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    Army Central Career Counselor of the Year 2023

    Army Central Career Counselor of the Year 2023

    Photo By Claudia LaMantia | Sgt. 1st Class Abelardo Gonzalez, career counselor, Area Support Group – Kuwait,...... read more read more



    Story by Claudia LaMantia 

    Area Support Group - Kuwait

    Sgt. 1st Class Abelardo Gonzalez, career counselor, Area Support Group – Kuwait, earned the honor as Army Central Career Counselor of the Year for Fiscal Year 2023, marking his third time obtaining this recognition.

    The competition included: the Army Combat Fitness Test, a 50-question written exam, appearing before a board of senior noncommissioned officers, and a mystery event selected from the U.S. Army career counselor individual critical task list.

    The news does not surprise Command Sgt. Maj. Leon Black III, senior enlisted advisor, ASG-KU.

    “We continuously say people first, but those words are literally in his job description,” said Black.

    “He is strictly in the people business” and embodies that quality in his everyday performance. While recruiting focuses primarily on an individual’s prerequisites to join the Army, Gonzalez is a master in keeping families vested in the Army. He takes known quality Soldiers and works with each one to figure out what works for them, according to Black.

    Since arriving in Kuwait this summer, Gonzalez has assisted over 30 Soldiers with their reenlistments, and they are quick to point out some of his qualities.

    “His uncanny efficiency and attention to detail” are what stands out, according to Sgt. 1st Class Sean Dowty, noncommissioned officer in charge, Troop Medical Center, ASG-KU.

    Dowty has worked with Gonzalez regarding several reenlistments for his own Soldiers. "With strict time requirements," he drums up the necessary paperwork and works diligently in delivering specific ceremony location requests. Soldiers with TMC have taken advantage of the Middle East scenery and performed their ceremonies amongst a herd of camels, a flight aboard a Black Hawk helicopter with the Kuwaiti desert as a backdrop, while others have chosen the familiarity of their work areas. Whatever the requests, he works with each Soldier’s wishes.

    Gonzalez joined the Army because it allowed him to choose his job. He began his career by serving seven years as an infantryman, then, in 2017, while being assigned as a company retention noncommissioned officer, he decided to become a career counselor and assist Soldiers in making educated decisions about their future in the Army, he said.

    The Hesperia, Calif. native explains that a typical day involves gathering reports, contacting and engaging with Soldiers, and assisting anyone that walks into his office.

    This short self-description of his workday is indicative of his humility. A man of few words, Gonzalez demonstrates his ability by continuously taking action, as evident in the number of reenlistments, his goal of completing his master’s degree soon, and his preparation for the U.S. Army Forces Command Career Counselor of the Year 2023, competition.

    “He has a tough job,” but he is the type of Soldier you provide an intent, and he goes with it. This is what we welcome because winning matters, and he exemplifies winning, said Black.



    Date Taken: 06.12.2022
    Date Posted: 12.06.2022 10:22
    Story ID: 434590
    Location: CAMP ARIFJAN, KW 
    Hometown: HESPERIA, CA, US

    Web Views: 25
    Downloads: 1