Two teams of Wisconsin National Guard members totaling 18 people, responsible for providing vital services to 10,000 Guard members statewide, were recognized by the Greater Madison Federal Agency Association during a May 6 ceremony at Madison's Edgewater Hotel.
The Wisconsin Army National Guard's Health Systems Services Branch, of the Personnel Directorate, was recognized for exemplary customer service to 7,800 Soldiers in the state. The 15-person team ensures medical certifications are up to date for each medical professional within the force and manages services for medical and dental appointment coordination, TriCare insurance support, wounded warrior transition care and medical record maintenance for each Soldier.
Health Systems Services Branch Chief Lt. Col. Leah Moore, with the Wisconsin Army National Guard state leadership, recognized HSS as "deserving of the nomination."
"I'm extremely proud of the [HSS team] - I knew they would do a good job," Moore said. "I think it's terrific that the state leadership recognized them and that they exceeded every expectation. Whether we're [supporting] one Soldier or 100, we work just as hard, every day. It's a nice pat on the back today, but tomorrow we will get [back] to work and do it again."
Maj. Rebecca Giese, an HSS case manager who served as the officer-in-charge while Moore was deployed, accepted the award for the team.
"We were nominated because we put in a lot of work for the [32nd] Brigade deployment," Giese said. "Successfully getting 3,200 Soldiers out the door was very rewarding for us - we had a lot of support from the leadership and it went really smooth despite a lot of challenges."
Personnel assigned to Wisconsin Air National Guard Headquarters received the "Administrative Employee of the Year" award for their direct contribution to mission readiness, improved recruiting efforts, mentorship of traditional guard members and a strong ethic of community service.
Col. Murry Mitten, director of staff, and Lt. Col. Brian Buhler, military personnel management officer - both for the Air National Guard - recommended the three-member team for the award because of the hard work and dedication they provide at the unit level.
"They are the ones that everyone call to get their questions answered," Buhler said. "Their day-to- day job is pretty tough - they take care of the 2,200 men and women of the Wisconsin Air National Guard. These three folks who won the award work long hours to make everything happen and do it with a positive attitude."
Senior Master Sgt. Connie Bacik, a recruiting and retention superintendant, accepted the award for the team and said, "We've done a fantastic job motivating our recruiters and retainers to bring quality people into the Air National Guard and maintain a high level of strength to complete mission requirements.
"It feels great to win the award," she added. "[The GMFAA] is a great organization and it's a [privilege] to be recognized among other federal agencies."