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By Derrik Noack
USMEPCOM’s August Awards Ceremony began with a special presentation in recognition of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Renee Barton, policy NCOIC, J-3/5/7. U.S. Army Lt. Col. Shane Doolan and U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Peterson presented Barton an engraved sword for her work in training Chicago Recruiting Battalion’s company command teams.
“I was honored, but at the same time taking care of Soldiers is my duty,” said Barton. “It does feel good to be recognized for assisting recruiters and their leadership during this massive transition in modernizing processing efforts.”
Barton trained the command teams of Chicago Recruiting Battalion, which has an area of operations covering more than 11,000 square miles. She gave training on MHS GENESIS and provided guidance on how personnel could navigate the process to increase efficiency.
“Barton came to us and gave great training to our team,” said Doolan. “So far it has been paying off. Our processing has been going so much better as we work with our MEPS on the medical side. She did it in such a way that we wanted to learn and improve.”
The quality of training content ensured measurable results, but it was her attitude that led personnel to feel comfortable sharing observations and critiques as they took on the new technology.
“Barton created an environment of trust during her training where command teams and station commanders gave honest feedback of how the USMEPCOM guidance was being implemented in the MEPS,” said U.S. Army Master Sgt. Adam Snow, senior master trainer, Chicago Recruiting Battalion.
Although she was able to use her recruiting background to connect with the battalion personnel, she said taking each question that arises to heart is what makes for successful trainings.
“Prior to coming to USMEPCOM, I was a recruiter, a MEPS guidance counselor and a company master trainer for the National Guard,” said Barton. “I understand how the MEPS work and can act as a bridge between both sides. When I tell recruiters and leaders to reach out to me, I make sure I take time to answer my phone or email to assist them in getting to the heart of the issue.”