By Scott Prater | Mountaineer staff
FORT CARSON, Colo. — A Fort Carson Army Community Service (ACS) financial advisor earned a prestigious national award for her service to Soldiers and Families recently.
Kathleen Spain was one of only four financial professionals throughout the country to earn the Association of Defense Communities (ADC) and Navy Federal Credit Union Guidepost Award during a recent ceremony in Arlington, Virginia.
The inaugural Guidepost Awards are a recognition program that spotlight financial and career counselors and the important role they play in helping military Families reach their savings and career transition goals.
“As soon as we read the nomination submission for Kathleen, she stood out to us as a contender for a Guidepost Award,” said Grace Marvin, director of communications, Association of Defense Communities. “Her dedication to the Fort Carson community was apparent and even more so, her enthusiasm for her job and helping her clients on their financial journeys was unmistakable. Her work with Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) and her approach of custom counseling for each of her clients also set her apart.”
A committee of ADC leaders chose the four national winners through a competitive nomination process. Marvin said the awardees demonstrated an exceptional dedication to the military and the families they serve, understood the importance of financial readiness to the overall readiness of the military, and possessed a genuine passion for passing that knowledge on to their clients.
Spain, who assists Gold Star families through SOS, and Soldiers through the Soldier and Family Assistance Center, has called Fort Carson home for just over a year. But she has served Soldiers for more than 15 years at other Army installations.
“I was surprised,” Spain said. “First of all, I didn’t know this award even existed, but to then go on and be selected as a recipient was both stunning and humbling.”
Col. Nate Springer, commander, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson and Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus W. Brister II, senior enlisted leader, U.S. Army Garrsion Fort Carson, both attended the ceremony in her support.
Spain described the ceremony as both exciting and a little intimidating, as each award winner was asked to take the stage and say a few words in front of a room full of high-ranking military officials. Award recipients then followed their comments by participating in a panel discussion on Rethinking How We Support Our Military Families.
“This is the first award I’ve ever received,” she said. “It was a nice experience, but really, we (ACS financial advisors) don’t do this work for the awards,” Spain said. “It’s rewarding to give Soldiers and Families the tools and encouragement they need to turn their financial situations around, help them save and invest more and improve their well-being. I just love helping people, and I think a lot of financial advisors and counselors feel the same way.”