Career counselors from the 13th Sustainment Command talked with about 50 soldiers regarding retention options March 22 at the command’s Soldier and Family Readiness Center.

The soldiers are slated to leave the Army or re-enlist.

Master Sgt. Humberto Flores, the senior career counselor for the command who led the briefing, emphasized education above all other subjects.

“The No. 1 thing I want to share, regardless of whether you’re getting out or staying in, (is that) it’s important to take the necessary steps to prepare yourself for transition to civilian life,” Flores said. “While you’re in, take advantage of the opportunity to receive as much education while you’re still in, both with military training and civilian education.

“If you’re staying in, the education and training you pursue will help to build you into a stronger leader and soldier and prepare you to go on to great things for the Army,” he said. “If you are moving on to a new chapter outside the military, it will give you an additional step towards whatever goals you have moving forward.”

Flores also stressed the importance of taking advantage of re-enlistment options when they become available, as they won’t always be there.

“For example, for the (job of motor transport operator), there are only 45 slots in the entire 13th we can re-enlist to stay,” Flores said, referencing the commander’s allocation process, which allows commanders to retain a limited number of soldiers serving in an over-strength specialty or skill level. “However, once those available slots are filled, soldiers with that (specialty) will be required to either reclass or get out.”

Flores said those with additional questions should meet with their career counselors.

Some soldiers said the options were clearer to them after the briefing.

“There was a lot of great information that was put out that I was not completely aware of,” said Spc. Pedro Perez, an automated logistics specialist with the command’s 289th Quartermaster Company, 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade. He said he was discussing his options with his family. “It’s good to see exactly what all my options are, and it’ll help me decide on what my future holds.”

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