FORT EUSTIS, Va. -- Leaders of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman, stood side by side to recognize 40 public service employees with a total of more than 1,300 years of federal service during the Annual Public Service Recognition Ceremony held the morning of May 3 at Jacobs Theater.

Wittman, guest speaker for the ceremony lauded the significance of the employees. This was his first visit to TRADOC and Fort Eustis.

"It's about knowing that when you go to work each day that you make a difference," he said. "You make a difference in the life of a Soldier, you make a difference in a company, you make a difference in a regiment, you make a difference in the defense of this nation."

Ceremony host Ellen Helmerson, a senior executive who serves as TRADOC's deputy chief of staff for personnel and logistics, acknowledged a resolution recently passed by the Senate commending public servants for their dedication, and continued service to the United States during Public Service Recognition week.

Wittman commented on the value of support civil servants bring to the Army to ensure the mission is accomplished, and that their jobs and goals cannot be underestimated.

"Public service is really about the giving of yourself for a greater goal, greater than one you can achieve individually," he said.

Public Service Recognition Week began in 1985 and is held each year during the first of May. It is a time set aside to recognize the contributions of public servants from around the country by state and local leaders, and the military.

Lt. Gen. John Sterling, TRADOC's Deputy Chief of Staff, expressed the importance of recognizing the contributions of government employees.

"It's important that we set aside a time for the purpose of commending our public service employees for their outstanding contributions, saluting their years of dedication," said Sterling.

He shared the importance of the numerous contributions made by TRADOC employees.

More than 40 public servants received a Certificate of Achievement recognizing between 30 and 49 years of service in the federal government.

Roland Thompson, a systems training management analyst with 44 years of service, said he has enjoyed his time providing service to both his country and the military.

"I am proud of the fact that I was a young captain when TRADOC was first formed, and I was assigned to it," said Thompson. I performed for four years then, and since then I've performed another 25 years at TRADOC Headquarters. "

Nellie Herbin, who at 49 years of service was the most senior of the recognized civilians, works with TRADOC's Equipment Survey Team. She is most proud of being given the opportunity by TRADOC leadership to mentor young civilians.

"I feel that I have set an example to encourage them; that when you have a job you should be dedicated to it and give it all that you can give, said Herbin.

During the ceremony, six Soldiers assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit were also recognized for their service to the nation.

Being recognized goes a long way for Sgt. Carl Bartley who was injured in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"To know that we still receive the support that we are getting means a lot to each of us," said Bartley. "Knowing that the support is there for us and being recognized goes a little bit further than saying thank you, and that's always appreciated."

Army Civilians support TRADOC's mission through multiple job functions ranging from personnel and logistics to information technology and budget.

President Barack Obama released a memo to federal workers last year thanking them for their fortitude during difficult times.

"You do your jobs without complaint or much recognition. But it is men and women like you who help make America all it is, by responding to the needs of our people, and keeping our country safe and secure," said Obama.