***image1***Ricardo Quinones, an Army civilian at the 21st Theater Support Command, recently received the Outstanding COMSEC Custodian of 2004 for outside continental United States.
The annual Army-level award – which is presented by the COMSEC Security Logistics Activity at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. – recognizes the outstanding performance of an accountable officer in the COMSEC or communications security field.
Mr. Quinones, who has been with the 21st TSC since September 2002, said the award reflects the 2003 audit inspection of his COMSEC account.
“More or less, the award is given to reflect high standards,” he said. “What the auditors look at are the custody security, accountability, safeguarding, inventory transfer and destruction of COMSEC material as well as the accountability of all that throughout the European theater.”
He said the auditors come every 18 months to inspect the accounts here in Europe.
“They inspect ‘x’ numbers of accounts. The number can be 20 or 25 and up to 30 accounts, and then they tally up the final audits for each account. They use a point system that will show who came out the best.”
Some of the criteria used in determining the award, includes zero findings during command and audit inspections and zero incidents from one inspection period to the next.
A few minor deficiencies are permitted, but the individual must have maintained 100 percent accountability of all COMSEC material within the account.
Mr. Quinones is no stranger to communications security. He retired from the Army, having spent almost 24 years working in the field.