Photo by Rachel Larue
Competitors in the 2014 Career Counselors of the Year competition wait for the announcement of the winners Jan. 8 at a hotel in Alexandria, Va. The winners were Staff Sgt. Eric Detheridge for the active component, and Sgt. 1st Class Craig Nabors for the reserve component.
An overseas intelligence and security command retention staff sergeant has been named active component Headquarters, Department of the Army/Secretary of the Army Career Counselor of the Year.
Staff Sgt. Eric Detheridge of Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) traveled from Germany and bested a competing field of eight other Soldiers during the multi-day event held Jan. 7-8. Vying for the title against Detheridge was Military District of Washington’s career counselor representative Staff Sgt. Shaun Holman.
The CCOY competition was divided into three portions — the Army physical fitness test, a written exam and oral boards. Prior to the announcement of the overall winners on the afternoon of Jan. 8, individual Soldiers were cited for top proficiency in the three categories. Sgt. Maj. Kelvin Raibon, HQDA senior Army career counselor, told the Soldiers that Holman earned the highest written exam score.
"The written exam was pretty tough, right? This is a pretty tough test — no notes, no open book," Raibon told the group. "They come in here, and they bring their brains and number-two pencils."
The announcement made Holman one of the front runners for the active component award and being named the top test taker was an honor in itself, the MDW staff sergeant said.
"I felt a sense of achievement because the written exam had all the counselors that attended concerned on how they scored," said Holman as he looked back on the competition.
Other top scorers were Sgt. 1st Class James Klink Jr., who was the top Army physical fitness test participant and Staff Sgt. Efrain Garcia Jr. was deemed the best board performer.
"This is the best group we’ve seen in three years up here. This was a very professional group," Raibon noted prior to the announcement. "Nobody here is a loser; you’re all winners. You represented your commands tremendously. You can go back and tell your commanders you did an outstanding job."
Other divisional CCOY representatives were Staff Sgt. Sarah Ashibuogwu of NETCOM; Staff Sgt. Jason Boyd of FORSCOM; Staff Sgt. Matthew Cunningham of USASOC; Sgt. 1st Class Derek Yazzie of TRADOC and Sgt. 1st Class Celeste Spencer of MEDCOM. Reserve Component Sgt. 1st Class Craig Nabors was named 2014 RC Career Counselor of the Year.
Board members consisted of four Soldiers. Sgts. Maj. Richard Jones, Dan Blashill, Gregory Jacobs and Yolanda Brock all spoke and commented on the candidates’ performances following the announcement that Detheridge and Nabors were the winners.
"I am very impressed," Brock said as she addressed the CCOY Soldiers. "I have no qualms now about stepping away from the Army and from being a career counselor when I can leave it in your hands. No one disappointed us when we sat on this board."