Paulette Arrington has only one regret when it comes to her job - that she hasn't been in it longer.
"This is the best thing to ever happen to me. It was made for me. I should have had it when I was 20," said Arrington, Fort Gordon's protocol officer, who was named civilian of the year for 2006.
Arrington has worked at Fort Gordon for 33 years. She began her career as a clerk/secretary and has worked in the protocol office since 1999.
Each year, six people are honored at Fort Gordon for their outstanding work throughout the year. A ceremony was held Dec. 7.
Another civilian, Marti Ragano, was honored as the volunteer of the year. Ragano, the wife of Staff Sgt. Ryan Ragano, is involved with the Fort Gordon Service Club, Army Family Team Building, Christmas House, Army Community Service and her family readiness group.
"My grandma used to say to leave things better than you found them," said Ragano, who took that advice to heart. She became involved with Army-related activities because the military is her community, she said.
"You can sit around and complain, or you can turn around and make improvements," she said.
Fort Gordon's servicemember of the year is Spc. Paul Sweeney, a clerk in the 551st Signal Battalion.
Sweeney, who joined the Army in 2004, is in charge of processing leave requests and setting up promotion boards and ceremonies.
The cook of the year is Spc. Victor Melendez, of the 67th Signal Battalion. Melendez spent much of this year at Dining Facility 13.
The instructor of the year is Staff Sgt. Amy Williams, who is an instructor and writer for the information systems operator analyst course and the telecommunications operator maintainer course.
The noncommissioned officer of the year is Staff Sgt. Jason McCoy, a drill sergeant in the 447th Signal Battalion.
McCoy joined the Army in 1999 and is responsible for 120 soldiers in his platoon.
Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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