2002 Soldier of the Year
Sergeant First Class Roy Handy, Jr.
Sergeant First Class Roy Handy, Jr. helps others to be the best that they can be. Born and raised in the lower ninth ward of New Orleans, that city's most depressed and crime-ridden area, he beat the odds and made it out. After a successful career in the Army, SFC Handy then returned, volunteering for a tough recruiting assignment back in his old neighborhood. He has dedicated himself to helping local youth make the most of their potential. Despite having the financial wherewithal to live in a more affluent section of town, SFC Handy opted to reside in ward nine, providing a constant and positive role model and being on hand to guide and counsel the ward's youth. He is highly engaged in community activities, volunteering for a wide range of local youth mentoring and community improvement programs. To make a difference in the development of young children, he visits elementary schools to plant early seeds for success later in life. And he cares about youth beyond simply those he can recruit into the Army. One example of this is the Joint Community Services Group, where SFC Handy takes the extra effort to get local businesses to provide skill training and permanent jobs for those who cannot qualify for the Army. Another example of his involvement is with the Prison Outreach Ministry, where he took off-duty time to help troubled youth. /"His intervention into the life of a child, at an early age, coupled with his positive values, has provided a true role model for others to emulate,/" said one community leader, adding /"he's an inspiration and a great ambassador for the Army./" /"He has an extraordinary concern, compassion and commitment to helping others,/" says another colleague.
The quality of the personnel in today's Army is directly dependent upon having outstanding recruiters like SFC Handy. SFC Handy's activism in the community translates into positive success for the U.S. Army. /"SFC Handy is a superb recruiter, easily surpassing his goals,/" says his commanding officer. In each of the last two years, SFC Handy has exceeded his goal by 125%. And while many recruits veer off course once they've reached the Army, SFC Handy's recruits boast a superior 95% retention rate. That work has helped SFC Handy's New Orleans recruiting station become tops in the state of Lousiana. /"I love what I do,/" says Handy. /"The hardest job is being a recruiter, both for the Army and for being successful in life./"
SFC Roy Handy, Jr. makes a positive difference for both his community and the Army. He embodies the commitment, leadership and the highest standards of personal and professional conduct that is at the core of the United States Army.