GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria recently announced its 2021 Army Professional of the Year winners. The Level I recipient, Melisa R. Silva, proudly works for the Directorate of Human Resources on Tower Barracks.
Silva is both a fingerprint coordinator and a DEERS verifying official for human resources. She was bestowed the USAG Bavaria Army Professional of the Year – Level I award, after winning the first quarter honors in fiscal year 2021.
“Mrs. Silva is an integral member of the MPD team,” said Military Personnel Division Chief Michele Crawford. “Her passion and commitment to the MPD mission, and the Army, is invaluable.”
While Silva is a relatively new civilian employee with USAG Bavaria – transitioning from a contractor position to a federal position in August 2020 – her overall contributions to the garrison are already long lasting.
According to her Army Professional of the Year citation, Silva was recognized for singlehandedly setting up the garrison’s “first-ever” DHR fingerprint office. Establishing this office increased garrison productivity twofold, by allowing the garrison security office to focus on other security-related job aspects and providing another avenue to fingerprint when the 7th Army Training Command system is temporarily nonoperational.
“I provide digital and hard copy fingerprints for service members, civilians and family members,” Silva said. “These are used for security investigations, employment screening, naturalization, childcare background investigations, licensing credentials and various other reasons.”
In addition to fulfilling the DHR fingerprint mission, Silva oversaw the day-to-day operations of the DEERS and ID card office – providing front door services for all community members across USAG Bavaria.
“We handle all new ID cards that are a necessary tool for all employees and service members, we enroll new spouses, we enroll children that are born abroad, and we assist with updating DEERS profiles,” Silva said. “Even a simple task of unlocking a CAC must be done in our office.”
Last but not least, Silva volunteered countless after-duty hours to ensure that ID card workstations obtained peak operational performance while finding solutions to troubleshoot issues.
While the announcement may not be a shock to her colleagues, Silva said the award was a “complete surprise,” and she was extremely flattered to be recognized.
“I have been fortunate to work with some great people! I like my job, and enjoy coming to work,” Silva said. “It’s a learning process – working with the military community amidst this pandemic. The key point is to provide the best possible service, while doing everything to stay healthy.”
Every quarter based on two grade levels, installation employees are recognized for organizational work and behaviors that support and further the mission, goals, values and initiatives of the garrison. Then at the end of the year, annual winners – from both levels – are selected among the quarterly winners.
Editor’s Note: The 2021 Army Professional of the Year – Level II award was presented to Harold “Sonny” Zarecki, the plans and operations specialist with USAG Bavaria Garmisch S 3/5. Read about his accomplishments here.