News: Commando NCO recognized as division career counselor of the year
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Angela Mc Kinzie
Sgt. 1st Class Angela McKinzie
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light)
Public Affairs Office
Multi-National Division – Center
CAMP STRIKER, Iraq — Staff Sgt. Gary Norris Jr., a career counselor for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team "Commandos," 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., was named the Multi-National Division – Center career counselor of the year after a competition held by the 3rd Infantry Division.
"I was surprised that I won," said Norris, a native of Chickasha, Okla. "I was happy I was able to represent the Commando Brigade well."
Norris competed against six other career counselors throughout the 3rd Infantry Division.
The selection process began with senior career counselors scrutinizing how well each of the candidates knew retention regulations and the process of re-enlistment. They also checked to see how well each of the candidate's retention programs ran and how effective they were at retaining Soldiers.
Norris remained humble, and attributed his success to his habit of worrying.
"I started studying about a month early because I always worry about stuff," he said. "But even though I won, there were a lot of great non-commissioned officers out there who were really sharp."
Norris, who originally joined the Army as an infantryman, became a career counselor in December 2005 for the greater good of his fellow Soldiers.
"I love helping Soldiers so I decided to become a career counselor," Norris said. "Being a career counselor allows me to work directly with a variety of Soldiers and help them get what they want. It puts a smile on my face if I am able to get them an assignment or other incentives that they want."
Now that Norris is the division career counselor of the year he plans to try and become the corps top career counselor.
"I have been studying for the next board," he explained. "I am looking forward to competing again and representing the brigade."
Norris will compete for the Multi-National Corps – Iraq career counselor of the year Oct. 7.