A mindset of hard work, modesty and appreciation has paid off for a Fort Drum civilian employee, just as his father predicted years ago.
Bill Cox, a budget analyst with Directorate of Resource Management, said he was surprised to learn he had been selected as the 2010 Civilian of the Year. The announcement came Jan. 27 during the Civilian of the Quarter luncheon.
“I don’t come to work for the accolades; I come to work to do a job,” explained Cox, who found the honor “overwhelming and very humbling.”
He said his Marine Corps father taught him and his siblings to work hard every day, be humble and appreciate what they have, and good things will come.
Cox, who won Civilian of the Quarter for the 4th quarter of the 2010 fiscal year, began working as a budget technician at Fort Drum in 2008. Before coming here, he spent 24 years in the Army as an air traffic controller, retiring as a first sergeant.
During his time as a budget technician, Cox worked with personnel in the Directorate of Public Works on Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization, which consisted of maintenance such as repairing buildings and roads.
He ensured the line of accounting to pay the bill was correct before it was entered into the system and followed the “trail of money” until the contract was completely billed, dispersed and closed out.
Cox also executed 54 unfinanced requirements, which totaled $12.7 million and helped replace DPW’s aging snow removal and ground equipment. He also carried out 12 unfinanced requirements, totaling $7.8 million, which supported upgrading infrastructure that improved the well-being and quality of life for Soldiers, Family Members and civilians on post.
These endeavors led to a promotion in October as a budget analyst and helped Cox to win Civilian of the Year.
Although it may have been a big switch from aviation operation to budget analyst, Cox said something that didn’t change is the variety of day-to-day work.
“(As a budget analyst), every day is a different day because the things that come across my desk that require some analysis or corrections tend to be quite different. And just like air traffic control, every day is a new learning experience,” he explained.
As an analyst, Cox determines where an error occurred in an account, as well as the correction that needs to be implemented. He then sends the information to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service for correction. Cox oversees and helps manage budgets for most of the garrison organizations on post.
Another task that helped Cox earn his nomination was creating a detailed financial spreadsheet that outlined all utility reimbursement costs for the tenant organizations on Fort Drum. This spreadsheet accounted for and tracked more than $3 million in utility reimbursements from various tenant organizations on post.
Mark Hawes, supervisory budget analyst who nominated Cox for Civilian of the Quarter, described him as a dedicated employee whose work is “top-notch.”
Hawes also noted Cox has adapted well, despite his lack of budget experience.
One reason Cox was promoted, Hawes explained, was because someone in the position not only needs to “know the numbers,” but also has to know what “goes into the numbers.”
“He always knows the story behind it; that’s what we look at when we promote people to (budget) analyst,” Hawes noted.
Management describes Cox as a team player, which he showed when he assumed a departing co-worker’s duties of managing high-dollar value contracts for Refuse, Recycle and Custodial. He also promoted teamwork and cooperation while working with the General Funds Enterprise Business System and enhanced partnerships with installations such as Fort Stewart and Fort Benning, Ga. Cox also helped to make Fort Drum a model installation for GFEBS.
Cathy Munro, supervisory budget analyst and Cox’s current supervisor, said she’s fortunate to have his knowledge and input in their processes.
“He’s more than willing to dig and do research,” Munro said. “Sometimes in the financial world, it’s not just as simple as handing somebody a check. There’s a lot of rules and stipulations that go along with that, and (Cox is) very good at making sure it’s done right.”
Hawes and Munro submitted Cox for Civilian of the Year to the director, who then made the decision to submit him for the directorate.
The Civilian of the Year recipient receives a photo with the commanding general, VIP parking permit, an invitation to events on post, a monetary award, automatic enrollment in the LEADER program, and special seating at various ceremonies, which Cox says means a lot to him since he’s retired military.