Feature Stories

NEWS | April 15, 2022

U.S. Army Central retention team "above glide"

By Diamante Byrne U.S. Army Central

"Soldiers choose to reenlist, while our office just writes up the contracts," says Sgt. 1st Class Abelardo Gonzalez, U.S. Army Central Command (USARCENT) career counselor. The retention office is "writing up" a lot of contracts these days, and it shows in their numbers. The U.S. Army Central retention team is ahead of its retention goals.

"Our team is killing it, the numbers will speak for themselves. Behind the scenes, we haven't had any bonus reenlistment errors. We're at 100% for two to three years" says Master Sgt. Benjamin Gloe, Senior Retention Operations Career Counselor. Gloe was named the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) senior career counselor of the year in 2020 and Gonzalez is USARCENT's back-to-back career counselor of the year. However, it's not the awards or numbers that define their success, but their commitment to the Soldiers and their families.

"What makes the team successful is that they truly care about providing the best career guidance and available options in order to retain our most valuable resource, our Soldiers. The retention team does their best to ensure our Soldiers & their families' needs meet with the needs of the Army. They epitomize the "Strong Sergeants - Strong Soldiers!" motto by being SMEs [subject matter experts] on their career field and numerous other topics," said Sergeant Major Pablo A. Michel, USARCENT Command Career Counselor.

They contribute to supporting not only U.S. Army Central, but surrounding commands and teammates within the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operation. One example is Sgt. 1st Class Michelle Vereen, USARCENT's Senior Career Counselor in theater. She plans to reenlists 100 soldiers by the end of the year, according to the retention team career counselors.

By providing expert career guidance and subject matter experts, the retention team strives to meet Secretary of the Army Christine E. Wormuth's objective to adapt the way the service recruits and retains its talent in order to sustain the Army's all-volunteer force. Their efforts also focus on one of the Army's top priorities-its people.

Sgt. 1st Class Gonzalez points out that having good leaders is a large part of why soldiers choose to stay in the Army. USARCENT's senior enlisted
leader, Command Sergeant Major Jacinto Garza, agrees.

"The USARCENT retention team continues to lead on retention as the only Army command above glide on all assigned categories. This is a tremendous reflection of the leadership and climate."