PaYS PM, Antonio Johnson

PaYS Announces New Program Manager

Story by: Alisha Reneau
Photo by: Antonio Johnson

The PaYS Team is excited to announce Antonio Johnson as the new PaYS Program Manager. Antonio transitioned to the new role on December 7, 2020 and will now be responsible for providing technical expertise to senior Army leadership regarding proposed and ongoing program efforts related to Army PaYS.

If you recognize Antonio, it is because he has been a part of the PaYS Team for over five years. As a Marketing Analyst in both the Southwest and Northeast regions, he cultivated new partnerships and influencer networks while contributing to the team's success. Earlier this year, Antonio was promoted to Senior Marketing Analyst where he led and directed the PaYS Team in support of the Project Lead and Program Manager.

Prior to joining the team in 2015, Antonio spent 14 years in the U.S. Army Recruiting Command; serving in roles of increased responsibility. Antonio holds a Bachelor's Degree in Human Resource Management, a Master's Degree in Management and Leadership and is a proud member of Toastmasters International.

"I am honored to accept the role of Program Manager. My previous experiences on the PaYS Team and as an Army leader have prepared me for this moment. The PaYS program has tremendous opportunities for growth and positive impact on transitioning Soldiers. I look forward to the future strategies that take this program to the next level." - Antonio Johnson

Please join the PaYS Team in congratulating Antonio and welcoming him as the Program Manager.

Happy 384th Birthday to the National Guard!Army National Guard logo

Story by: Davin Bentley

On December 13th, 2020 The Army PaYS team would like to take the opportunity to wish the National Guard a very happy 384th birthday! The Army National Guard (ARNG) is proving to be an invaluable asset to our program and opening up doors to communities nationwide for our PaYS Soldiers. Three of our PaYS team members proudly served in the ARNG at various points throughout their military careers.

About the National Guard
The ARNG is one component of The Army (which consists of the Active Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.) The ARNG is composed primarily of traditional Guardsmen; civilians who serve their country, state and community on a part-time basis (usually one weekend each month and two weeks during the summer.) Each state, most territories and the District of Columbia has its own National Guard, as provided for by the Constitution of the United States.

The National Guard has a unique dual mission that consists of both Federal and State roles. For state missions, the governor, through the state Adjutant General, commands Guard forces. The governor can call the National Guard into action during local or statewide emergencies, such as storms, fires, earthquakes, or civil disturbances.

In addition, the President of the United States can activate the National Guard for participation in federal missions. Examples of federal activations include Guard units deployed to Kosovo and the Sinai for stabilization operations, and units deployed to the Middle East and other locations in the war on terrorism. When federalized, Guard units are commanded by the Combatant Commander of the theatre in which they are operating.

Davin Bentley and family

Left - Midwest PaYS Marketer Davin Bentley returned home from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan with the Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT) 1.8 of the Ohio Army National Guard (December 14, 2012)

How the National Guard Began
Today, we recognize December 13th as the birthday of the National Guard. On this date in 1636, the first militia regiments in North America were organized in Massachusetts. Based upon an order of the Massachusetts Bay Colony's General Court, the colony's militia was organized into three permanent regiments to better defend the colony. Today, the descendants of these first regiments - the 181st Infantry, the 182nd Infantry, the 101st Field Artillery, and the 101st Engineer Battalion of the Massachusetts Army National Guard - share the distinction of being the oldest units in the U.S. military. December 13, 1636, thus marks the beginning of the organized militia, and the birth of the National Guard's oldest organized units is symbolic of the founding of all the state, territory, and District of Columbia militias that collectively make up today's National Guard. Below is an abbreviated timeline of significant events in Guard history:

1933- Dual control; The U.S. gave joint control of the National Guard to both the federal and state governments.
1916- It's official. The term "National Guard" became the official name.
1824- The term "National Guard" made its debut. Marquis de Lafayette, a French military officer who fought in the Revolutionary War, used the term "National Guard" as a way to characterize each state's militia.
1636 Small local units of militia merged into one. This creates the first colony-wide militia - setting the stage for a truly "National" Guard.
1607 The first militias formed. This takes place during England's colonization of the Americas.

Army National Guard emblem National Guard and Army PaYS
Effective September 8, 2020, young men and women who join the ARNG in all 50 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia will be eligible to select Army PaYS. This decision comes after a 14-month pilot program that involved three states - New York, Virginia and Michigan. During the pilot, PaYS Marketers Antonio Johnson and Davin Bentley worked closely with the states providing training and guidance to the Soldiers of the Recruiting and Retention Battalions (RRB) and guidance counselors at the corresponding Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS). As a result, the pilot states enlisted 1175 Soldiers with PaYS Option 50 in their contract with over 3,907 partner selections; an average of three partners per Soldier. In total, the partnership between Army PaYS and ARNG creates the opportunity for an additional 35,000 Soldiers joining the Army each year to take advantage of the program.


National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day


Each year on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Survivors, Veterans, and visitors from all over the world come together to honor and remember the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. An additional 178 people were injured in the attack, which permanently sank two U.S. Navy battleships (the USS Arizona and the USS Utah) and destroyed 188 aircraft.

On Aug. 23, 1994, the United States Congress designated Dec. 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Every year, remembrance events are held at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, culminating in a commemoration ceremony on Dec. 7.

December 7, 2020

This year's Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration's theme, Above and Beyond the Call, represents a milestone of its own, as the first December 7 commemoration to follow the nationwide commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII. This year's ceremony will focus on Battlefield O`ahu. Though the Japanese Empire focused on the destruction of the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, the attack encompassed the entire island with assaults on Army and Marine aviation bases as well as civilian facilities.

The experiences of the Soldiers, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and Sailors defending O`ahu, as well as the civilians caught in the crossfire, would exemplify courage under fire and perseverance. Their spirit at the beginning of the war would set a precedent for securing victory and peace.

This year's event will be held on December 7th at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and will honor the service and sacrifice traditionally commemorated during multiple ceremonies. In order to protect our Pearl Harbor Survivors and World War II Veterans in attendance this year's ceremony will be closed to the public. This event will be live streamed for public viewing via our Facebook page and


Antonio Johnson, PaYS Program Manager

Dear PaYS Partners,

Please join me in welcoming our newest PaYS Partners and a special thanks to the battalions' leadership and A&PAs for their support.

Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs - Nashville Recruiting Battalion
Hayward Police Department - Central California Recruiting Battalion
Driven Brands, Inc. - Raleigh Recruiting Battalion
Waste Connections of Colorado - Denver Recruiting Battalion
BMC-Corporate Services, Inc. - Raleigh Recruiting Battalion
TTEC - Denver Recruiting Battalion
Merit International Inc. - Columbus Recruiting Battalion
MPOWER Health - Dallas Recruiting Battalion
Salute Inc. - Great Lakes Recruiting Battalion
Swift Transportation - Phoenix Recruiting Battalion
Superior Plus Energy Services Inc. - Baltimore Recruiting Battalion
Victorville Motors - Southern California Recruiting Battalion
Chicago One Financial - Chicago Recruiting Battalion
Charles Rivers Laboratories, Inc. - New England Recruiting Battalion
MH Equipment Company - Indianapolis Recruiting Battalion
Homeland Security Solutions - Richmond Recruiting Battalion
Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU) - Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Battalion
City of Downey - Los Angeles Recruiting Battalion
Foundation for the National Institutes of Health - Baltimore Recruiting Battalion
JCB, Inc. - Jacksonville Recruiting Battalion
Moffitt Cancer Center - Tampa Recruiting Battalion
Skookum Contract Services - Seattle Recruiting Battalion
Buck Knives, Inc. - Seattle Recruiting Battalion
Squaw Valley/Alpines Meadows - Northern California Recruiting Battalion
Potter County Sheriff's Office - Oklahoma City Recruiting Battalion
Tokyo Electron U.S. Holdings, Inc. - San Antonio Recruiting Battalion

Upcoming PaYS Signing Ceremonies

Mears Destination Services, Inc. (Mears) - December 16, 2020

Regional Army PaYS Marketing Analysts:

Audra Jones (Northeast Region)
(773) 418-6229

Samuel Armstrong (Southeast Region)
(301) 717-8508

Davin Bentley (Midwest Region)
(614) 886-0270

Donna Morales (Midwest Region)
(571) 338-2327

Crancena Ross (Southwest Region)
(410) 206-0413

Anthony Velasco (Southwest Region)
(757) 270-6556

Corin Gillens (West Coast Region)
(843) 909-6037

"Wishing you holidays filled with fun and laughter, and very best wishes for a prosperous new year" - Antonio

Happy Birthday, Donna!  Happy PaYS Anniversaries Crancena and Sam!

Kentucky commissioner 'PaYS it forward' with USAREC commanderMaj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, USAREC commanding general, and KDVA Commissioner Keith Jackson signed an Army Partnership for Youth Success agreement during a ceremony here on the eve of Veterans Day. (U.S. Army photo by Lara Poirrier)

By Jason Schaap USAREC Public Affairs

Right - Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, USAREC commanding general, and KDVA Commissioner Keith Jackson signed an Army Partnership for Youth Success agreement during a ceremony here on the eve of Veterans Day. (U.S. Army photo by Lara Poirrier)

Tuesday was PaYS day for the Kentucky Department of Veteran's Affairs and Army Recruiting Command. Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, USAREC commanding general, and KDVA Commissioner Keith Jackson signed an Army Partnership for Youth Success agreement during a ceremony here on the eve of Veterans Day.

"I cannot think of a better time to solidify this partnership," Vereen said during his welcoming remarks.

PaYS program agreements establish partnerships with organizations across private and public industries that guarantee job interviews for Future Soldiers and ROTC cadets when they successfully complete their term of service. KDVA joins many other public sector agencies, like the City of Chicago and Kentucky State Police, who make up more than 800 organizations with PaYS commitments. Amazon, Coca-Cola, John Deere and Disney are among those in the private sector.

Jackson, a former Army battalion commander, spoke about starting out as a young Soldier at Fort Knox 32 years ago and how Tuesday's ceremony represented a way for his organization and his generation to give back to today's youth.

"My grandfather taught me years ago about paying it forward," Jackson said. "This program is an excellent opportunity for us to pay it those who choose to serve and those who have served."

For Soldiers, the PaYS process starts at the beginning of their Army journey. Recruiters review the jobs loaded by PaYS partners that match military occupational specialties. Program details can then be discussed with an applicant, as well as the applicant's family. PaYS establishes a relationship between the Soldier and participating partner before, during and after service with the guarantee of a job interview.

"PaYS partners provide us with an additional incentive for our new recruits," Vereen said. "They help us show parents the Army genuinely wants to invest in the future success of their sons and daughters."

PaYS began in 2000 as an enlistment incentive for Regular Army enlisted Soldiers. It expanded to include Army Reserve Soldiers in October 2002, and later expanded to include ROTC, Reserve Component cadets, Officer Candidate School, Warrant Officer Flight Training, and the Army National Guard.

This unique program is part of the Army's effort to partner with America's business community and reconnect America with its Army, something Jackson spoke to Tuesday.

"As PaYS partners," he said, "we will carry the Army story to the Commonwealth (of Kentucky), to (its) civic, corporate and educational communities."

More information about the program and becoming a PaYS partner is available at

PaYS is just one way to support recruiting efforts within communities. More opportunities are available through the Partnership Outreach Program at

CPT Dominique Williams, Waco Army Recruiting Company Commander and Tyrone McLaurin, President & Chief Executive Operations Officer, Solution One Industries

Solution One Industries, LTD. Becomes Another Proud PaYS Partner

Story by: Crancena Ross
Photos by: Melissa Atlee

Right - CPT Dominique Williams, Waco Army Recruiting Company Commander and Tyrone McLaurin, President & Chief Executive Operations Officer, Solution One Industries

On November 12, 2020, Solutions One Industries (SOI) signed a partnership agreement to solidify the partnership with the Dallas Army Recruiting Battalion. The ceremony was safely held outside, at Solution One's headquarters in Killeen, TX with CPT Dominique Williams, Waco Army Recruiting Company Commander officiating the ceremony.

Solution One is very proud to become a PaYS partner and during the ceremony Tyrone McLaurin, President & Chief Executive Operations Officer, Solution One Industries shared, "Partnering with the Army PaYS Program gives us the opportunity to give back to all Soldiers, especially those in the FT Hood, TX area". Solution One Industries logo

Solution One Industries, is known for providing Professional Services, Logistics Support, and Facilities Management and investing in our people and future workforce to giving our customers the best possible service. They are a premier national support services company, which believes in supporting their Veterans.
CPT Dominique Williams, Waco Army Recruiting Company Commander and Tyrone McLaurin, President & Chief Executive Operations Officer, Solution One Industries

PaYS Marketer Crancena Ross invited several VIP guests and would like to thank everyone who attended the ceremony:

Jean Shine, Civilian Aide of the Secretary of the Army (CASA)

Mark Phillips, Transition Services Manager (TSM)

Kathryn Garner Manager, Talent Acquisition & Global Mobility, Human Resources, Tokyo Electron U.S. Holdings, INC.

Councilwomen Shirley Fleming, Killeen, TX

Ms. Cynthia Heald, Central Recruiter, First National Bank, Texas

Rotary Club Agenda

PaYS Virtually Meets with Overland Park Rotary Club

Story and Photos by: Anthony Velasco

Regional PaYS Marketer, Anthony Velasco, conducted a PaYS briefing to the Overland Park Rotary Club Committee (Kansas). The Overland Park Rotary Club is a place where you will find business people, non-profit leaders, community and political leaders, all coming together to support the community in service.

There were 32 members in attendance for the Army PaYS briefing that consisted of Club President-Elect, Club Secretary, Club Treasurer, Club Executive Board Members, Club Foundation President, Treasurer and other club members. Ten of the attendees were Military Veterans.

William Gladhart, Club Member and Website Manager, stated "the members very much enjoyed the presentation and heard several comments back from Veterans who were interested in learning about the PaYS program".
Overland Park Rotary Club Committee (Kansas)

Anthony intends to continue his collaboration with the Overland Park Rotary Club in an effort to promote PaYS awareness and create new partnerships in Overland Park, KS and surrounding areas.

PaYS Highlights CSM (Ret.) Howard Handley CSM (Ret.) Howard Handley

Story by: Donna Morales

The Army PaYS Program began in 2000 and it is not easy to find someone who was a part of the program during its inception and is still associated today.

In 1999, CSM Howard Handley was assigned to the Minneapolis Recruiting Battalion. During a U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) conference, a presentation was given on the Army PaYS Program as a possible incentive for newly enlisted Soldiers. CSM Handley immediately thought the program would be a great match for the Army. Months later, PaYS went into effect across USAREC and CSM Handley ensured that Soldiers under his leadership supported Army PaYS.

"I saw the value that Army PaYS could bring to the table and embraced it from the beginning. I also saw it had to be executed, not just talked about, but put into action in order for it to be an effective tool in recruiting." - CSM (Ret.) Handley Schwan's logo

Schwan's Home Delivery logo
Howard retired from the Army in 2001 and began working for The Schwan's Food Company as a Field Recruiter. He taught other recruiters in the organization how to identify and hire quality Veterans and the value of Military service. In 2006, Howard was instrumental in the PaYS partnership with The Schwan's Food Company.

Earlier this year, Howard played a vital role in the PaYS partnership with another related to the Schwan's Food Company brand. Cygnus Home Service dba Schwan's Home Service officially became a PaYS partner in September 2020. When asked about the partnerships, Howard stated, "It was a no brainer to want to be a PaYS Partner. Army PaYS is a great tool to connect transitioning Veterans with Schwan's hiring managers. I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to engage with young people at PaYS events. I was also able to jump with the Golden Knights at a PaYS event!" Howard's son and daughter are both Veterans as well and notes that his daughter is involved with PaYS events.

Now, working for Schwan's Home Delivery, what recommendation does Howard give? "Engagement and involvement! That is the key to any partnership."

The Army PaYS program would like to thank CSM (Ret.) Howard Handley for his service in the U.S. Army and his 20+ years of support to the PaYS. Your loyalty and dedication to this program does not go unnoticed.

Altice employees show their support for Military Veterans and their families by participating in the 5k run

Altice USA Sponsors a Virtual 5K to support Military Families in Need

Story by: Audra Jones

Altice logoAltice USA became an Army PaYS partner in 2020, which will improve the company's internal capability to hire from this highly skilled talent pool.

Altice USA is proud to support the dedicated men and women who serve or have served our nation, and hosts a variety of programs and events that give back to the community, as well as supports its employee veterans.

Most recently, Altice USA hosted a virtual 5K throughout October and November in support of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Unmet Needs Program.

Over 180 Employees across the country ran, walked and rode outside and indoors to honor our veterans and their families. Heartwarming tributes, photos and videos were posted to an internal social networking site in appreciation for those who put their lives on the line to keep our country safe. A small sample of those tributes includes:

"To all the Veterans, thank you for your service and your dedication to this country. Running a 5K is the least I can do to show my gratitude."

"5K + 1 mile for the extra mile our servicemen and women - along with their families - go for our safety and freedom. Thank you to all who sacrifice on behalf of our freedom."

"#5k4vets done! Went a little longer thinking about all of the men and women in my life who have served."

Click here and meet some who participated.

Altice employees show their support for Military Veterans and their families by participating in the 5k run

Photos - Altice employees show their support for Military Veterans and their families by participating in the 5k run

Year end review graphic

PaYS Year-End Review

Story by Antonio Johnson

As 2020 draws to a close, the PaYS Team took some time to reflect on everything that has happened this year. Conducting a year-end review allows the team to jump-start the new year with solutions to prior issues and strategies for continued growth moving forward with the program. Identifying this year's key takeaways while evaluating the things that went well and areas for improvement, positions the team/program for success in 2021.

Key Takeaways

Resiliency - The PaYS Team showed resiliency while working through restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Quick adaptation to virtual meetings, training and ceremonies allowed for continuous execution of PaYS related tasks without degradation in performance.

TRADOC Support - The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command acquired the PaYS Program a year ago and the support has been nonstop ever since. Senior Army Leaders in the command are staunch supporters of the program via social media and PaYS related events. PaYS has also been incorporated into the Army Accessions Enterprise and now attends the quarterly synchronization boards in order to maximize outreach efforts.

What Went Well

There were 102 new PaYS partnerships created this year; the largest one year effort in program history. This is largely attributed to the professionalism and dedication of the entire PaYS Team.

Implementation of PaYS into the Army National Guard's 54 Recruiting and Retention Battalions across the nation began in September 2020 and is going well thus far.

Internal administrative processes were improved for increased efficiency regarding the accomplishment of team goals and objectives.

Areas for Improvement

The overall utilization of PaYS, as an enlistment incentive, decreased this year. The team is currently engaged in strategic planning to improve program awareness across the Army.

The program experienced a decline in interview and hire data reported by PaYS partners for 2020. One of the priorities for 2021 is to work closely with our partners to establish common goals that involve an increase in interviewing and accurate reporting. These goals also include capturing the real-life stories of Soldiers who get interviewed and hired with our partners.

2020 - 2021 graphic

That's a wrap for 2020; however, the PaYS Team is looking forward to great things to come in the new year. I challenge each of you to connect with your Regional PaYS Marketer in the upcoming weeks to start the conversation about a meeting, event or activity in your organization/community.

Thank you for your support and the PaYS Team sends our best wishes to everyone. See you in 2021!

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

Reliant Medical Group - formerly Fallon Clinic and Fallon Foundation 21-Dec-11, Florida Highway Patrol 2-Dec-05, San Diego Police Department 2-Dec-05, Harold Zeigler Auto Group 2-Dec-05, Orlando Utilities Commission 8-Dec-05, Empire Southwest, LLC 8-Dec-05, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office 8-Dec-05, Gully Transportation, Inc. 11-Dec-06, Florida Power and Light Company 11-Dec-06, FPL Energy, LLC 11-Dec-06, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) America 11-Dec-06, Memphis Police Department 11-Dec-06, Norfolk Southern Corporation 11-Dec-06, Shelby County Sheriff's Office 15-Dec-06, Raytheon Company 15-Dec-06, Steinhafels, Inc. 6-Dec-07, AAR Aircraft Services, Inc. 14-Dec-07, Harris County Sheriff's Office (TX) 14-Dec-07, Lubbock Police Department 12-Dec-08, Yale-New Haven Hospital 12-Dec-08, Richland County Sheriff's Dept. 7-Dec-09, Cisco Systems, Inc. 1-Dec-10, Mercy Medical Center 1-Dec-10, City of Camuy, PR 8-Dec-10, Weber Stone Company 8-Dec-10, Aviall, Inc. 10-Dec-10, Arrow Strategies, LLC 21-Dec-11, Office Depot, Inc. 21-Dec-11, FirstGroup America, Inc. 21-Dec-11, Quaker City Motor Parts Co. 21-Dec-11, VSP Global 21-Dec-11, Maines Paper and Food Service 21-Dec-11, C.R. England 27-Dec-11, John Morrell & Company 29-Dec-11, City of Savannah 29-Dec-11, West Valley City 29-Dec-11, TMC Transportation, Inc. 18-Dec-12, Draftfcb, Inc. 18-Dec-12, Roush Industries, Inc. 18-Dec-12, Precision Services 4-Dec-15, The Fresh Market 14-Dec-15, Nidec Minster Corp 22-Dec-15, Harris County, Texas 5-Dec-16, Reeves Eye Surgery Center 5-Dec-16, USF Holland, LLC d/b/a Holland 5-Dec-16, Mount Carmel Health System 5-Dec-16, The SYGMA Network 5-Dec-16, Egis Projects, Inc. 8-Dec-17, Arizona State Hospital 8-Dec-17, Mike's Carwash, Inc. 3-Dec-18, Zimmer Biomet 28-Dec-18



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