Story and photo by Spc. Nathan Thome
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
The Fort Carson Special Events Center clamored with excitement during an award ceremony Tuesday to recognize the Soldiers, units and post services who contributed to the efforts of the Combined Federal Campaign as well as other federal agencies in the Pikes Peak Region.
Fort Carson Soldiers and employees contributed about $636,000 during the campaign, which ran Sept. 1 through Dec. 15.
Every year the Office of Personnel Management recognizes campaigns and volunteers who have made extraordinary contributions to the CFC through their dedication and creativity.
“It’s a special day for the Pikes Peak Region as we gather to recognize the contributions and hard work of everyone who supported the 2012 CFC,” said Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson. “I would like to thank our charitable partners for doing so much to make our community a better place.”
Bronze awards were given to organizations that met 75 percent of last year’s donation; silver for donating 5 percent more than last year’s donation; and gold for exceeding last year’s donation by 25 percent.
Gold awards were presented to 1st Special Troops Battalion and 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div.; 204th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd BCT, 4th Inf. Div.; 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd BCT, 4th Inf. Div.; Mission Support Element; Staff Judge Advocate; Army Recreational Machine Program; Civilian Personnel Advisory Center; Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; Directorate of Public Works; Equal Employment Opportunities; Directorate of Resource Management; Mission and Installation Contracting Command; Plans, Analysis and Integration Office; Garrison Public Affairs Office and Army Audit.
“The purpose of this ceremony is to recognize the CFC awardees,” said Capt. Shannon Smart, plans and operations officer, 4th Inf. Div. The Soldiers donated more than $500,000 to CFC charities during the campaign.”
Among the awards presented, 1st Lt. Nicholas Mueller, former assistant plans and operations, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Bn., 22nd Inf. Reg., 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., received the Fort Carson Hero Award.
This award is given to the campaign’s “unsung heroes,” nominated by their units for making significant differences and demonstrating leadership qualities in their campaign.
“The Hero Award is an award … to honor any CFC representative showing diligence and initiative by engaging their units, providing information, distributing materials and also collecting money and keeping it safe,” said 2nd Lt. Brett Denbow, assistant brigade personnel officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st BCT. “Mueller did all that; he went above and beyond. He brought in a lot of money from his unit and deserves that award.”
Mueller is currently serving in the Army Reserve after leaving active duty shortly after the CFC campaign concluded.
“I was shocked to hear that I was nominated for the Hero Award; I’m very honored that I’ve been selected, but it should go to my noncommissioned officers,” said Mueller, who returned to Fort Carson to receive the award. “I couldn’t do
anything for the CFC if it wasn’t for their help, they’re the only reason (I) and my battalion were a success. Although I’m getting credit for it, my NCOs, my key workers, are the ones that did all the work.”
The CFC gives people a convenient way to donate to a cause that means something to them, said Mueller. There are many organizations to choose from, and the CFC provides information about all of the charities, so people can make a clear decision about where they want to donate, Mueller said.
“I donate mostly to Habitat for Humanity and animal shelters, because my wife and I both really care about animals,” said Mueller. “Donating money to or helping out charities isn’t about doing it to get something in return; it’s about doing something because it’s the right thing to do.”