• 59°

Brookhavenite chosen for military honor

Each November in honor of Veterans Day, Civilian Job News, theworldwide military base newspaper, releases its Top 40 Under 40Military edition, which endeavors to recognize the top servicemembers who are serving or have served in the United States ArmedForces.

Former Brookhaven resident, Maurio Smith, has been named to theprestigious 2010 list.

Smith, 30, who now lives in Louisville, Ky., is a 1998 graduate ofBrookhaven High School and a 2003 graduate of the United StatesMilitary Academy at West Point. He is married to fellow Brookhavennative, Latoya Wilcher Smith, and is the son of Kathleen Smith andSemmie Smith, both of Brookhaven.

As Military Transition Team Commander, Maurio Smith trained anIraqi Army Regiment of 638 soldiers to replace U.S. forces. By theend of his tour, the Iraqi regiment operated without U.S. support.He’s a process manager at Humana today. His colleague, ThomasCaldwell, says Smith was his “go-to guy” in Mosul, as well as “avery compassionate, hands-on guy.”

The criteria for consideration are as follows:

• Serving or has served in the U.S. armed forces.

• Under 40 years old.

• Exemplary military performance as per their assignments andevaluations.

• Honorable discharge or anticipate an honorable discharge.

A committee selects the finalists and winners from the nominatingpools. Finalists are asked to submit additional biographicalinformation to the committee for consideration.

When Civilian Jobs News began the process of creating the Top 40Under 40 Military, the publication was navigating largely unchartedwaters.

“There are some civilian recognition programs that are similar tothe ‘Top 40 Under 40 Military’, but Civilian Job News wanted tocreate one specifically for service members,” said Publisher BillBasnett.

Giving a nod to outstanding veterans goes hand-in-hand with anotherCJN kudos program, Most Valuable Employers for Military(r).

“CJN recognizes top employers of military, and we wanted toendeavor to recognize top military employees as well,” Basnettsaid.

“We had a great review panel of retired military officers to helpus determine the initial class of ‘Top 40 Under 40 forMilitary.'”

This year’s panel includes William W. Basnett, Brigadier General(Retired), USAFR, Past Commander of the 94th Tactical Airlift Wing(TAW), Past President and Membership Director for the ReserveOfficers Association (ROA); Steve Clarke, Captain (Retired), USN,Past Special Assistant, Chief of Navy Reserve, President ofStrategic Performance Group, Inc.; and Kenneth A. Konstanzer,Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), USAR, Aviation, Chairman, U.S.Service Academy Selection Board for the Office of U.S. SenatorSaxby Chambliss, Past Commander, U.S. Military Academy AdmissionsField Force, State of Georgia.

So who are these “Top 40 Under 40 Military?”

They come from all ranks and backgrounds. They have gone frompatriotic military service to practicing business.

They are submarine mechanics and Navy SEALs. They’re Army pressagents for top generals and new FBI agents. They’ve overseenconvoys through hostile Iraqi terrain and orchestrated themovements of multi national forces through Egypt and Israel.They’ve managed air strips, trained Iraqi troops and even havesegued from a ship’s engine room to the courtroom.

They’re entrepreneurs, project managers, IT professionals,construction supervisors, big-box retail managers. They volunteerwith victims’ advocate offices, mentor students and help homelessveterans on the streets of Las Vegas. But despite the variances inlifestyles, military careers and civilian job choices, all of themshare one thing in common: They receive the highest praise for jobswell done, integrity and service completed with honor andrespect.

References describe these people as “the son or brother I didn’thave,” and as those with “a drive and determination” that iscertain to take them far in life.

“There is no way we could recognize every deservingmilitary-experienced employee,” Basnett said. “CJN is a tool tohelp military-experienced personnel find a civilian job after theirterm of service. Therefore, we decided to use one of the bestpractices of the military to civilian job search, professionalnetworking, as part of the nominating process. It is important tohave a good online professional profile, and that’s one of thecomponents that weighted heavily as we narrowed down thenominees.”