By Army Pfc. Terence Ewings
Special to American Forces Press Service
Nov. 21, 2008 - Army Sgt. 1st Class Charles Washington, a career counselor attached to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, mentors soldiers and puts them into a position for future success. Washington is a recruiter assigned to the 3rd Army Medical Recruiting Command. He volunteered to deploy with the Long Knife Brigade as part of an individual augmentee program, which allows a recruiter to go overseas and work as a career counselor during a combat tour.
"I volunteered for this program so that I can share my experiences with the men and women that have questions about deployments," he said. "Being a career counselor is somewhat similar to recruiting. You talk to the soldiers and help them make a decision with their best interest in mind."
The former ammunition specialist from Lewisville, Ga., found his passion in recruiting when he was selected to serve at his first recruiting station in Youngstown, Ohio.
"It was hard at first, but I think recruiting came to me naturally," Washington said. "Taking a young man or woman and teaching them to be a soldier gives me a good feeling to be a part of that."
He speaks of his soldiers with pride, and he shows it by wearing his recruiter's ring, which came with his Glen E. Morrell Award for excelling at recruiting.
"Washington has been a great asset to the team, and he's very successful at what he does," Army Master Sgt. Keith Green, the brigade's head career counselor, said. "He counsels soldiers just like we do, and helps them with their future plans."
After this deployment, with his seven years of recruiting experience, Washington said he plans on going back to a recruiting station and becoming a recruiting trainer so that he can share his knowledge with future soldiers and their families back home.
(Army Pfc. Terence Ewings serves with the 1st Cavalry Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team.)