health Command- Pacific and chief of the Army Nurse Corps.
“When I heard about all the things you've done, how well you competed against a very stiff group of individuals who really do a lot for our Army, and the fact that you represent Madigan, Regional Health Command-Pacific, U.S. Army Medical Command and the Army as a whole, I can’t tell you how proud that makes me,” beamed Davis, as he presented her with a coin.
The Coos Bay, Ore., native commented about what motivates her.
“I love the Army; I don't think I would want to do anything else. I think taking care of the people who defend our nation is one of the most important things we do as career counselors and NCOs,” explained Lord. “Being a career counselor, I consider myself an empowerment tool for those Soldiers and those family members, so that that's my motivation.”
Judging from her response, she is destined to be a great leader.