WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army appointed seven new civilian aides to the secretary of the Army during an Aug. 12 investiture ceremony at the Pentagon.
Acting Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy selected Dr. Rodney A. Ellis to represent Louisiana (North); Dr. Jeraline M. Johnson to represent Florida (South); Dr. Mark W. Johnson to represent Wyoming; Babejohn ‘Babe’ Kwasniak to represent Ohio (North); Lance Izumi and Charles “Chuck” Pattillo to represent California (Sacramento); and Tay Yoshitani to represent the State of Washington (West).
“As I looked over your biographies and resumes, I am happy to welcome the best of the best educators and men and women in business to serve on my behalf in your community,” McCarthy said. “I am pleased to have each of you help me connect the Army to your community. The Army is a huge organization, which means I need a lot of good communicators to tell the Army story. I ask that you visit every corner of your community to support recruiting efforts and help diversify and build the force of the future.”
CASAs are a vital part of the Army, promoting good relations between the Army and the public and advising the secretary about regional issues.
Each state, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories have one or more CASAs appointed to provide a vital link between the Army and the communities for which they serve. CASAs are usually business or civic leaders who possess a keen interest in the welfare of the Army and their communities.
CASAs serve a two-year term without compensation. Terms may be extended to a total of 10 years of service. The secretary may recognize a civilian aide as a CASA emeritus after 10 years with distinguished service.
“I have been blessed with many leadership roles during my career to include California’s Community College System as president of its Board of Governors,” said Izumi. “However, my work with the United States Army, which has spanned more than a decade, holds a truly special place in my heart.
“As co-chair of the grassroots community outreach board for Army’s Los Angeles and Southern California recruiting battalions and then as president of the community relations board for the Northern California Recruiting Battalion, I have been able to see up close the incredible quality of America’s Army and to tell the Army story to my fellow Californians.”
Directly commissioned as a captain in the California State Military Reserve, Izumi served five years as a public affairs officer and received the CSMR commendation medal. A graduate of the USC School of Law, Izumi holds a master’s degree in political science from UC Davis and a bachelor’s degree from UCLA. He is also a graduate of Gardena High School.
Izumi is currently senior director of the Center for Education at the Pacific Research Institute and is a prominent book author, writer, researcher, and film producer. In addition to his 11-year tenure on the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, he served as a member of the California Postsecondary Education Commission; board chair of the Foundation for California Community Colleges; and member of the California Advisory Committee of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.
“Over a span of 25 years, I’ve had the honor and privilege of serving a diverse group of stakeholders as CEO/executive director of four seaports and two airports, Yoshitani said. “I hope to leverage my network and experiences to provide assistance to the Secretary and the Army on a variety of issues.”
“One issue I am passionate about is to support veterans following years of sacrifice in defense of our freedom,” Yoshitani said. “As CEO of the Port of Seattle, I formed a task force that was later called the Veteran’s Fellowship Program which is designed to bridge the gap between military service and work in the private sector. I hope to encourage other organizations to adopt similar programs.”