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SSC-Natick Press Release

U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Public Affairs Office

Date: February 28, 2008
No: 08-05

Sharing knowledge to help Soldiers

Career counselors and retention non-commissioned officers from the U.S. Army Materiel Command participated in their semi-annual training at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass., the week of Feb. 11.

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NATICK, Mass. --   During the week of Feb. 11, career counselors and retention non-commissioned officers (NCOs) throughout the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) participated in their semi-annual training at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center (SSC) here.

“Retention of personnel is the focus of the conference and we discuss eligibility requirements, options, and bonuses,” said Sgt. Maj. Elisabeth A. Jones, command career counselor, AMC. “Re-enlistment is only one part of the program,” she continued. The overall focus is on “how to better service our Soldiers in units.”

The conference opened with Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey A. Mellinger, AMC, presenting the attendees with retention awards for fiscal year 2007 and thanking them for the great job they do taking care of Soldiers and Families.

Other areas highlighted during the training included professional development and Soldiers’ careers. Jones said the counselors talk with Soldiers about their careers, the possibility of changing jobs or new assignments, and provide ideas as to what could help, such as attending college.

She said one of the big challenges that faces AMC is that the Soldiers are very dispersed, with locations throughout the world, including in operational theater. Attendees at the conference came from a variety of AMC organizations, throughout the United States and even as far away as Italy.

“This training is critical to the success of AMC’s retention program,” said Jones. “It’s of the utmost importance.” Mellinger encouraged the group to take advantage of the valuable opportunity.

The primary instructor for the training was Master Sgt. Thomas Bogetti, who is the career counselor for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM). Bogetti is the counselor for the Soldiers in the Headquarters Research and Development Detachment at Natick.

Jones said Bogetti is very good at what he does and it was through his mentorship that one of the Natick Soldiers, Staff Sgt. Troy Isakson, has been selected to be a career counselor.

The goals we have are difficult to accomplish, she said, and this training allows us to get together and share ideas. “We learn new things, learn about recent changes and as NCOs and career counselors not only do we keep our leaders updated, we keep the Soldiers updated so they understand what’s available to them.”

Attendees got to spend one half of a day getting a tour of the SSC. Jones said, “We rotate the training between different MSCs [major subordinate commands] to highlight what AMC does. It was RDECOM’s turn to co-host and it gave us a chance to see Natick’s mission. Learning more about the mission lets us share it with others within the command and the Army.”

She said the attendees were very surprised by the mission at the SSC. “They didn’t realize that [SSC’s] mission was so big. They were impressed and grateful for the opportunity.”

During the meeting, other AMC programs such as “Always a Soldier,” and the “AMC Fellows,” were also highlighted.

Jones said overall it’s about taking care of Soldiers. “Without highly trained, motivated, knowledgeable retention personnel, AMC wouldn’t be able to sustain its [retention] numbers. This job is very important.”

AMC received an award from the Department of the Army for fiscal year 2007 for retention accomplishments.   

This page last updated on 10 May 2006.