News: I Corps awards Career Counselors of the Year
Story by Sgt. Sarah Enos
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – In a tight competition against their peers, two Army career counselors were named I Corps Career Counselors of the Year at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Aug. 7.
Staff Sgt. Carol Edmisten, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo., won the I Corps active component title and Sgt. 1st Class Todd Schultheiss, an active Guard Reservist assigned to I Corps, JBLM, was awarded I Corps Reserve component title.
The five candidates represented Fort Carson, Fort Riley, Kan., and JBLM. They first had to complete an APFT, a written exam and a board answering questions pertaining to their profession.
"The way we look at it is when you become a career counselor in the Army you are already the cream of the crop,” said Sgt. Maj. Daniel R. Blashill, command career counselor, I Corps. “This board gives counselors the opportunity to show what they are capable of and to stand out from their peers.”
Blashill added that both active and reserve career counselors are key figures in the development of Soldiers.
They offer guidance and assist commands in organizing and implementing the Army Retention Program, coordinate and conduct reenlistment ceremonies and provide in-depth career development counseling to soldiers and their families.
They also provide counseling on reserve component affiliation for those not desiring to stay in the active Army.
Edmisten, a native of New Orleans, began her Army career in 2004. She attended basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and then trained to become a dental specialist. In 2010 her career field was over-strength and she was recruited to become a career counselor. Edmisten’s main focus as a career counselor is the reenlistment or of soldiers currently serving in the active Army.
“This job is very gratifying in a lot of ways,” Edmisten said. “Just to see the look on soldiers’ faces when they get what they want is amazing. It’s a feeling I can’t even describe.”
Schultheiss went to basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., in 1996 then went on to work as a signal support systems specialist in the Army National Guard in his hometown of Hot Springs, Ark.
In 2003, Schultheiss moved from working one weekend a month to regular AGR workweeks, first as a recruiter and since 2012 a career counselor at JBLM. Schultheiss’ main focus is the transition of soldiers from active duty to the Reserve component.
“I wanted to have a more direct impact on soldiers,” Schultheiss said. “It can be frustrating to see soldiers with a family exit the Army without a real plan for their future. My job is to help soldiers look at the whole picture by informing them of their options.”
“This (board) is a good way to see where I measure against my peers,” Schultheiss said. “I am always seeking a challenge for personal and professional growth.”
Ultimately Schultheiss would like to earn the rank of sergeant major where he can have a larger positive impact on soldiers.
Edmisten would like to finish her education to become a dentist.
They are both scheduled to compete at Forces Command’s Career Counselor of the Year competition held during September at Fort Bragg, N.C.