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NEWS | May 20, 2024

Soldier triumphs in test of will, wins Army Reserve Career Counselor of the Year

By Courtesy Story Army Reserve Careers Group

U.S. Army Reserve career counselor Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Cox, assigned to 10th Battalion, Army Reserve Careers Group, won the Army Reserve Career Counselor of the Year Competition at Fort Knox, Kentucky, May 9.

Preparation, knowledge, and an ability to adapt helped Cox come out on top, he said. He accepted his award from the ARCG commander Col. Marshall Scantlin in a ceremony on-post.

The competition consisted of an Army Combat Fitness Test, a promotion style board, a written exam, an essay, two scenario-based tasks focused on career counselor skills, and a mystery event. The first event was the board and probably the most nerve wracking, said ARCG operations NCO Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Horne.

“The board event is always such a stressful event, it’s about things that you know but the nerves just get in your head and that’s just the start of the competition,” said Horne. “The test of going to the board is really just about seeing how much stress they can take and seeing if they can slow themselves down under pressure.”

The next event was a written test, designed to explore the knowledge of each competitor. The test covered the regulations and rules that govern their daily tasks as a career counselor. Another intellectually challenging event was the written essay; this challenged the competitors to write about the role of career counselors and the challenges they face in their daily responsibilities.

“There was no way to fully prepare for this competition ahead of time. There is not one guy that you could go to for every answer and because of that it really keeps you on your toes, Cox said. “It’s a test of leadership, because you won’t always have every answer, but you should always be able to figure out a solution.”

After three days of grueling competition and being recognized for his hard work, Cox had a few words for his unit and encouraged career counselors to compete in the future.

“It’s an honor to represent 10th battalion and it’s humbling to be chosen as the winner, Cox said. “It is nerve wracking, it is a pressure cooker, but there is a reason for that and there has never been a board that I didn’t walk away from better as an NCO and better as a person. If you are thinking about competing jump in with both feet.”

Cox will be recognized at the Association of the United States Army annual meeting and exposition in October.