The nickname could be from her morning caffeine fix, southern hospitality or the 102 days the Army spent training her to mentor Soldiers.She is an amiable person through and through.Staff Sgt. Ayla L. Higgs, a 26-year-old career counselor, loves talking to Soldiers.She also is a shining example of what a model Soldier should look like.She won the 1st Signal Brigade, 311th Signal Command and Network Enterprise Technology Command Career Counselor of the Year Competitions in 2011 and 2012.Higgs competed in 2011 only four months after graduating the career counselor's course."She has a bubbly personality," said Master Sgt. Michael C. Kindleburg, 1st Signal Brigade Senior Career Counselor. "She is passionate about her job and has a genuine care for Soldiers.""She's only been in the career field for a year and half," said Kindleburg, a Florida native. "The fact she won all these boards being so new to the career field is quite an accomplishment."Working hard and facing challenges head on aren't new for Higgs."I started working at 16 so that I could support my family," recalled Higgs.Higgs' first job was at K-mart, which was a 30-minute drive from the 40-acre farm she lived on in the small town of Colfax, La.Colfax has less than 2,000 residents and has an average family income of $20,000.Her father, grandfathers and brothers all served in the military. Growing up, Higgs helped her family of five any way she could."My mom was a machinist working the graveyard shift to help care for us; my dad was a soundman for different bands around Louisiana," said Higgs.In high school, she followed her parent's footsteps by taking classes on welding, woodworking and electronics; all skills that could potentially earn money to help her family.Higgs actively participated in the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps in high school. JROTC is a Federal program, which hopes to instill personal responsibility, sense of accomplishment and patriotism; all themes that would resonate in her life.After graduating high school, she joined the Army as a quartermaster and chemical equipment repairer in August 2004. Her job was to repair, maintain and operate Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit (turns non-potable water into drinking water).A few years into her Army career Higgs volunteered to become a recruiter. She excelled at being a recruiter and earned the Army Recruiting Ring in only 22 months. The Army Recruiting Ring is the highest achievement award for recruiting excellence offered by the United States Army Recruiting Command."After recruiting I applied and was accepted to the Career Counselor Course," said Higgs.Upon graduation in June 2011 she was sent to South Korea to counsel 1st Signal Brigade Soldiers.Once Higgs arrived to the 1st Signal Brigade she was informed that she would be competing in the 1st Signal Brigade Career Counselor of the Year competition.Higgs had to juggle counseling and mentoring Soldiers while preparing for the competition."I studied so much because I was new to the job," said Higgs. "I didn't want to make a fool of myself. I wanted to represent my unit and team the best I could."Higgs won the 1st Signal Brigade competition and would go on to win 311th Signal Command and Network Enterprise Technology Command Career Counselor of the Year Competitions in 2011."She competed against numerous career counselors with more experience in the field and won," said Kindleburg. "Some of the counselors were E-7 (one rank higher than Higgs)."Higgs would compete and win the same competitions in 2012, which earned her the rights to compete in the 2012 Department of the Army Career Counselor of the Year Competition, which she lost in 2011."I think I have a better chance of winning DA (Department of the Army Career Counselor of the Year Competition) this year than I did last year because I've had more time to focus, train, learn my job, build up stats, and prepare," explained Higgs.Higgs also has a little more motivation this year to win."My father told me if I won he would fly (to Washington, D.C.) to see me get presented my awards," said Higgs.