FORT STEWART, Ga. – Brigade and battalion retention teams from across 3rd Infantry Division were recognized by Maj. Gen. Charles D. Costanza, commanding general of 3rd ID, for exceeding their retention goals in fiscal year 2022 during the Commanding General’s Retention Awards Ceremony at Cashe Garden on Fort Stewart, Georgia, Nov. 16, 2022.
Additionally, nine Soldiers competed in this year’s Retention Noncommissioned Officer and Career Counselor of the Year Competitions and two of those were recognized for their outstanding performance. These two will move on to represent 3rd ID at the 18th Airborne Corps Competition in January.
This year’s competitions consisted of a grueling three-day event that tested the Competitor's technical expertise through a board performance, an Army Combat Fitness Test, a 50 question written exam, a 300-500 word essay, and a mystery event conducted at the Marne Mile.
Staff Sgt. Blake Dumas, assigned to 4th Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd ID, received the 3rd ID’s Career Counselor of the Year Award and was presented an Army Commendation Medal and trophy.
“I’m very excited about receiving this award,” said Dumas. “It’s a great feeling to win and to be able to go on to represent the division at the next level.”
Retention NCOs and career counselors like Dumas serve a vital role as they assist in retaining experienced Soldiers, which sustains the Army and directly impacts the Army end strength; which supports readiness, force structure and sustainability.
"Retention NCOs and career counselors manage their unit commander's retention program by ensuring the mission assigned by higher headquarters is met while simultaneously counseling Soldiers and families on career opportunities and professional development, said Sgt. 1st Class Yoleysi Garcia, the senior retention operations NCO for 3rd ID. "This aligns the needs of he Army with those of the Soldiers."
For those who competed, this competition was a opportunity to show off the skills they put into action each day as they help counsel and retain Soldiers.
“It was a really big challenge, but it was definitely worth it,” said Sgt. Dominic Wilson, assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, who received the 3rd ID’s Retention Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year Award. “It was something I was able to prove to myself that I could accomplish and that I proved to my kids that you can accomplish something if you really put in the effort.”
Ultimately, the competition was an opportunity for these retention NCOs and career counselors to showcase their professional excellence and highlight the skills they use to sustain the Army and ensure the organization has the Soldiers it needs to accomplish its mission.