‘Best of the best’ honored
Fort Gordon honored several of its most talented members during the first quarter, Fiscal Year 2014 awards ceremony Feb. 27 in Alexander Hall.
Distinguished members of the Central Savannah River Area, Fort Gordon leadership, and key individuals of Fort Gordon organizations and businesses, jointly showed their support for award recipients.
Col. Samuel G. Anderson, the installation garrison commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Stockton, the garrison command sergeant major, presented Army Achievement Medals to each of the service members with civilians receiving the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service. All recipients received citations.
The six service members and four civilians recognized in the ceremony were Pvt. Curtis Smith, formerly assigned to B Company, 447th Signal Battalion, service member of the first quarter; Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Curry, B Company, 447th Signal Battalion, noncommissioned officer of the first quarter; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Abel Salazar, 73rd Ordnance Battalion, officer instructor of the first quarter; Staff Sgt. Astin Muse , A Company, 447th Signal Battalion, enlisted instructor of the first quarter; Nancy Kidd, Headquarters and Alpha Company, 442nd Signal Battalion, civilian of the first quarter; Senior Airman KatyAnn Coulter, 3rd Intelligence Squadron / 7th Detachment 2, volunteer of the first quarter, Robert Hahn, Directorate of Emergency Services, firefighter of the first quarter; Harry Hernandez, DES, Military Police of the first quarter; Keith Harrison, DES, Department of Army security guard of the first quarter; and Sgt. Shandora Fogle, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, chef of the first quarter.
Smith and Curry were not able to attend the ceremony. Smith graduated from the information systems technician course and is no longer assigned to Fort Gordon and Curry is away attending a military school.
After the awards were presented, Anderson spoke briefly.
“It’s important to take the time to award excellence when we see it,” he said. The commander expressed his appreciation for the support of CSRA and key organizations and business leaders.
“I am going to go off script for a moment,” he said. “We conduct quarterly meetings, known as town hall meetings, for our employees. One of them was held in the evening (Feb. 19 in Darling Hall) for employees of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and the U.S. Army Child, Youth and School Services.”
According to Anderson, most of those attending the Town Hall meeting were Fort Gordon Child Development Center employees.
“They are the individuals who care for your children when you are at work,” he said. “I am here to tell you that it’s a selfless job. I have two daughters, age 12 and 10, and I have only changed a diaper once in my life. I don’t know how they do it every day, especially with children who are not theirs.”
He went on to talk about certificates of appreciation which were given out by the supervisor, (Army Community Service Director Vanessa Stanley) during the town hall meeting for exceptional work and good comments received on Interactive Customer Evaluations.
“It took five minutes of the supervisor’s time to have the certificates prepared and one minute to present them during the meeting,” Anderson explained.
The reaction was overwhelming.
“You would have thought the supervisor was giving out the winning trophy at the Super Bowl,” he said. “The employees were so appreciative.”
“If you know someone, who should have been considered (for the quarterly award), then do what you can to make sure they get considered the next time – get a nomination packet submitted,” Anderson said. “Choosing winners shouldn’t be easy, and it isn’t. There are so many deserving people in our workforce, both in uniform and out. Day after day, you show up, give your best effort, and make Fort Gordon the fantastic place to live and work.”
“Despite budget pressures, manning shortages, snow and ice, and earthquakes you make things happen in our community,” Anderson explained. “I’m very proud to occupy the stage with our winners this quarter, but I’m even prouder to be associated with all of you.”
At the conclusion of the award ceremony, Teri Ryan, the event narrator, invited co-workers and friends to the front lobby of Alexander Hall to offer congratulatory remarks to the awardees.
One of the award recipients, Coulter, the volunteer of the first quarter, expressed what it meant to her to be singled out for this honor.
“I volunteer because as a service member I feel it’s the right thing to do,” Coulter said. “The Oakland, Calif., native spends a lot of time mentoring and tutoring students in the Lakeside High School Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. She also helps out with events and activities hosted by the installation Better Opportunities for Single Service members organization, the American Red Cross at Fort Gordon and in the Augusta area, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Augusta as well as at several Air Force functions held on and off post.
“I love BOSS because there are many opportunities to volunteer and you meet lots of people,” she said.
Coulter joined the Air Force because she wanted to serve her country and follow in the footsteps of her grandparents, who served and retired from the Air Force.
“For me it was about tradition and honor,” she added. “I love the military and being a part of it.”
Coulter is currently working on a bachelor’s degree in computer forensics and enjoys playing soccer, snowboarding, kickboxing and riding her motorcycle.