PORTLAND
National Guard counselors receive consecutive awards
The Maine Army National Guard (MEARNG) guidance counselors at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) received the Army National Guard MEPS of the Year award for fiscal year 2020 and 2019 on June 8.
Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly Richardson, one of the MEARNG MEPS guidance counselors to receive the award said, “Receiving this award not once but twice is an honor. We are humbled by the praise we have received at the highest levels of the National Guard.”
MEPS around the country are where enlistees from all components go to process and qualify for accession into the military. Maj. Jeremy Allie, the Portland MEPS commander explained the role of MEPS: “We are the vital link between recruiting and training today’s Armed Forces. Our command’s motto is ‘Freedom’s Front Door’ as a symbol of the command’s mission of determining the physical, mental, and moral qualifications of every member of the Armed Services.”
To enlist in the MEARNG, the MEPS guidance counselor is involved in the last step of a person’s process to go from civilian to soldier. For Maine, those counselors include Richardson and Sandra Beauchesne, a retired sergeant major from the Maine Army National Guard who now works as a civilian contractor.
There are 65 other MEPS across the United States, and territories. Matthew Saracco, the National MEPS guidance counselor manager who presented the awards to Richardson, and Beauchesne said it’s practically unheard of to win the award two years in a row.

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