Kentucky Guardsman, 1 of 7 best in country

Story by Sgt. Scott Raymond, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Master 7

Sgt. 1st Class Charles Miller speaks with Command Sgt. Maj. Scottie Sloan following the presentation of the Expert Seven award. Miller competed against 10 other states’ recruiters for the regional honor.(Courtesy photo)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — There are over 7,000 Soldiers in the Kentucky Army National Guard.  They were all put there by recruiters. Annually the National Guard recognizes those Soldiers who have demonstrated their abilities to rise above the rest in their field. Competitions such as the Best Sapper and Soldier of the Year honor outstanding Soldiers. And sometimes the best are recognized simply for how well they do their job.

One Kentucky Guardsman was recently recognized as one of the top seven in the country for being the best at his job.

Sgt. 1st Class Charles Miller became one of the seven best recruiting supervisors in the country by winning the “Expert Seven” award for the 2012 fiscal year.

Miller is the noncommissioned officer in charge of Bravo Company, Detachment 1 of the 2nd Battalion, 75th Recruiting and Retention in Louisville, Ky.  He supervises more than 10 Soldiers and up to 125 new recruits in the Recruit Sustainment Program, RSP.  He and his staff support nine units in the area and finished the fiscal year with a 110 percent enlistment rate.

“I love recruiting, and this award is very humbling,” said Miller.  “Several of the people I was in competition with were Soldiers I looked up to throughout my career, so winning it truly meant something to me. Being recognized for an achievement where winning means my team was successful means a lot.”

The Expert Seven is first a state competition. Kentucky has six recruiting areas with six NCOICs supervising them.  Once Miller was chosen as the best in the state, he then went up against the winners from the 10 other states that make up the Southeastern Region.  The National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. draws seven regions of the country, making each regional winner and Expert Seven.

SFC Miller Picture

Sgt. 1st Class Charles Miller, his wife, Janna and their two children pose for a photo in Chicago on a family trip. Miller and his wife have been married for 10 years, nine and a half of those years, he has worked in recruiting for the Kentucky National Guard. (Courtesy photo)

According to Miller, his team stood out because each recruiter  made their individual mission for the year, which he said was unique. Miller and his team also hit every quality mark used to identify the success in recruiting: ASVAB test scores, education levels, and standards met by recruits in the RSP.

Fiscal Year 2012 was quite unique for the Kentucky Army Guard recruiters. With budgets cuts and restricting rules for enlistments, the job of putting new Soldiers into the Guard became a bit harder according to some recruiters.  In addition to their expected numbers, Kentucky Guard leadership agreed to a challenge from the National Guard Bureau to enlist another 100 into its ranks on top of the original goal.

Maj. Fred W. Bates V, commander of the 2/75th said they succeeded through an aggressive marketing campaign and the hard work and dedication of the recruiters in the schools and in the community. He said his recruiters took full responsibility for each individual interested in joining the Guard and guided them through the process all the way to their new unit.

Bates called Miller’s work exemplary and is not surprised of the award. Bates is glad to have such Soldiers setting the example for his command.

“Sergeant First Class Miller is an NCO that cares about his mission,” said Bates. “while at the same time, ensuring his Soldiers are mentored and developed as NCOs.”

Miller has served in the Kentucky Guard since 1999, following a four-year run in the Air Force.  Originally a military policeman, Miller started into recruiting in 2002. He said he relates his success to who he has worked with over the years. Soldiers with the right work ethic and dedication to the Kentucky Guard.

“I have had several influential people on my career,” he said.  “Retired Sergeant Major Dave Tharp has always been the ‘bar’ for me to try and achieve as a leader in recruiting, but seeing the success and productivity of other individuals has been a driving force for me.”

“People like Colonel Ron Turner, Command Sergeant Major Scottie Sloan, First Sergeant Matthew Ihnen and Sergeant First Class Bobby Jones showed me what can be accomplished and through their success gave me the motivation to succeed.”

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