NEWS | Feb. 5, 2020

Alaska Army National Guard Recruiter Earns Meritorious Service Medal

By Pfc. Grace Nechanicky Alaska National Guard Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Alaska Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly Houser received a Meritorious Service Medal during the Director’s Strength Maintenance and Awards Ceremony in San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 15. Each state and territory had one Soldier recognized for their performances in recruiting and retention.

The award recognizes superior strength maintenance skills in all functions of recruiting and retention.

Houser recruited 17 Soldiers into the Alaska Army National Guard and retained 12 currently serving Soldiers. She achieved 124 percent of her assigned recruiting mission and 130 percent of her assigned retention mission, making her the only recruiter to overdrive in both enlisted accessions and retention. She is responsible for increasing the Department of Defense market share by 14 percent in her assigned recruiting area.

“She outperformed all other recruiting and retention noncommissioned officers within the Alaska Army National Guard,” said Lt. Col. Donna Johnson, commander of the Alaska Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion.

Houser conducted numerous retention interviews with local Soldiers and personally conducted 12 extensions. She also expanded her influence to other units and individuals, which assisted in the extension of many other Soldiers who chose to continue serving in the organization.

“Houser ingrained herself within the 207th Aviation Battalion to earn the trust of unit members and the command team, addressing Soldiers’ desires for continued service,” said Johnson.

While a staff sergeant, Houser served as a recruiting team leader, a position reserved for senior recruiters. In this position, she mentored and trained two new recruiters, strengthening the effectiveness of the RRB.

“Sgt. 1st Class Houser demonstrated the character, competence and commitment of a senior NCO who aggressively fought to exceed expectations of her individual mission in one of the most challenging recruiting markets in the country,” said Johnson. “As a rookie recruiter, she understood the impact of her mission on the tactical, organizational, and strategic mission of the Alaska Army National Guard.”

Houser also served as Recruit Sustainment Program cadre, where she prepared young recruits to successfully attend and complete Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training. She maintained a 100 percent success rate for the year.

“She did not accept defeat in spite of significant learning curves,” said Johnson. “Rather, she established trust within her assigned high schools, in her community and within her sphere of influence.”