The Army's PaYS Program Salutes Caribbean American Heritage Month

Story by John Delk
Caribbean American Heritage Month graphicCaribbean American Heritage Month map

National Caribbean American Heritage Month (NCAHM) promotes recognizing the contributions of Caribbean immigrants to the United States of America. So many Caribbean immigrants have added to shaping the American Dream, some examples are as follows: Founding father, Alexander Hamilton; the first African American congresswoman, and the first black woman to run for president, Shirley Chisholm; the founder of Chicago, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, and Retired Army Four-Star General and first black U.S Secretary of State, Colin Powell, whose parents were born in Jamaica.

The campaign for NCAHM began in 2004 when a bill was tabled in Congress by Congresswoman Barbara Lee. The Bill was reintroduced and passed the House in June of 2005 and the Senate in February 2006. President George W. Bush signed a proclamation making the resolution official on June 5, 2006. Since then, the White House has issued an annual proclamation recognizing June as Caribbean American Heritage Month. The mission of the NCAHM is to disseminate knowledge about the many significant contributions and vital roles the Caribbean immigrants brought to the American culture.

During June, the U.S Army PaYS Program will continue to publicize information about the Caribbean people's influences thus far. Today's Caribbean youth are the future Military leaders, Generals, CEOs, Scientists, Congress Representatives, and United States Presidents of tomorrow. With our shared history is our shared future.

Army PaYS Celebrates Caribbean American Army Leader

Interview by: Crancena Ross CASA, Mr. Beresford F. Edwards

CASA crest

In honor of Caribbean American Heritage Month, the PaYS team would like to highlight a Caribbean American leader that serves as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA). CASAs are business and community leaders appointed by the Secretary to advise and support Army leaders across the country. CASAs come from many professions, including business, education, finance, industry, law, the media, medicine, and public service.

This month, in an interview, we wanted to celebrate the leadership provided by CASA, Mr. Beresford F. Edwards. Mr. Edwards is a native of St. Croix, Virgin Islands. He is a distinguished graduate of the Virgin Islands Military Academy, Lt. Col. (retired) Beresford Edwards served over 32 years in the Virgin Islands National Guard (VING) as a Military Police Officer. Since his retirement, he has served as the Chair Emeritus of the Virgin Islands Committee for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), bridging the gap between local employers and the VING, which correlates with the intent PaYS program. He also serves as the President of the Virgin Islands National Guard Association (VINGA).

The original concept of the PaYS program is to enable America's youth to serve their nation while preparing for their future. The role as a CASA compliments that concept ideally. As Mr. Edwards states, "My main focus as a CASA includes helping recruiters gain access to schools, serving as a liaison to the Army Reserves and National Guard, and providing support to Soldiers and their families. Additionally, I have the opportunity to nominate high school seniors for the Minuteman Scholarship and business and community leaders to attend the National Security Seminar." He also enjoys "The opportunity to network with other CASAs from the States and Territories."

The leadership, expertise, and example that these CASAs provide to our Army is invaluable, and the PaYS Team is proud to serve alongside them!

U.S. Army Birthday 2021

Submitted by Alisha Reneau

Army birthday graphic

This year marks 246 years of the U.S. Army serving and defending our country. Today, Army Soldiers and Civilians continue to face our Nation's challenges with courage and patriotism. Join in the virtual celebrations across the Army as we honor the courage of the American Soldier and the total Army force. Check out the list of the 2021 Army Birthday events within the attached hyperlink and download the 2021 Army Birthday Outreach Guide that includes key messages and recommended ways for you to join us in commemorating 246 years of service in support of our nation. Don't forget to download the 246th Army Birthday Facebook banner to share on your social media accounts and the poster to include at your cake-cutting events.


Antonio Johnson, PaYS Program Manager

Dear PaYS Partners,

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

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota - Minneapolis Battalion

D.A. Collins Construction Co., Inc. - New York ARNG

Denso Manufacturing Michigan, Inc. - Great Lakes Battalion

Floyd County Sheriff's Office - Atlanta Battalion

HHS - Dallas Battalion

Knight Transportation - Phoenix Battalion

Nine Line Apparel - Jacksonville Battalion

Northrim Bank - Alaska ARNG

ABC Supply - Milwaukee Battalion

Xcel Energy - Colorado ARNG

Upcoming Signing Ceremonies

10 June 2021: Homeland Security Solutions Inc. -
Richmond Battalion

10 June 2021: Eyemart Express Holdings, LLC -
Dallas Battalion

14 June 2021: Mission BBQ -
Baltimore Battalion

14 June 2021: ABC Supply -
Milwaukee Battalion

30 July 2021: Plymouth & Brockton -
New England Battalion

Regional Army PaYS Marketing Analysts:

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

Kristopher Broadus (Southeast Region)
(615) 419-5357

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

James Meade (Southwest Region)
(614) 404-9104

John Delk (West Region)
(847) 971-1336

Malinda Johnson (Senior Marketer)
(757) 777-2416

Samuel Armstrong (ARNG Marketer)
(202) 770-7200

PaYS birthdays

ABC Supply Company logo

The Army's PaYS Program Celebrates Historic Milestone by Signing its 1,000th Partner

Story by Kris Broadus

Big announcement

Over 21 years ago, the Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) Program began. This year we are proud to announce the 1,000th PaYS Partner as ABC Supply Co., Inc.

ABC Supply Co., Inc. is the largest wholesale distributor of roofing in the United States and one of the nation's largest siding distributors, windows, and select exterior and interior building products, tools, and related supplies. Since the inception of ABC Supply Co., Inc., they have grown into a national organization with over 15,000 associates, $12.1 billion in sales, and 800 locations and facilities in 49 states.

ABC Supply Co., Inc. prides itself as a value-based organization with the same vital values resonating profoundly in our Soldiers. In keeping with this spirit of honoring those that have served. ABC Supply will be acknowledging their partnership with PaYS in a combined signing ceremony in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on the Army's birthday, June 14, 2021. The Army is a way forward for those displaced workers who qualify for service. Additionally, industry partners such as ABC Supply, Co., Inc. help Veterans, offering interviews when a Soldier leaves Military service.

ABC Supply has remained an "employee-first" company that treats its associates with respect and gives them the tools they need to succeed. These ideas align perfectly with the Army's "Soldier-first" mentality. They are a 15-time winner of the Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award, which recognizes the best-performing workplaces globally. A two-time recipient of Glassdoor's Employee's Choice Award for Best Places to work. With so many accolades and accomplishments, it's easy to see why the U.S. Army PaYS Program partnership makes so much sense. ABC Supply Co., Inc. is also an active participant in the Army National Hiring Days campaign this year from May 10 thru June 14, 2021.

Albuquerque Police Department logo

PaYS Soldier Interviewed and Hired at the Albuquerque Police Department

Story by: Alisha Reneau

The month's PaYS "Good News Story" highlights former PaYS Soldier, Officer Nickolas Duran. Nickolas' story details his interview and immediate hiring with PaYS partner Albuquerque Police Department. Former PaYS Soldier, Officer Nickolas Duran

During your enlistment process, what PaYS partner did you choose?

"Originally, I chose the L.A. County Sheriff's Office, but I knew that I did not want to live in Los Angeles. That is how I ended up at the Albuquerque Police Department."

What was your enlistment process into the Army like?

"It was easy; there were a lot of jobs. I knew I wasn't going to stay in the Army forever, and I wanted to get out and do law enforcement."

How many years did you serve in the Army?

"Three years Active Duty and One year in the National Guard. I transitioned out of active duty in 2019 and officially transitioned out of the National Guard in 2020."

What was your MOS and Rank?

"11B - Infantryman, Specialist"

What was your experience like getting out of active duty?

"I was not actively searching when I got out. I had a ton of money saved up. When it was time to apply to the police department, I got in on my first try. It wasn't difficult at all."

What kind of skills/experience do you think you gained while in the Army that are helpful as a Civilian?

"Army values and getting the job done. The Army instills those values in you. So no matter the mission, you have to get it done."

What kind of advice would you give to a Soldier that will go through the same process as you?

"While you're in the Army, you do all kinds of things you may not necessarily want to do, but those are the values the Army teaches you. As long as you can get out and get your feet running. It may not be what you want to do, but it will get you to where you want to eventually."

How has it been working for the Albuquerque Police Department?

"People in the police department that were already working with the Veterans Administration made getting officers that were prior military through the process easier."

What do you think about the PaYS Program?

"The PaYS program is a good tool for young and older people who are getting into the Army and who are worried about getting out. Some stay in forever for fear of getting out. PaYS program is somewhat of a cushion when you get out."

PaYS Welcomes Three New Partners at a Signing Ceremony Held in Amarillo, TX

Story by Kris Broadus

Randall County Sheriff's Office, Amarillo Police Department, Potter County Sheriff's Office

On 14 May 2021, the Army PaYS Program welcomed the Amarillo Police Department, Potter County Sheriff's Office, and Randall County Sheriff's Office as new PaYS partners at a signing ceremony at the Amarillo Civic Center Complex in Amarillo, Texas.

The Army PaYS Program provides America's youth with an opportunity to serve their county while preparing for their future. Additionally, PaYS guarantees Soldiers an interview and possible employment after completing their service to the Army. All three organizations fully support and focus on hiring highly skilled Veterans, and through this partnership, they hope to flood their hiring pool with qualified Veterans.

The ceremony opened with a Presentation of Colors by the Joint Color Guard and the National Anthem sung by SGT Raquel Saunders. Remarks were provided by CPT Amy VonBehren, Company Commander, Amarillo Army Recruiting Company and LTC Jacob Cecka, Battalion Commander, Oklahoma City Army Recruiting Battalion. Pictured from left to right: Randall County Sheriff, Christopher Forbis, Amarillo Police Chief, Martin Birkenfeld, Potter County Sheriff, Brian Thomas, and the Oklahoma City Army Recruiting Battalion Commander, LTC Jacob Cecka

Right - Pictured from left to right: Randall County Sheriff, Christopher Forbis, Amarillo Police Chief, Martin Birkenfeld, Potter County Sheriff, Brian Thomas, and the Oklahoma City Army Recruiting Battalion Commander, LTC Jacob Cecka

During the ceremony, the speakers were able to share their excitement in support of the partnership. LT Ken Dougherty, Potter County Sheriff's Office, stated, "Veterans are integral members of the Law Enforcement community here, and we are proud of our partnership with the U.S. Army PaYS Program to increase our abilities to offer employment as our Veterans return from their service commitment."

SGT Jeffrey Hooten, Randall County Sheriff's Office, said, "The exciting part is, the U.S. Army will have developed Soldiers to a level unmatched by any other professional organization. Thank you to the U.S. Army and the PaYS Program!" Pictured from left to right: Potter County Sheriff, Brian Thomas,
Amarillo Police Chief, Martin Birkenfeld, Randall County Sheriff, Christopher Forbis,
and the Oklahoma City Army Recruiting Battalion Commander, LTC Jacob Cecka

Left - Pictured from left to right: Potter County Sheriff, Brian Thomas, Amarillo Police Chief, Martin Birkenfeld, Randall County Sheriff, Christopher Forbis, and the Oklahoma City Army Recruiting Battalion Commander, LTC Jacob Cecka

Pictured from left to right: Officer Casey Hayward of the Randall County Sheriff’s Office and SGT Manuel Contreras The PaYS team would like to thank CPT Amy VonBehren, Commander, Amarillo Army Recruiting Company, for her vision in organizing this fantastic event. She shared, "My overarching goal with the PaYS Program is to show employers that Soldiers bring the skills of adaptability, dedication to mission accomplishment, leadership, and followership that will benefit their company."

Hiring PaYS Soldiers is the ultimate win-win situation. For the Soldiers, there is a smooth transition and re-entry into the civilian sector. For the organization, they receive an individual who is drug-free, physically fit, emotionally ahead of their peer group, and someone who has already had an in-depth background check.

Today's Soldiers are put into situations where they have to take charge and lead at a very young age. This requires them to step up when faced with extreme adversity, which are the very traits sought after by our PaYS Partners.

Right - Pictured from left to right: Officer Casey Hayward of the Randall County Sheriff's Office and SGT Manuel Contreras

Covenant Transport logo

PaYS Welcomes Covenant Transport as a Partner Pictured from left to right: Jason Rice, Senior Director of Driver Recruiting, Covenant Transport, Joey Ballard, Human Resource Manager, & LTC David Hensel, Atlanta Recruiting BN

Story by: Samuel Armstrong
Photos by: Timothy Bundick, Social Media Coordinator, Atlanta Recruiting Battalion

The Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) Program held a signing ceremony between the U.S. Army and Covenant Transport on May 12, 2021, at Covenant Transport Headquarters. Covenant Transport is the PaYS Program's 908th partner.

Right - Pictured from left to right: Jason Rice, Senior Director of Driver Recruiting, Covenant Transport, Joey Ballard, Human Resource Manager, & LTC David Hensel, Atlanta Recruiting BN

Covenant Transport is located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a part of the Truckload Carriers Industry and has over 4,300 employees across all its locations. Covenant Transport also employs warehouse workers, shop technicians, and operations personnel to ensure their fleets keep moving.
Pictured from l-r: LTC David Hensel, Joey Ballard, and Jason Rice Recruiting, Covenant Transport, Joey Ballard, Human Resource Manager, & LTC David Hensel, Atlanta Recruiting BN
During the ceremony, Atlanta Recruiting Battalion Commander LTC David Hensel said, "I would argue that there's no place like the U.S. Army for a young person. But this particularly provides a great way to feed the values and skills that people acquire during their military service."

Jason Rice states, "Right now we have over 80 Soldiers who are scheduled to depart service in the 3rd quarter of this year which we will be working alongside Covenant Transport."

Covenant Transport has an Apprenticeship OJT Program approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Registered with the Department of Labor. This allows veterans to utilize their Post 9/11 GI Bill and receive a monthly stipend from the Department of Veterans while participating in the program.

Left - Pictured from l-r: LTC David Hensel, Joey Ballard, and Jason Rice

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety ogo

Army PaYS Welcomes Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety

Story by: PaYS Midwest Marketer Davin Bentley

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS) became the newest member of the Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) program for the U.S. Army and the Great Lakes Army Recruiting Battalion. The signing ceremony was conducted at the KDPS headquarters, solidified KDPS's formal partnership, and allowed the department to grant guaranteed interviews for transitioning Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserve Soldiers.

Chief Venon Coakley, Jr. and LTC Gregory Turner, photo by WWMT Grand Rapid/Lansing

Left - Chief Venon Coakley, Jr. and LTC Gregory Turner, photo by WWMT Grand Rapid/Lansing

In attendance were Vernon Coakley, Jr., Chief of KDPS and Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Turner, Commander of the Great Lakes Army Recruiting BN, representatives from the Western Michigan University Army ROTC Department, the Office of Congressman Fred Upton, and local PaYS partner Aldevra, LLC.

During the ceremony, Chief Coakley stated, "We look forward to Soldiers getting that skill set in the military and bringing it back here, home, and using that skill set to then again serve in their communities."

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety combines law enforcement and fire services into one unified organization to provide the community's highest level of professional public service. Their diverse force, comprised of over 270 employees, incorporates modern technology while striving to meet future challenges. The department has several openings for sworn law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMTs and is looking to hire Army Veterans.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is a vital piece of the local community. The PaYS team is extremely excited to welcome the department to the Army family and is more than confident that they will add value to the U.S. Army and the Great Lakes Recruiting Battalion!


Pictured from l-r: PaYS Marketer, John Delk, PaYS Marketer, Kristopher Broadus, Senior Marketer, Malinda Johnson, PaYS Marketer, James Meade, Project Lead, JR Rivers, Program Manager, Antonio Johnson, PaYS Marketer Davin Bentley, Administrative Assistant, Cheri McCullough, PaYS ARNG Marketer, Samuel Armstrong and PaYS Marketer, Crancena Ross

The Army PaYS Team's Annual Training at TRADOC

Story by: Alisha Reneau
Photos by: Malinda Johnson

On 24-26 May 2021, the PaYS team traveled to Newport News, VA, to attend their annual training held at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Headquarters, Fort Eustis. On the first day of the training, TRADOC's Commanding General, GEN Funk provided the team with a TRADOC CG update and spoke on his support of the PaYS program. GEN Funk shared, "You know how much I appreciate what you are doing and how vitally important I think it is for the whole recruiting effort. What you are doing is vital to the Nation." The PaYS Team and General Paul E. Funk II

Right - Pictured from l-r: PaYS Marketer, John Delk; PaYS Marketer, Kristopher Broadus; Senior Marketer, Malinda Johnson; PaYS Marketer, James Meade; Project Lead, JR Rivers; Program Manager, Antonio Johnson; PaYS Marketer Davin Bentley; Administrative Assistant, Cheri McCullough; PaYS ARNG Marketer, Samuel Armstrong; PaYS Marketer, Crancena Ross

Left - The PaYS Team and General Paul E. Funk II

Bottom left - Pictured from l-r: Project Lead, JR Rivers, 1st Quarter PaYS Top Marketers: Crancena Ross, Samuel Armstrong, and Davin Bentley, & PaYS Program Manager, Antonio Johnson

Pictured from l-r: Project Lead, JR Rivers, 1st Quarter PaYS Top Marketers: Crancena Ross, Samuel Armstrong, and Davin Bentley, & PaYS Program Manager, Antonio Johnson

The PaYS leadership then gave out awards for 1st Quarter FY21. Marketers Crancena Ross, Samuel Armstrong, and Davin Bentley were recognized as top performers.

The training was conducted on the program overview, writing skills, business/professional speaking, and the team participated in a speaking exercise. After hours, the group gathered for team-building activities that included bowling and dinner. Our annual training was quite productive and appreciated by all. It was an essential part of maintaining team cohesion and enhancing professional development for the entire group.

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

General Dynamics Land Systems 5-Jun-00 Monro Muffler Brake, Inc. 2-Jun-03 Arkansas State Police 21-Jun-03 Little Rock Police Dept. 21-Jun-03 Warren Cat 3-Jun-04 Time Warner Cable 30-Jun-04 Crown Equipment Corporation 13-Jun-05 Systems Application & Technologies, Inc. 13-Jun-05 Havertys Furniture, Inc. 21-Jun-05 NASSCO 21-Jun-05 Clearwater PD 14-Jun-06 Banco Popular de Puerto Rico 14-Jun-06 Alion Science & Technology 14-Jun-06 Travis County Sheriff's Office 23-Jun-06 Kansas Highway Patrol 25-Jun-07 Hyatt Hotel and Resorts 25-Jun-07 Gate Gourmet, Inc. 17-Jun-08 GSI Group, Inc. 17-Jun-08 Valiant Mgmt & Holdings 17-Jun-08 Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services 17-Jun-08 Tennessee Valley Authority 1-Jun-09 Louisiana Department of Transporation and Development 3-Jun-09 Concurrent Technologies Corporation 3-Jun-09 Acadian Ambulance Service, Inc. 19-Jun-09 San Antonio Fire Dept. 19-Jun-09 Phacil, Inc. 19-Jun-09 A. Schulman, Inc. 11-Jun-10 City of Akron 28-Jun-10 Broe Management Company, LLC (Omni Trax) 16-Jun-12 Con-way Truckload, Inc. 19-Jun-12 Town Sports International, LLC 26-Jun-12 Doerle Food Services, LLC 3-Jun-13 Mercury Marine 3-Jun-13 Pace Diversified Corporation 3-Jun-13 Exelon 3-Jun-13 Multiband Corporation 12-Jun-13 National Carriers, Inc. 12-Jun-13 Arizona Dept. of Transportation 17-Jun-13 Farmland Foods, Inc. 17-Jun-13 Watco Companies, LLC 19-Jun-13 Cerner Corporation 11-Jun-14 E&B Natural Resources Mgt. Corp. 11-Jun-14 Cheyenne Regional Medical Center 12-Jun-15 FDM Group 12-Jun-15 CB&I 15-Jun-15 Speedway 25-Jun-15 Renown Health 14-Jun-16 Toys "R" Us 14-Jun-16 U.S. Xpress 14-Jun-16 American Electric Power 14-Jun-16 Western & Southern Financial Group 14-Jun-16 Montgomery County Sheriff's Office 20-Jun-16 Oklahoma Department of Corrections 20-Jun-16 Stormont Vail HealthCare 20-Jun-16 Western Technical College 20-Jun-16 Integrated Electronic Technologies, Inc. 27-Jun-16 Gundersen Health System 30-Jun-16 Tyson Shared Services, A Wholly-Owned Subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc. 9-Jun-17 Monterey County Sheriff's Office 12-Jun-17 Ace Truck Body and Trailer Repair, Inc. 15-Jun-17 Penn Mutual-Alabama Agency 15-Jun-17 Huffines Auto Dealerships 15-Jun-17 Bommarito Automotive Group 19-Jun-17 Avaniti Hospitals, LLC 29-Jun-17 JF Sobieski Mechanical Contractors Inc. 29-Jun-17 McIhenny Company 29-Jun-17 Lexington County Sheriff Department 29-Jun-17 Southeast Express, Inc. 1-Jun-18 Imperfect Foods, Inc. 1-Jun-18 Florida State Hospital 4-Jun-18 Firetrol Protection System 4-Jun-18 American Medical Response 4-Jun-18 City of Harrisonburg 4-Jun-18 Community EMS 4-Jun-18 Harfird County Sheriff's Office 4-Jun-18 Dowco, Inc. 20-Jun-18 Werner Enterprises, Inc. 20-Jun-18 South Carolina Department of Health & environmental Control 25-Jun-18 Admiral Beverage Corporation 25-Jun-18 MEHOP 25-Jun-18 Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation 25-Jun-18 Fire Department of the City of New York 25-Jun-18 City of Oswego 25-Jun-18 Godfrey Trucking, Inc. 25-Jun-18 Ferragon 25-Jun-18 Shaw Industries Group, Inc. 25-Jun-18 Black Hall Aerospce 25-Jun-18 Preferred Systems Solutions, Inc. 26-Jun-20 Your Home Improvement Company, LLC 26-Jun-20 Osceola County Sheriff's Office 26-Jun-20 AG PRO Companies 26-Jun-20 Bollinger Shipyards LLC 26-Jun-20



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