Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Memorial Day
Military Spouse Appreciation Day


Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Exploring Partnership in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
Syracuse Recruiting Battalion
Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, CO
















May Newsletter Themes

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month graphic

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrates diverse cultures, histories, and contributions of individuals with roots in Asia and the Pacific Islands. Throughout May, this observance serves as a platform to honor the profound impact and enduring legacy of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in shaping the fabric of American society.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month -
PaYS Soldiers COL Frankie Cochiaosue, LTC Noa V. Walker and SGM MacArthur Ocampo

By: Thomas Parker & LaQuyin Brock AAPI Heritage Month graphic

Asian American and Pacific Islander Hertiage Month is observed in the United States during the month of May, and recognizes the contributions and influence of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements. This month, PaYS highlights three great senior leaders currently serving who are registered PaYS Soldiers. COL Frankie Cochiaosue, LTC Noa V. Walker, and SGM MacArthur Ocampo shared their reflection on Asian-American and Pacific Islander heritage and how it has shaped them to become the leaders they are today.

COL Frankie Cochiaosue, Commander, 733rd Mission Support Group, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA

Tell us in brief, about your background and heritage. COL Frankie Cochiaosue

Growing up as an Army brat was a unique and fascinating experience that had a profound and lasting impact on my identity and worldview. Being constantly on the move meant that I had to adapt to new environments and make new friends repeatedly. In the first 18 years of my life, I moved seven times, attended eight different schools, and lived in three different countries. This lifestyle was both overwhelming and exhilarating.

Please share with us, a little about your Filipino culture.

Growing up in an American home that followed Filipino culture added an extra layer of complexity to my upbringing. Filipino culture is deeply rooted in family life and is rich in traditions, values, and beliefs. The importance of respect for elders, strong family bonds, and hospitality were values that were instilled in me from an early age. I learned to appreciate the importance of family and the value of a supportive and nurturing environment.

What influence has your Asian American/Pacific Islander culture played in your current role?

COL Frankie CochiaosueAs a garrison commander, my upbringing in a household that followed Filipino culture has played a significant role in shaping my leadership style. The importance of respect for superiors and subordinates is a vital aspect of military culture, and my upbringing has reinforced the importance of treating everyone with respect and dignity. Building strong relationships, both personally and professionally, is important, and I strive to create a welcoming environment for all members of the community.

Hospitality is another aspect of Filipino culture that has influenced my leadership style. I believe that by fostering a culture of inclusivity and hospitality, we can build a stronger, more resilient community. I learned to appreciate the value of hospitality, and I strive to create a welcoming environment wherever I go.

In retrospect, I realize that being open-minded and embracing change was essential to my personal growth and development. I would advise my younger self to trust the process and believe that being open-minded and willing to go against the grain can lead to personal growth and new opportunities.

LTC Noa. V. Walker, Commander, Army Support Activity (ASA) - Joint Base Langley-Eustis (JBLE)

Tell us in brief, about your background and heritage. LTC Noa. V. Walker

I am a native of Ka'a'awa, Hawaii. I was raised in a multicultural home and in a diverse community on the North Shore of Oahu. My parents of Caucasian and Polynesian descent, I learned the importance of diversity in culture and in thought.

What led you to join the Army?

This appreciation for our differences and uniqueness has served me well in my military career spanning both the Hawaii and Florida Army National Guards, leading me to the active-duty Army. I am currently the Commander for Army Support Activity (ASA) - Joint Base Langley-Eustis (JBLE). As a second-generation immigrant, my upbringing shaped my values and appreciation for the opportunities our country and U.S. Army offers. Seeing my grandmother's joy in obtaining her U.S. citizenship and hearing of the service of both my grandfathers, I chose to serve my country. I was not alone in this willingness to serve; eight of my cousins served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Airforce.

LTC Noa. V. Walker
What influence has your Asian American/Pacific Islander culture played in your current role?

API month offers a unique opportunity to highlight API's culture as part of our shared American heritage. My Samoan culture emphasizes respect, community, and Family values. These morals have molded my service and interactions with the diverse members of my team and helped to make the ASA-JBLE "Army Strong"!

PaYS Soldier, SGM MacArthur Ocampo, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, Support Operations Materiel Management Branch SGM
SGM MacArthur Ocampo

SGM MacArthur Ocampo, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, Support Operations, Material Management Branch, interviewed with PaYS, sharing his Filipino culture and its impact on his military career. His Family immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines 52 years ago on April 19, 1972. He was born in Torrance, CA and was the first one in his family to be born in the U.S. Their Family continued practicing Filipino culture which is deeply influenced by Spanish culture due to the Philippines' 300+ years of Spanish colonization.

Did you grow up on an island? If so, tell us about that experience.

My uncle who helped raise me, brought me to the Philippines when I was 10 years old for grade school and college. Even though we practiced Filipino culture in the household, it was still a culture shock going to the Philippines. I didn't know the language, I was outcasted at school and made fun of because of my American accent. I struggled in the beginning, but I slowly started to fit in as they realized I still had a Filipino heart because of the way I was raised in California.

SGM MacArthur Ocampo
What led you to join the Army?

My grandfather was in the U.S. Navy and served in Korea and Vietnam during WWII. At the time, the Philippines was a commonwealth of the United States so Filipinos residing in the Philippines were allowed to join the Navy. My grandfather always advocated for his grandchildren to serve. I don't remember him as he passed away when I was two, but my grandmother always told us that he wanted his grandchildren to serve. My grandfather's service initiated our start in the United States and my grandmother made sure to let us know that if it weren't for his service, we wouldn't be in America.

After graduating college, I came back to the U.S. for a break and worked at a Filipino grocery store that was opening for business. One day, a fellow co-worker invited us to their house. All I could think of was how can a minimum wage worker afford this home? Later, I learned that her husband was a Soldier stationed in Korea. Aside from my family being taken care of because of my grandfather's service, I now see how the Army provides Families with stability and a decent livelihood. I was finally convinced that I too could secure a bright future by joining the military, and I wouldn't have to go back to the Philippines for graduate school.

SGM MacArthur Ocampo What are some values that you were raised by that you can parallel with the values of the Army?

Duty: Take care of your family, be grateful and give back to those that made you successful. Taking care of the Family is an inherent obligation. As in the Army, fulfilling your obligations and taking care of your Soldiers are paramount to being a leader and achieving mission success.

Respect is big in Filipino culture; we are raised to respect elders, women, people in positions of authority, and to any person in general. In the Army, we are charged to treat others with dignity and respect no matter their rank or background.

Antonio Johnson, PaYS Program Manager

Dear PaYS Partners,

Let's welcome our newest PaYS Partners and give a special thanks to the battalions' leadership and A&PAs for their support.

New PaYS Partners

City of Augusta - New England Battalion

Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department - Sacramento Battalion

Edwards Electrical & Mechanical - Indianapolis Battalion

City Of Hinesville - Jacksonville Battalion

JK Moving Services - Baltimore Battalion

Miami Dade County - Miami Battalion

Sutton Transport Inc - Milwaukee Battalion

United States Secret Service - DCARNG

Feam Aero - Miami Battalion

Leaf Home - OHARNG

O'Reilly Auto Parts - MOARNG

General Electric Healthcare - Milwaukee Battalion

Upcoming Ceremonies

20 MAY Amteck - KYARNG

21 May Northrop Grumman- VAARNG

12 JUN City of Elizabeth City - Raleigh Battalion

12 JUN Flagler County Sheriff - FLARNG

14 JUN Alaska Depart of Labor -AKARNG

20 JUN AutoNation - Miami Battalion

20 JUN PennyMac - Los Angeles Battalion

9 JUL Northeast Security - New England Battalion

25 JUL Pride Industries - Northern Cal Battalion

Regional Army PaYS Marketing Analysts:

Crancena Ross
Northeast Region
(410) 206-0413

Victor Fleming
Southeast Region
(386) 588-2152

Frank McNeil
Southwest Region
(202) 322-2995

Matthew Green
West Region
(254) 220-2098

Lakisha Carter-Hyche
Midwest Region
(214) 455-6822

Samuel Armstrong
(202) 770-7200

Travis Carter
(228) 369-9169

Please join us in welcoming our newest PaYS Team Member, Lakisha Carter-Hyche.

With 20 years of distinguished service in the U.S. Army, she excelled in leadership and operational roles, particularly serving 14 years with the United States Army Recruiting Command.

Lakisha holds a M.S. in Human Resources and Organization Development from University of Louisville, a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Management from Post University, and SHRM Certified Professional certificate. In her free time, Lakisha enjoys cooking, crafting, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

With experience in recruiting and retention, Lakisha joins the PaYS team as the Marketing Analyst for the Midwest Region.

Lakisha Carter-Hyche

PaYS Birthdays and anniversaries

Memorial Day

Memorial Day graphic

Memorial Day stands as a solemn and profound reminder of the sacrifices made by generations of brave men and women who have served in the armed forces of the United States. Observed on the last Monday of May, this day serves as a hallowed tribute to the selflessness and valor of those who lost their lives in defense of freedom and democracy. We remember and honor America's fallen heroes.

Memorial Day in The City of San Antonio, TX

By: Frank McNeil City of San Antonio, TX graphic

The City of San Antonio, TX, known as the Alamo City and also a proud PaYS partner, has a big heart for the military. Home to the Army's 5th Recruiting Brigade and the US Army Medical Department Museum at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA), the city will host a wide range of events and activities throughout the area this Memorial Day weekend.
San Antonio provides visitors a taste of what makes the Alamo City unique, annually sponsoring live music, parades, and various discounted events for Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families. Starting on May 26th, San Antonio's famous River Walk will host a Memorial Day Artisan Show featuring over 40 booths of handmade textiles, woodwork, beadwork, and pottery creations from local artisans. On May 28th, The Texas Toy Soldier Show piques the interests of the military historian in all of us. Located near the historical Alamo, this event features displays of military miniatures set in intricate dioramas, as living historians discuss the vast breadth of military history San Antonio houses. During the "Avenue of Flags" ceremonies at JBSA's National Cemetery, the cemetery will be lit throughout the night as well as the headstones of those killed or missing in action. The public is invited to drive through the cemetery after dark and honor those who gave their lives fighting for our country.

San Antonio also offers current military Veterans and active-duty personnel discounts for key attractions and experiences. The discounts are part of San Antonio's commitment to honor those who have served the country with their service. If you are in town for Memorial Day weekend, visit to view the event calendar and share your activities on social media. Don't forget to tag the PaYS Program @armypaysprogram and use hashtags #PaYSpartner and #CityofSanAntonio.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

Military Spouse Appreciation Day graphic

A heartfelt recognition of unwavering support, resilience, and sacrifices made by military spouses is observed in May. Celebrated on the Friday before Mother's Day, this day honors the vital role that military spouses play in supporting their loved ones in uniform. We express gratitude and appreciation for spousal commitment to service alongside their partners, embodying the spirit of patriotism and unity within military families.

Honoring Military Spouses: The Heartbeat of the Home

Military Spouse Appreciation Day graphic

Military Spouse Appreciation Day is a time to recognize the incredible contributions made by the unsung heroes of the armed forces - the military spouses. These individuals embody resilience, adaptability, and unwavering support, often navigating the challenges of military life. Within the PaYS Family is Velvett Jenkins, Social Media Coordinator, and a Veteran of the Virginia Army National Guard.
Velvett Jenkins and husband
Hailing from South Carolina, Velvett's journey led her to Virginia when her husband, whom she met in the South Carolina Army National Guard (SCARNG), joined the Active Duty ranks and received orders for relocation to Virginia Beach, VA.

Velvett Jenkins and family "I was born and raised in Charleston, SC, so it was surely a security blanket, nested with family, friends, and career. I had already graduated from the College of Charleston and worked as the Deputy Clerk of Council for the City of Charleston. The thought of moving to leave our familiar lives behind was a frightening experience," Velvett shared. The life of a military spouse is filled with both challenges and positives, a delicate balance of sacrifice and reward. When asked to share a few challenges and positives, she mentioned, frequent relocation disrupts careers, friendships, and community ties, requiring her to adapt to new environments and establish support networks from scratch. The most challenging, is solo parenting. She shared that, training exercises and deployments takes her loved one from home for extended periods of time, leaving her to manage household responsibilities and parenting duties on her own, while maintaining continued education and full-time employment.

Although tough to manage, being a military spouse offers the opportunity to connect with other spouses bonded by shared experiences and mutual support. It also strengthens adaptability embracing change, navigating uncertainty, but most of all, supporting Servicemembers in contributing to the larger mission of defending our nation. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to relocate and network as it brought my family a host of benefits, new friendships, and a new career, supporting Veteran employment with the Army PaYS Program. One of my favorite quotes by Will Smith is, 'The best things in life live on the other side of fear.' My advice to other military spouses is to stay connected and meet new people everywhere you go. You never have to do it alone."

Terrissa Soloman, Military Spouse, shares milspouse reflection with PaYS

Terrissa Soloman embodies resilience as she navigates the complexities of being a military spouse. With her partner deployed and a new addition to their family on the horizon, she gracefully shoulders the responsibilities of home and heart. Terrissa shares her journey, offering insight into the unique challenges and triumphs as a Mil spouse. Terrissa Soloman and husband

Military life often involves frequent relocations. How have you adapted to these changes, and what strategies do you use to build community and support networks at your new location?

The best way I've adapted to the changes of military life is being open minded and not restricted to my comfort zone. It's an ongoing learning process and I'm constantly evolving with it. I've built a community and support network by attending family/spouse events on post and joining the Facebook groups at our new location.

Balancing family life, career aspirations, and the demands of the military can be challenging. Can you share any insights or tips you've learned for maintaining balance and resilience in the face of these challenges?

First, always remember to give yourself and your spouse grace! Creating a space for open, honest, and continuous communication. Remember to stay committed to your goals but be flexible in your approach. Periodically challenge yourself to new habits and/or activities so you're not accustomed to one schedule/routine of doing things.

Military deployments can be emotionally and logistically taxing for families. How do you cope during deployments, and what support systems have you found most helpful during these times?
(l-r) Darnell Soloman, Terrissa Soloman, Maurcel Soloman (1), Aria Soloman (10)
During deployments I cope by taking that time to accomplish small goals or completing tasks I've put off, such as taking swim lessons with my baby and finishing my scrapbooks. I do my best to keep us busy with local seasonal activities, play groups and family visits periodically which is always very helpful. The support systems I find most helpful are the relationships I've built with other military wives and the families in my husband's battalion.

Military spouses often play a crucial role in providing stability and support for their families. Can you discuss some of the ways you've contributed to your family's well-being and resilience throughout this time?

My first duty is to always create a warm and comfortable home for us no matter the duty station. Simple things like hanging family photos on the wall, organizing the space for our needs, and setting up an outside oasis for my spouse (it's how he decompresses from work). I also incorporate special days/evenings where we focus our undivided attention on spending quality time as a family/couple while engaging in our favorite activities or new ones. With a growing family I also do my best to create consistent yet flexible structure, systems, and schedules in our daily routines through this time.

What advice would you offer to other military spouses who are navigating the unique challenges and opportunities of military life?

You will find your own way!! It's no right or wrong way to navigate military life, so focus on the positive aspects of what this time can bring and not the negative aspects. Learn the ins and outs and take full advantage of the opportunities that the military offers for spouses. Lastly, enjoy every small moment and remember you will bloom wherever you all are planted!

The PaYS Team attends City of Richmond Job Fair & Expo

By: Thomas Parker

City of Richmond logoThomas Parker with Job fair attendees

The PaYS Staff attended the City of Richmond, VA's Job Fair & Expo with a mission to spread awareness about the Army PaYS Program to local community partners and forge potential partnerships to expand employment opportunities for Veterans and transitioning Soldiers. The event held at the Richmond Convention Center, saw a diverse array of organizations participating, including the Department of Social Services, Planning and Development Review, Richmond Police and Fire Departments, Richmond Raceway, Richmond Airport, among others. The expo highlighted dress closets, resume review, headshots, on the spot interviews, and on the spot hiring. This provided an ideal platform for the PaYS team to engage with various sectors and explore avenues for collaboration.

PaYS Project Lead, Thomas Parker, and PaYS Senior Marketer, LaQuyin Brock, emphasized the benefits of Army PaYS to Soldiers that transitioned out of service and the Civilians in attendance. They explained that Soldiers currently serving will be granted five guaranteed job interviews with over 1,100+ active PaYS partners and with PaYS Live, be granted access to apply for immediate hiring jobs vacancies. One of the highlights of the event was the imminent partnership between the City of Richmond and the US Army. This partnership will enable Veterans to access job opportunities within the City, further solidifying the commitment of both parties to support those who have served our country. Soldiers from the Richmond Recruiting Battalion accompanied the PaYS Staff at the table to conduct recruiting operations.
LaQuyin Brock at job fair
"Attending the City of Richmond's Job Fair was an incredible opportunity for us to connect with organizations committed to supporting Veterans and transitioning Soldiers," said Thomas Parker, Project Lead. "We are excited about the upcoming partnership with the City of Richmond, which will open doors for Veterans to secure meaningful employment within the city."

Members of the PaYS Staff and Recruiters of Richmond Recruiting Battalion at the Job Fair. LaQuyin Brock, Senior Marketing Analyst, emphasized the importance of such partnerships in ensuring a smooth transition for Veterans into Civilian life. "By collaborating with organizations like the City of Richmond, we can create a network of support and employment opportunities that honor the service of our Veterans," said Brock. As the PaYS team continues to expand its network of partners and outreach efforts, events like the City of Richmond's Job Fair & expo serve as invaluable opportunities to connect with organizations dedicated to supporting Veterans and transitioning Soldiers.

Right - Members of the PaYS Staff and Recruiters of Richmond Recruiting Battalion at the Job Fair.

PaYS Marketing Trips

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

By: Victor Fleming

Transitioning Soldiers at the Fort Johnson TAP registering for PaYSVictor Fleming, Trent Cashio, & Numa Blanchard at Cajun IndustriesVictor Fleming at Louisiana State Police

While in the Baton Rouge area, Victor Fleming, PaYS Marketer traveled to Fort Johnson and paid a visit to the TAP Center connecting with transitioning Soldiers and TAP counselors. He briefed Soldiers on the program and shared benefits of using PaYS as a resource for career planning post military service. Additionally, he attended a career fair at Southern University where he connected with recruiters from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Department, and SSG Jessica Joseph from Army Recruiting. He also visited PaYS partners in the area, including Department of Louisiana Public Safety and Corrections, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Cajun Industries, and Louisiana State Police.

Above photos - From left to Right: Transitioning Soldiers at the Fort Johnson TAP registering for PaYS --- Victor Fleming at Louisiana State Police --- Victor Fleming, Trent Cashio, & Numa Blanchard at Cajun Industries
Below left - SSG Andreas Gonzalez --- Below right - Victor Fleming with LTC Trulock at LSU ROTC Department

SSG Andreas GonzalezVictor Fleming with LTC Trulock at LSU ROTC Department

At the Louisiana State Police Department, Victor met with LT Robert Fontenot to explore ways to attract Veterans and Soldiers from surrounding installations. Other stops he made was at Louisiana State University's (LSU) ROTC Department, where he met with LTC Joushua M. Trulock to discuss the benefits of the PaYS Program for graduating cadets. Following the PaYS brief, Soldiers were encouraged to register for PaYS.

Victor visited Bluebonnet and Cortana Recruiting Stations, where he encouraged Station Commanders, SSG Olyvia White and SSG Andreas Gonzalez to register for PaYS and he provided guidance on enrolling potential partners. He even met with LTC Adam Marsh, Commander, Baton Rouge Recruiting Battalion, who also registered for PaYS. The marketing trip was captured as highly productive to include positive participation and feedback from the PaYS stakeholders in Louisiana.

Exploring Partnership in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands US Virgin Islands seal

By: Velvett Jenkins

In the dynamic landscape of workforce development and military transition programs, forging connections and fostering partnerships are crucial elements in empowering Servicemembers for success beyond the uniform. PaYS Marketing Analyst Samuel Armstrong and Antonio Johnson, Program Manager conducted a marketing trip to Christiansted, St. Croix, where they engaged with various stakeholders to strengthen ties and explore opportunities for collaboration on the island. Meeting at the Virgin Island Army National Guard Armory

The journey commenced with a meeting at the Virgin Island Army National Guard Armory, where Armstrong, along with colleagues such as COL Jarrett Thomas, Director of Soldier for Life (SFL), and Antonio Johnson, Program Manager of PaYS, convened with CASA Beresford Edwards. The focus of the meeting was to discuss the status of PaYS and identify potential partners in the Virgin Islands. CASA Edwards emphasized the mutual benefits of local organizations partnering with PaYS, highlighting the opportunities for both Veterans and employers alike.

Visiting the University of the Virgin Islands PaYS and SFL visited the University of the Virgin Islands, where they engaged with Army ROTC Cadets and CPT Christa Mathurin, Assistant Professor of Military Science. COL Thomas initiated the session with an overview of Soldier for Life, setting the stage for Johnson and Armstrong to provide an in-depth overview of the PaYS program. Cadets eagerly registered for PaYS, eager to explore the many career pathways offered.

Virgin Islands Recruiting Station
Continuing their journey, the team visited the Virgin Islands Recruiting Station, where they met with SFC LaShai Richardson and SSG Juan Camacho, Station Commanders of St. Thomas, and St Croix Recruiting Centers, respectively. Johnson provided an update on PaYS, underscoring its importance in facilitating seamless transitions for future Soldiers. The team engaged with a future Soldier, discussing PaYS opportunities and the significance of connecting with partners. It was heartening to see both recruiters and future Soldiers alike registering for PaYS, signaling a strong commitment to their post-military success.


A highlight of the trip was the meeting with leaders of the VIARNG, including Adjutant General MG Kodjo Knox-Limbacker and LTC Josephine HectorMurphy. Johnson and Armstrong shared the rich history of PaYS and its pivotal role in supporting transitioning Soldiers. Discussions revolved around enhancing awareness of PaYS among VIARNG Soldiers and identifying potential partners to further amplify its impact. Insightful contributions from MG Knox-Limbacker shed light on the local employment landscape, paving the way for strategic collaborations tailored to the Virgin Islands' unique needs.

Signing ceremony at the Governor's House

Culminating the trip on a celebratory note, the team attended the signing ceremony at the Governor's House, where LTG Maria Gervais, Deputy Commanding General, TRADOC, Chief of Staff presented Ms. Cindy Richardson, Director, Personnel, US Virgin Islands and Karl Knight, Governor's Chief of Staff with the PaYS plaque of participation. This gesture highlighted the Government of the US Virgin Islands' commitment to supporting Veterans' transition into Civilian life and fostering a thriving workforce ecosystem.

Syracuse Recruiting Battalion

By: Crancena Ross

City of Watertown
Crancena Ross, PaYS Marketing Analyst traveled to Syracuse Recruiting Battalion on a marketing trip to spread PaYS Awareness, connect with potential partners and connect with current partners. At her first stop in the City of Watertown, she conducted a program overview with Mayor Sarah Pierce, City of Watertown, CASA Joseph Butler, and Eric Wagenaar, City Manager, City of Watertown. The meeting was a great success and the city agreed to become a PaYS partner. Ms. Ross shared the benefits of being a partner and the opportunities this partnership would create for Veterans and businesses within the City of Watertown, NY.
Ms. Ross briefed Soldiers and TAP Counselors on the PaYS program(l-r) Mr. Thomas Newton, Public Information Officer, Sheriff Tobias J. Shelley, Crancena Ross.

At Fort Drum, Ms. Ross briefed Soldiers and TAP Counselors on the PaYS program. Soldiers currently in transition were encouraged to register for PaYS and explore the list of partners. She engaged with the Soldiers, answering questions, and guiding them through the registration process.

Onondaga County Sheriff's Office, another potential partner, expressed interests in becoming a PaYS partner. Sheriff Tobia J. Shelly was excited to learn of the program and extend opportunities for hiring Veterans to serve their community.

Right - (l-r) Mr. Thomas Newton, Public Information Officer, Sheriff Tobias J. Shelley, Crancena Ross

Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, CO

By: Travis Carter

Frank McNeil meets Denver Recruiting Battalion Commander, Johnathan FornesBriefing the PaYS Program
PaYS Marketing Analyst Travis Carter and Frank McNeil conducted a marketing trip to Denver, Colorado, and surrounding areas. While there Mr. Carter briefed COARNG RSP on the PaYS Program as well as securing numerous enrollments into the program. Mr. McNeil met with the Denver Recruiting Battalion Commander, and they also visited Fort Carson TAP and Colorado State Army ROTC.
Mr. Carter (l) with Battalion Commander, LTC Ashkan Angha

Mr. Carter went to the Colorado Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion. While there Mr. Carter briefed the Battalion Commander, LTC Ashkan Angha (right photo) about PaYS and its use by the COARNG. They also discussed ways to make sure the program is more successful, and how the RRB can help get RSP Soldiers enrolled along with COARNG Soldiers that are currently serving.

(l-r) Al Armonda, CSU Army ROTC ROO, MAJ Adam Graetz, APMS, Frank McNeil, MSG Wesley Gipson, Military Science Instructor, LTC Matthew Tilman, PMSMr. McNeil with Mr. Carter visited the Fort Carson TAP Office. While there they briefed Soldiers and the entire TAP Guidance Counselor Staff on the PaYS program. Their briefings resulted in 65 total enrollments. The Fort Caron TAP Office vowed to continue to promote the program and ensure Soldiers are using it.

Mr. McNeil and Mr. Carter also visited the Colorado State Army ROTC Program. Together they briefed the changes to the PaYS Program to the cadre. The cadre with a new understanding of the program will ensure its use by Cadets moving forward.

Lastly, Mr. Carter got the opportunity to brief COARNG Soldiers directly on the PaYS Program. He got to speak to about 100 Soldiers from the COARNG RSP Detachment. Cadre and Staff ensured Soldiers got to enroll, and moving forward the RSP Cadre will develop a plan to get Soldiers enrolled as a part of their checklist.

The trip was a resounding success with Soldiers getting new opportunities for potential employment through either TAP briefings if they are Active Duty or briefings directly to Army National Guard Units.

Photos clockwise from top left - Frank McNeil meets Denver Recruiting Battalion Commander, Johnathan Fornes --- Briefing the PaYS Program --- Mr. Carter (l) with Battalion Commander, LTC Ashkan Angha --- (l-r) Al Armonda, CSU Army ROTC ROO, MAJ Adam Graetz, APMS, Frank McNeil, MSG Wesley Gipson, Military Science Instructor, LTC Matthew Tilman, PMS

PaYS partners Micron Technology and Builders FirstSource hire Veterans, LTC (Ret.) John Dickens and Jason Winkelmann

By: Crancena Ross

Honoring Veterans, companies like Micron Technology and Builders First Source are examples of gratitude and opportunity. Through partnership with PaYS, they not only express appreciation for military service but actively invest in the talent and expertise of Veterans. LTC (Ret.) John Dickens and Jason Winkelmann are examples of this collaboration, seamlessly transitioning from military careers to impactful roles within the Civilian workforce.

Micron Technology logo

LTC (Ret.) John Dickens, formerly of the Syracuse Army Recruiting Battalion

LTC (Ret.) John Dickens
Why did you join Army?

I joined the Army as an enlisted Soldier in the Fall of 1996 taking advantage of the Army's Student Loan Repayment Program. After graduating with a master's in education, I had amassed a fair amount of loan debt. I had an interest in history and for military service from my grandfather who served in WWII in the Army Air Corps. He recounted his service and the places he had traveled to during his tours and that sparked my curiosity to learn more about the world. I decided that I could accomplish paying for my loans and see more of the world by enlisting.

LTC (Ret.) John Dickens
How did you learn about the Army PaYS Program?

After commissioning though Officer Candidate School as an AG Officer and serving as a Battalion S1 in the 82D Airborne Division, I had the opportunity to take company command at Bear Mountain Company, Albany Battalion, 1st Brigade, United States Army Recruiting Command from 2009 to 2011. While in company command, I became familiar with the PaYS program encouraging use of the program as the company went about accomplishing its mission to enlist Soldiers.

Share your experience in connecting with a PaYS partner.

The experience was extremely positive. When a corporation/entity (in my case Micron Technology) has determined that they are committed to veterans and their employment you are already on your way because you know they see the considerable value in what you will bring to their organization. Micron Technology gets it.

How was the transition from Army to Micron Technology?

The transition could not have been better. The team that I joined has the same passion about placing people first in all they do and understood specifically how my human resources and recruiting experience would match what they were looking for. As they expand their commitment to veterans and military affiliated persons in their recruiting efforts, I find myself at the tip of the spear searching for talented students, veterans, and military connected family members.

What advice do you have for Soldiers reaching out to PaYS partners?

Do your homework prior to sitting for an interview, prepare for it, and have a resume that speaks to your specific accomplishments which contributed to the success of your team/unit/projects. It is true that the PaYS partnership can secure you an interview, but how you do at that interview makes a difference. Be confident that you bring incredible value to an employer. You have proven skills, determination, and life experience that employers value.

Tell us about what you do at Micron Technology.

I am a University Relations and Veteran Recruiter for Micron. Micron is expanding its memory chip manufacturing in the United States. It is currently building an expansion in Boise, ID (adjacent to its Headquarters) and plans to break ground shortly on an extremely large fabrication facility just north of Syracuse, in Clay, NY. I have the fortune of being able to assist my team in developing ways to attract veterans of all services to consider employment at Micron, incorporating multiple strategies to do so. When it comes to Army veterans, we are reminding our Recruiting partners to ensure that enlistees are aware of the PaYS program and that they are making their selections at the time of enlistment. Of course, we would love to be a partner of choice when enlistees consider their options.

Is there anything else you would like to add for the information to other PaYS Soldiers?

Take advantage of the program and seek out the interviews guaranteed through your participation. Remember that you bring incredible value to the table, so make sure you reserve your spot at it.

Builders FirstSource logo

Builders FirstSource hires Army Veteran, Jason Winkelmann

Jason Winkelmann
Why did you join the Army? What was/is your MOS?

I joined the Army out of college as a call to serve our nation. I was commissioned as an engineer officer, 12A MOS. I stayed in the Army and ended up serving 20 years because I kept having fun and enjoying the opportunities with various assignments - attending graduate school, serving in the US Army Corps of Engineers, unique deployments, competing in the US Army Best Sapper Competition, attending various high-speed training (Ranger, Sapper, & Airborne.)

Jason Winkelmann
Please share your experience in connecting with Builders FirstSource.

I met a Builders FirstSource recruiter at a career fair in July 2022. This was the first of many conversations where the recruiter helped me explore available opportunities within Builders FirstSource. The recruiter connected me with a hiring manager to fill an open position as an intern as part of the Career Skills Program. I completed a 3-month internship and was then hired into the managerial position that I was interning in. The CSP was a win-win situation: the company got to test me out with no cost or commitment, and this helped me transition from the Army to a Civilian career.

How was the transition from the Army career to Builders FirstSource?

This was my first position after the service and my transition from the Army has gone better than I could have imagined. I was skeptical of what it would be like working for a civilian leader. But I was blessed to find a caring manager who had served previously. He was patient with me in and spent extra time coaching me as I settled into my new role. I also leveraged the mentorship programs through the ETS Sponsorship and American Corporate Partners (ACP) which were beneficial, allowing me opportunities to check in with individuals who had previous experience that guided me in transition.

How did your military experience help with your current position at Builders FirstSource?

I was nervous about how my military experience would translate to the civilian side. However, I soon realized that the foundational elements of my military experience and leadership were still applicable. I was using the same skills but in a different operating environment. Once I realized that a lot of the leadership and actions, I did in the Army were still relevant at Builders FirstSource, then it improved my confidence. Examples of this are how I led teams, managed work, solved problems, planned activities, counseled team members, and led myself well. I continued to maintain my discipline and did what I said I would do. This made me a reliable and trusted member of my new Builders FirstSource team.

What advice do you have for Soldiers reaching out to PaYS partners?

Take advantage of this opportunity to connect with employers who will value your military service and experience. As you network, look for companies that share your values. Talk to people who have served in the service and are doing the jobs that you think you want to do to learn what it's about; LinkedIn is a great way to find people and connect with them. Bonus points if you talk to someone doing the job at the company you're interested in because you learn about the job and the company culture!

A Big Thank You to these Partners Celebrating their May PaYS Anniversaries:

Ruan Transportation Mgt. Sys. Inc. 6-May-02 Johns Hopkins Hospital/Health Systems 13-May-02 New York City Police Dept. 2-May-03 Stewart & Stevenson (Currently BAE Systems-NOV 07) 8-May-03 Arizona Dept. of Public Safety 9-May-03 Ohio State Highway Patrol 20-May-03 Vermont State Police 20-May-03 Benning Construction Company 20-May-03 City of Harrisburg, PA 28-May-03 D. M. Bowman, Inc. 2-May-04 Cincinnati Police Department 2-May-04 Cintas Corporation 2-May-04 Walgreen Co. 3-May-04 Bell Ambulance, Inc. 6-May-05 Jacksonville Sheriff's Office 16-May-05 City of Cambridge Massachusetts 24-May-05 San Diego County Sheriff's Dept. 3-May-06 Turner Corporation 3-May-06 Infotech Solutions DBA Avysion IT 3-May-06 Critical Intervention Services, Inc. 22-May-06 Houston Police Department 22-May-06 Scotts LawnService 22-May-06 Ring Power Corporation 31-May-07 Eastman Chemical Company 31-May-07 Dresser - Rand 14-May-09 Centro Medico del Turabo, Inc. 3-May-10 Casey's General Store, Inc. 10-May-10 City of Chicago 5-May-10 City of Indianapolis 18-May-10 Cleveland County Sheriff's Office 18-May-11 Banner Health 18-May-11 Patrick Cudahy, Inc. 18-May-11 Time Customer Service, Inc. 18-May-11 Aaron's, Inc. 25-May-11 McDonald's Restaurants of Hawaii, Inc. 2-May-12 The Los Angeles Film School 2-May-12 Bridgepoint Education 9-May-12 Quicken Loans 18-May-12 Cuyahoga County 30-May-12 Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) 12-May-14 MOAC Mall Holdings, LLC 1-May-14 Kappler, Inc. 1-May-14 Prairie Quest Consulting (PQC) 5-May-14 Interstates Construction Services, Inc. 14-May-15 Monster Worldwide Incorporated 26-May-15 JLB Trucking Company, Inc. 30-May-15 Price Pump 30-May-15 84 Lumber 27-May-15 Global Aviation Services 9-May-16 AlliedBarton Security Services 9-May-16 First Data Corporation 2-May-18 One World Logistics, Inc. 2-May-18 North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center 1-May-19 Eden Senior Care, LLC 1-May-19 Rockdale County Sheriff's Office 10-May-19 State of New Hampshire 10-May-19 Aetos System 20-May-19 7-Eleven 20-May-19 TDIndustries 20-May-19 ABF Freight System Inc. 20-May-19 Charter Communication d.b.a. Spectrum 28-May-19 Michigan Department of State Police 28-May-19 Estes Express Lines 11-May-20 The Cooper Health System 20-May-20 Littlefield Investment Company 20-May-20 Covenant Transport 20-May-20 Ponsse North America, Inc. 20-May-20 Altice USA 31-May-20 Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota 20-May-21 UPMC Health Plan 6-May-22 Door and Window Guard Systems, Inc. 19-May-22 Avenue5 Residential LLC 24-May-02 Cook County Sheriff's Office 26-May-22 State of South Carolina 26-May-22 Radiance Technologies Inc. 5-May-23 Attentive Care of Albany, Inc. 8-May-23 Agrivision Equip Prairieland & Partners LLC 4-May-23 Ford Motor Company 10-May-23 Border States 13-May-23 Advantage Surveillance, LLC 4-May-23 California Highway Patrol 17-May-23 Hirschbach Motor Lines 23-May-23 Lousiana State Police 25-May-23 Trinity Health 30-May-23



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