WATERVLIET ARSENAL, N.Y. -- U.S. Army Benét Laboratories' Jeanne Brooks was named the Northeast Region Department of the Army Civilian of the Year by the Association of the United States Army during its annual meeting this month in Washington, D.C.

According to AUSA, this award was not only for Brooks' exceptional service to the Army for the last 11 years, but also for her significant contributions to the local community.

Brooks, who has a master's degree in materials engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is currently a mechanical engineer with Benét Labs, is the integrated product team leader for artillery cannon engineering efforts at the Watervliet Arsenal. In that role, Brooks' extensive experience in indirect fire systems has afforded the Army to institute numerous improvements to weapon safety and capability in support to our Soldiers.

Recently, Brooks was instrumental in capturing a $14 million Army contract for the arsenal to improve breechblocks for the 105mm howitzer. These design improvements will not only improve Soldiers' safety, but will also reduce the number of breechblock parts by 30 percent, which should reduce maintenance cost and downtime because there will be fewer parts affected by wear and tear.

As noteworthy as her accomplishments are at the arsenal, her service to the community is what set her aside from others who were nominated for this award. Brooks earned her New York state pre-hospital care certification as an emergency medical technician 12 years ago. Since then, Brooks has dedicated up to 48 hours a month volunteering as an EMT and driver for the Ballston Lake Emergency Squad, serving the Town of Ballston and Clifton Park. It is not uncommon for Brooks to work a full shift at the arsenal and then respond to emergency medical calls during the night.

Benét Laboratories is a Department of the Army research, development and engineering facility located at the Watervliet Arsenal in upstate New York.