Each year career counselor's from across the Army compete for the honor of being named Career Counselor of Year by the Secretary of the Army. This year that honor was awarded to Sgt. 1st Class Bradley, Hallum, who represented U.S. Army Pacific.

Hallum earned the chance to compete for the distinction when he won USARPAC Command Career Counselor of the Year in December.

The Department of the Army competition was between nine competitors, one from each major Army command.

"It was a great honor to not only represent my Battalion, but to also represent USARPAC at such a prestigious event," said Hallum, who is a career counselor with Brigade Troops Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division." I felt like I was representing all of the great leaders who mentored me throughout the years, and to take home the honor was Department of the Army's way of saying these mentors have been successful in what they have done."

The competition was designed to truly challenge each competitor.

"One of the toughest things was the preparation for the various levels of competition," said Hallum, "There is no study guide as these types of board appearances do not use questions straight out of the book. You have to live this job daily and know every aspect because you never know the questions you will be asked."

"I can tell you that this isn't a walk in the park type of competition," said Sgt. Maj. Maria Pascualjackson, USARPAC Command Career Counselor. "Aside from those other competition requirements, the Soldiers' Retention Mission accomplishment and what they do to have the best Retention Program were weighted heavily. They can't compete unless they are proven to be the best in their craft."