Washington, (Feb. 2, 2012) - Sgt. First Class William Bastian, Career Counselor for 4th Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), is the new Secretary of the Army 2012 Active Component Career Counselor of the Year.

"It's just a real honor to represent The Old Guard and MDW at the Department of Army level," said Bastian. "This award is the biggest thing that has happened to me since I joined the Army."

Bastian won the Fiscal Year 2012 U.S. Army Military District of Washington (MDW) Career Counselor of the Year competition in November last year, and continued onto the Army's top Career Counselor honor.

"I am a very competitive person, and I won at the MDW level in 2011, but lost at the DA level, so this year, I just really wanted to go all the way," said Bastian.

The competition took place in Arlington Va. over a three day period (23 - 25 Jan. 2012). The announcement was made on 25 January by Sgt. Maj. Dean Drummond, Army senior career counselor, G-1. The Secretary of the Army will recognize Sgt. First Class Bastian later this spring at the Pentagon.

When asked about what makes a good career counselor in the army these days, the new Secretary of the Army Active Component Career Counselor of the Year said it's all about relating to the individual Soldier.

"You have to have people skills," said Bastian. "You have to be able to relate to that Soldier and know where they are coming from in their lives in order to help them make the best decision possible for them."