Fort Carson's Chief Warrant Officer Christabelle M. Mitchell is one of the 28 Army officers to earn this year's Gen. Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award.
The award recognizes young leaders, typically captains and warrant officers, who possess a set of ideals important to the late general - duty, honor and country, the Army said.
"It is the highest, most humbling experience to even be mentioned in the same sentence as Gen. MacArthur," Mitchell said.
While Mitchell is honored to receive the distinction, she didn't even know she had been nominated for the award.
"I found out when it was published. One of the other people who won sent me an email," she said, laughing.
Mitchell's nomination was one of several passed on last year by Maj. Gen. Randy George, commander of the 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson. Eventually, she would be one of only two active duty warrant officers selected out of submissions from across the Army.
The kicker - Mitchell had been with her unit for fewer than 30 days when she was nominated.
"The biggest thing for me was being new to a unit and right off the bat my command was recognizing me," she said.
Mitchell had just come from a job at Fort Carson's 1st Brigade Combat Team, a unit that's now deployed to Afghanistan.
Mitchell grew up in St. Paul, Minn., with her mother and enlisted into the Army fresh out of high school in 2000.
Her reason for joining was simple.
"I was more than willing because then and till this day I love traveling," she said.
So far, the Army has been kind to her. Mitchell is wrapping up three years at Fort Carson before the Army moves her family to Hawaii for her next assignment.
In 2013, Mitchell decided to become a warrant officer after earning the rank of staff sergeant as a human resources technician.
She was inspired by her husband, who is also a warrant officer in the Army, she said.
"It is no easy feat being dual military, dual warrant officer and being parents," Mitchell said. "Not spreading yourself too thin, but being able to achieve that balance."
And when it comes to organization and balancing demands, Mitchell shows how it is done.
Mitchell is the president of the Pikes Peak Adjutant General Regimental Association at Fort Carson, a nonprofit organization that helps soldiers in the human resources field develop career paths, network and practice leadership, she said.
"I get them out of their element and associate them with their own peers," she said.
To achieve this, she organizes toy drives, breakfast socials and games of dodgeball and flag football.
Earning the award is a big deal, Mitchell said. But earning accolades does not make her a better officer or a better parent, she said.
When it comes down to it, Mitchell and her husband work hard to provide for their children, she said.
"We are not only building for our children, we are building for our grandchildren," she said.