2017-08-11 / News Update

Civilian recognized for lifesaving response

BY LAURA LEVERING
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office

Ellsworth “Dell” Beam, receives a Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award from Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon. Beam, brigade schools manager and brigade risk-reduction manager with the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, was credited with potentially saving a Soldier’s life by responding to suspicions that the Soldier was going to commit suicide. PHOTO BY LAURA LEVERING / FORT GORDON PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE Ellsworth “Dell” Beam, receives a Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award from Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon. Beam, brigade schools manager and brigade risk-reduction manager with the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, was credited with potentially saving a Soldier’s life by responding to suspicions that the Soldier was going to commit suicide. PHOTO BY LAURA LEVERING / FORT GORDON PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE A local leader was commended for his quick thinking and actions taken last week.

August 3 started out like a typical work day then took an unexpected turn later that evening for Ellsworth “Dell” Beam, brigade schools manager and brigade risk reduction manager, Fort Gordon Cyber Center of Excellence.

Beam, whose job includes making sure Soldiers arrive for their school date on time, took his work home that night as he often does. While reviewing the student database, Beam normally narrows down his search by looking at the “City” to locate Fort Gordon.

“I’m scrubbing essentially every name in the Army database, and I found this name – like a needle in a haystack – as I was searching the Army database for all of the 25 series Soldiers that come here to NCOES,” Beam said.

There wasn’t a name attached to the Soldier, but it did show the Soldier was in Oklahoma expecting to attend the Advanced Leader Course. And instead of it showing Fort Gordon under City, it read Suicide.

Finding it hard to believe a Suicide, Oklahoma, exists, Beam followed his gut and probed further.

“It just led me to look at the address of this place, and I saw that the address was ‘I’m going to kill myself,’” Beam said. “The duty position of the Soldier was ‘It does not matter.’”

Beam felt uneasy and decided the situation couldn’t wait until the next morning, so he reached out to his leadership that night.

“This was just too obvious that this was a Soldier crying out for help,” Beam said.

After a few unsuccessful attempts to reach someone, Beam persisted until he got a hold of someone, at the advice of his wife, who works in behavioral health. That person was Command Sgt. Maj. Sheldon Moorer, 15th Regimental Signal Brigade command sergeant major. Beam said Moorer left a social engagement he was attending and went to the Law Enforcement Center.

“That’s when we got wheels rolling on tracking this Soldier down,” Beam said.

The situation was out of Beam’s hands at that point, and all he could do was wait. Beam said he didn’t sleep well that night and was relieved to get an update from Moorer the next morning. Moorer told him they couldn’t have seen the Soldier’s cry for help at a better time.

The Soldier was located and admitted to the hospital at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

“Had it been later, we don’t know what would’ve happened,” Beam said.

Beam was formally recognized for his actions during an award presentation Monday at Signal Towers led by Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon. Morrison commended Beam for his quick thinking and response.

“Great leaders and people like you are what makes the Army great,” Morrison said.

Beam doesn’t believe he did anything another leader wouldn’t have done, and he credits Moorer with doing the legwork necessary to reach the Soldier.

“When I got home and made the phone call … Command Sgt. Moorer did the rest of the work,” Beam said. “This was a cry for help for all the world to see, and I just happened to see it.”

Moorer, on the other hand, said Beam’s recognition was well-deserved.

“Mr. Beam could have easily looked over this Soldier because he was not assigned to our unit,” Moorer said. “He was vigilant and he took the appropriate actions.”

Morrison presented Beam with a Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award, commanding general’s coin, and cash award.

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