SSC-Natick Press ReleaseU.S. Army Soldier Systems
Public Affairs Office
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Date: February 28, 2008
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
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
AMC received an award from the Department of the Army for fiscal
year 2007 for retention accomplishments.