SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Coffee and congratulations were plentiful during the 8th Theater Sustainment Command's annual retention award ceremony at the 8th TSC's dining facility on Schofield Barracks, Feb. 26.

The event recognized a select group of career counselors who went above and beyond normal duties to keep the most qualified Soldiers in the Army during fiscal 2012.

The counselors couldn't help but smile as they received a locally made wooden plaque and thanks from Maj. Gen. Stephen Lyons, the commanding general for the 8th TSC.

"The ceremony is important because it gives the commanding general a chance to interact with the retention teams," said Master Sgt. Roxanne Salisbury, the 8th TSC's noncommissioned officer in charge of retention.

A lot of changes have taken place in the past few decades concerning retention policy for the Army. In the early '90s, cuts were made at the federal level. Some valuable Soldiers were let go. The Army realized this and changed the structure of the policy within the past five years by allowing retention to be done at a command level instead.

"They said, 'We're going to allow the commanders, the people on the ground, to reshape the force,'" she said.

With the Army facing cuts of eighty-thousand or more in the upcoming years, it may seem like retention teams can rest easy, yet Lyons said, this is not the case at all.

"What it means is we've got to work even harder as leaders and career counselors of the United States Army, to make sure we retain our best quality soldiers," he said. "The level of complexity has increased when it comes to shaping the force."

This change to retention policy is certainly a large one, and the awardees know their work is just beginning when it comes to the restructuring of the Army. Each counselor knows there is a lot of work ahead of them for fiscal 2013. Yet all of them looked more than ready to tackle the new retention challenge presented to them by the commanding general.