GARMISCH, Germany — The U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Garmisch community recognized Harold A. Zarecki for his excellent service to the local military community. In a small ceremony on Feb. 10, 2022, Zarecki was presented the Army Professional of the Year – Level II award for 2021 by Michael Daniels, deputy to the commander for USAG Bavaria.
Zarecki, known as Sonny, joined the Garmisch community team in November 2019. He runs the S 3/5 office, and is the single operator for the shop in Garmisch.
“Everyone in the Garmisch Community knows who Sonny is,” said Garmisch Deputy Garrison Manager Laura Hemming. “He has been instrumental to our staying on top of COVID reporting and ensuring that our community members were able to receive their vaccines as quickly as possible, since our closest Medical Treatment Facility is over 3 hours away in Hohenfels.”
Zarecki started right at the edge of the 2020 holiday season. Shortly after the new year, he quickly oversaw COVID-19 operations, in addition to his regular duties. As the single liaison between the local U.S. medical personnel and the German health authorities, Zarecki developed new, unique and tailored protocols and safety measurements.
His tireless efforts and many extra hours of work were vital to the organization’s success during the past two years, especially while the pandemic made life harder for all community members in Garmisch.
“Sonny’s dedication to the mission, his commitment to our community, and his exceptional ability to communicate with both our U.S. personnel and also the local German health authorities has been the key to our success,” said Hemming. “Sonny fills a vital role and he does it with a smile, which we can all appreciate during what has been a challenging time.”
Zarecki organized several vaccination opportunities for the community of Garmisch, and he developed a great partnership with the German Gesundheitsamt — even leading to after-work leisure meetings, as much as COVID-19 restrictions would allow.
“It’s been a pleasure supporting the Garmisch Community during COVID operations. The positive support of the community has made my job much easier,” Zarecki said. “I hope I left a positive impression on everybody that needed support during that time.”
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 I award was presented to Melisa R. Silva, the fingerprint coordinator and DEERS verifying official for USAG Bavaria’s DHR. Read about her accomplishments here.