News: Sgt. 1st Class Rios of Fort Bliss Wins career counselor of the year board, again
Story by Staff Sgt. Christina Turnipseed
FORT BLISS, Texas - A Fort Bliss NCO from the Ready First Brigade, rose to the top at the FORSCOM Career Counselor of the Year Board Sept. 23 at Fort McPherson, Ga.
Sgt.1st Class Olympia Rios of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division set the standard for the entire command of 750,000 Soldiers.
Rios was recently victorious at the Fort Bliss Retention Board Competition Sept. 8 at Soldier Hall here which led to her competing at the FORSCOM retention completion.
According to Master Sgt. Hayward Smith, Ready First Retention Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, Rios competed against twelve career counselors from the FORSCOM institution.
He added that she will go on to compete at the Headquarters Department of the Army Career Counselor of the Year competition in Washington D.C. against career counselors from all Army Commands.
Rios was thrilled to find out she prevailed against the tough FORSCOM competitors.
“Winning this competition didn't actually hit me right away. It took a few days to really sink in that I'd actually won. And let me tell you...when it did...all I could think was Holy Smokes!! I think MSG Smith was more excited than I was,” said Rios.
Rios worked on Warrior Task and Drills, physical fitness and becoming familiar with Army Regulation in order to succeed.
According to Smith, Rios has consistently scored 300 on each Army Physical Fitness Test giving her the edge needed in the fitness category.
“I consistently strive to score a 300 or better on all my APFTs,” Rios said, “This wasn't an area I was too concerned with going into this competition. But, I did take this event seriously, because there is always someone out there trying to outdo everyone else.”
“If you think about it, it kind of makes them better career counselors,” said Smith of the APFT at each level. “They just get better as they go. It perfects them.”
Rios acknowledges the increased difficulty of the Career Counselor of the Year competitions.
“I think the FORSCOM competition was a little more challenging in the fact that there were more competitors and the addition of the Warrior Tasks and Drills,” she said. “That added just little more intensity to the competition and allowed the ‘stress monkey’ to make an appearance.”
Smith expressed appreciation for his soldier’s hard work by saying, “We’re pretty excited. We’re proud of how well she has performed. She exceeded the expectations of this command and the instillation.”
Rios also expresses appreciation for those who helped her prepare for the retention competition.
“I would definitely like to express my appreciation to my chain of command and the NCOs in 1st Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment. SFC Maichaelramon Dang, SSG Thomas Howell and SSG Malcolm Carlye were without a doubt instrumental to my winning this competition. And most importantly to my husband, Tom, who was there motivating me the whole way,” said Rios.
This work, Sgt. 1st Class Rios of Fort Bliss Wins career counselor of the year board, again, by SSG Christina Turnipseed, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.