Fort Jackson Hall of Fame inductees, senior leadership and their friends and Family members gathered at the NCO Club June 30 to congratulate Carla G. Atkinson as she became the newest to be inducted into the hall of fame.
“Fort Jackson’s Hall of Fame was established to recognize and honor persons who have left an indelible mark on the Fort Jackson community,” declared the master of ceremonies for the luncheon.
“Today we have the privilege of inducting a new hero into the Fort Jackson Hall of Fame. All of the individuals on the wall outside my office dedicated a significant portion of their life to making this place and its people better,” said Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis, Fort Jackson commanding general. “It is a great honor that I get to introduce this year’s hall of fame, Mrs. Carla Atkinson.”
Atkinson spent 35 years serving the Fort Jackson Soldiers, trainees, civilians, retirees and their Family members in a variety of roles and responsibilities. Her time on the installation began in 1980 as an addiction counselor, education coordinator and employee assistance professional. She retired in 2015 as the Army Community Services director.
Throughout her 35 years, Atkinson established or expanded many programs and initiatives to include establishing the first Threat Management Team to investigate workplace violence, English as a Second Language classes, Fort Jackson Soldier and Family Assistance Center, streamlined the Social Security Administration disability application process for Wounded Warriors, and established the first sexual assault prevention program for the installation.
“Ladies and gentlemen, our best,” Michaelis proclaimed.
Michaelis draped a Fort Jackson Hall of Fame medallion on a blue ribbon around her neck before presenting her to the room of attendees as the 2022 inductee.
“I am so happy to be here and so happy to see all of my friends,” Atkinson said. “I am honored by this.”
Though given the time to thank friends and Family members, Atkinson instead used her platform to speak about the many programs that Fort Jackson’s ACS offers.
“I’m not going to waste this time not singing the praises of Army Community Services,” she said. “That program is unbelievable in the services it offers to you. (ACS) are good group of professionals, they know what they are doing and they care about people.”
“This is a great institution and I am honored to have served it,” Atkinson said in closing. “I am honored to have this award today and I dedicate it to my fellow ACS (staff).”
As she left the podium she was embraced by fellow hall of fame inductees.
“On behalf of everyone on Fort Jackson, I want to thank you for your 35 years of service to the Soldiers, veterans, Family members and civilians,” Michaelis said. “You have earned a spot on our roster of heroes and you will be an inspiration for generations to come.”