DVIDS – News – Airman Veteran Continues to Serve in Army at Area Support Group – Kuwait, September 2022


From the comfort of her home in Texas, she watched the news of Afghan families leaving their homeland, desperate for opportunities to leave and live, she was driven to do something.

So when the call came, looking for volunteers in deployment form, she took it.

Karen Butler, Management and Program Analyst, Civilian Personnel Officer, Area Support Group – Kuwait, applied for a position supporting Afghan families traveling to the United States and within days was on her way to the Qatar country. But first she had to go through Camp Atterbury, Indiana, to be processed.

And on the seventh day, fate intervened.

The mission has changed and its destination has been changed. Her new offers were to return home or take another position with ASG-KU in the Civilian Personnel Bureau.

Without hesitation, she chose the latter.

She arrived as part of the Army Expeditionary Civilian Workforce. A program that gives civilians the opportunity to work their skills overseas and the chance to cross-train, according to Butler.

She joined the Office of Civilian Personnel whose mission is, in part, to “recruit and retain the best possible workforce through effective and efficient human resource products and services available,” according to the mission statement. of the ASG-KU CPO. However, she had no experience in this field.

Out of her element, she embarks on an experience where she learns by doing. But her colleagues and clients wouldn’t know because she behaves like a seasoned professional.

“I was stunned, she came on board in October 2021 and the then supervisor was gone for most of November and December. And she took on most of the duties,” said Dianna D. Cole, Civilian Personnel Officer, CPO, ASG-KU. She managed all aspects of the CPO, including order processing, benefits, timekeeping, leave, recruiting, rewards and advising the commander.” is quite impressive, you would never have suspected for a minute that she hasn’t spent her life perfecting this craft,” Cole said.

She began her dedication to the Department of Defense when she enlisted in the Air Force and served as a mental health specialist. Then, after enlistment, she worked with the Department of the Army, the Defense Logistics Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security, gaining experience in logistics and manpower.

Asked about his motivation, Butler deliberately said, “I want to do everything to keep you, I want your transition to be smooth as this is your first impression of ASG-Kuwait. I want to ensure that all entitlements, allowances and incentives are processed in a timely and expeditious manner. »

Although its purpose is to support the civilian workforce, soldiers also benefit from working alongside Butler. They first noticed his work ethic when the former supervisor left, and then from May to July when his other co-worker went away for a few months. “She was holding it down, solo,” said the U.S. Army Master Sgt. Mikul J. Singleton, NCO in Charge, S-1, ASG-KU.

With the S-1 and CPO offices collocated, their working environment is sometimes mixed and the soldiers appreciate the good energy. “She works long hours and is always outgoing and cheerful,” Singleton said. Plus, she also has enough energy to run probably every 5k race here. Since being here, she has only missed a few races and is currently preparing for a half marathon.

His time with ASG-KU has been fulfilling but like in any field, things don’t always go well. Working in the CPO can be rewarding, but it can also be challenging, especially when it comes to compensation and leave issues, people can get passionate. However, Butler has a personal arsenal to combat any situation. “Karen handles things with finesse and grace. She’s not perfect but handles things perfectly,” Cole said.

Although her time in the Middle East is coming to an end, she has already done so. In 2006, she served at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, and this tour helped solidify her philosophy of continuous service alongside the military. “I love the deployment part of my career,” Butler said.

Her optimistic personality combined with an ability to refocus according to situations make her an ideal team member.

“She came here knowing it was not her normal job and she embraced all aspects of civilian staff support and dedicated herself with an ambition to learn. She may have learned a lot and has a completely different resume now, but we are the ones who have benefited 100%,” Cole added.

Date taken: 09.09.2022
Date posted: 09.11.2022 09:13
Story ID: 429006

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