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U.S. Army Launches "Starting Strong" Campaign

Starting Strong Campaign

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If you visit our home page is dedicated to success stories. If you have a PaYS Soldier working for you and would like to see your company featured on our web site, contact your PaYS Marketing Analyst.

Videos featuring PaYS hires and their supervisors are shot on location by the Army Marketing and Research Group's Go Army video team.

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We are looking for a variety of job skills to show the versatility of our partners and Soldier hires.

Army ROTC logo

Cadets Find Opportunities Through Reserve Service

May 28, 2013| by Steve Arel and Vickey Mouze

FORT KNOX, Ky. -- When Christopher Banks joined ROTC at the University of Virginia, his goal was to earn an active duty slot once he commissioned. But the more he thought about serving the nation and the opportunities his personal and professional development through the program could unlock, he wondered why he couldn't pursue careers both in and out of uniform.
So he opted to be detailed into the Army Reserve, placing him among 1,500 recent commissionees this year who chose to serve in a Reserve component versus active duty.
"I wanted to get my civilian career started as soon as possible," said Banks, who commissions this month.
Many Cadets seek to serve on active duty. Over the years, being assessed into the Reserve component has carried with it something of a stigma. Those who aren't given an active duty slot sometimes equate their overall ROTC performance as less-than-stellar.
That, of course, isn't the case, as evidenced by legions of commissionees who have built successful military and civilian careers.
There are many avenues Cadets travel to find sound employment. They network. They market themselves. They also tap into the Army's Partnership for Youth Success program, commonly known as PaYS. The program doesn't guarantee employment, but enables nearly 500 businesses across the country, including a number of Fortune 500 companies, to communicate with and interview prospective talent being developed in ROTC.
"Reserve components produce general officers and equally important, the Reserve and National Guard need top-notch second lieutenants," said Lt. Col. Tao, the professor of military science at Santa Clara University in California. "The amount of opportunities existing in the reserve component sometimes exceeds those on active duty.
"In my three years as a PMS, two of my No. 1 (senior) Cadets who ranked in the top 150 in the nation have chosen to go into the Reserve as a lawyer and into the Minnesota National Guard as an infantry officer. It's not what component you get that will make you successful in the Army but how hard you work once you get into it that will be most important."
A number of Cadets heading to a Reserve status say not being on active duty opens up an array of opportunities beyond the military.
Using the leadership skills he honed at the University of Virginia, Banks successfully touted himself as someone who could be an asset to a civilian company. The Italian language and literature major landed a position as an account specialist with Choice Hotels in Washington, D.C.
His role, which begins in June, will be to serve as a liaison, coordinating events between corporate clients and Choice properties in the nation's capital. In December, Banks' focus shifts to the Basic Officer Leaders Course at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., where he will be spend four months training as a military intelligence officer.
Banks, who originally was supposed to attend BOLC until he received a job offer, said management at Choice understands his obligation to the Army and are supportive of his service.
"I made it clear at the beginning that I have this obligation," Banks said. "They know I wanted to serve my country."
Starting with Choice before schooling allows Banks to get his footing with the company, he said. Besides, winter tends to be a slower time of year for the hotel industry, and he expects to be back as business picks up.
As for the military, serving as a Reserve officer, Banks said, makes him more versatile.
"You're making yourself a well-rounded individual by pursing two careers and a wanted person by companies that know you have certain qualities others applying won't have," he said. "The training we get is invaluable. That makes us better in the Army and in our civilian careers."
His advice to other Cadets being assessed into a Reserve component: Weigh your options, and don't be discouraged.
"Be aware there are other pathways to get to where you want to go," Banks said. "My ROTC experience set me up for success. No question."
Second Lt. Brandy Warner, who commissioned earlier in May, also plans to balance two careers at the same time -- one as a future aviator with the Massachusetts Army National Guard and the other as a project engineer with Ensign Bickford Aerospace and Defense Company in Simsbury, Conn.
Warner believes highlighting her ROTC skills during her interview at Ensign Bickford sold the company on her potential.
"I brought up many of these (leadership and management) qualities. With each quality, they were more and more impressed."
Like Banks, Warner planned to go active duty, but her goal changed after learning about internship opportunities at Ensign Bickford.
"After a year of interning, I had a feeling that there was a good chance of getting a full-time civilian job at Ensign Bickford," she said. "As time progressed, the reality of joining the MAARNG became more and more evident.
"I had a six-month plan on accepting a job offer at Ensign Bickford, I was planning a wedding, I was drilling with my unit as a Simultaneous Membership Program Cadet and I loved it. It really seemed that one thing after another fell into place."
She said Cadets need to be honest with both sides concerning expectations when planning a dual career. By being upfront about her military career with Ensign Bickford and vice versa, she has the freedom to work full-time, take a leave of absence when she starts flight school at Fort Rucker, Ala., in March 2014, and then return to Ensign Bickford. While she is excited to have a way to balance both careers, she knows doing each successfully will take planning and time management, two skills she learned in ROTC.
Jack Schneeman, a finance major at Santa Clara University, also wants to work full-time after he completes an internship. Once he commissions as an infantry officer in mid-June, he'll intern at Dougherty and Company, a boutique investment bank firm in Minneapolis. He'll shadow one of the firm's senior vice presidents through the summer.
After infantry BOLC and Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga., later this year, he hopes to return to Dougherty as full-time analyst. He'll also serve as an infantry officer with the Minnesota Army National Guard.
When Schneeman started ROTC, he was adamant about going active duty. However, after a few years in Santa Clara's Leavey School of Business, he became passionate about pursuing a career in the private sector while simultaneously continuing to serve after ROTC.
Schneeman plans to pursue the entrepreneurial spirit that's found in Silicon Valley by starting his own business.
"Joining the Reserves or National Guard is still serving your country, and it's grateful to you," he said. "You will also have a lot more freedom in career choice, residence locations and can get competitive pay. The ROTC experience you've earned over the past four years helps make you desirable for an immense array of civilian positions. You'll able to find a position that fits your interests, and they will value your military and leadership experience."
Schneeman also recommends Cadets be proactive and seek help with resumes and applications while still at school. Reach out to all the employers you're interested in. Learn as much as you can about them as you prepare for interviews.
"Do not take your Reserve position lightly," he said. "Just because you weren't able to get the active duty slot you hoped for, you'll still be leading Soldiers at the end of the day. You owe it to them to give it your best."


HACU logo

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) was established in 1986 with a founding membership of 18 institutions. Today, HACU represents more than 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Although its member institutions in the United States represent less than 10 percent of all higher education institutions nationwide, together they are home to more than two-thirds of all Hispanic college students. HACU is the only national educational association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

In 2006, HACU launched its Hispanic-Serving School Districts (HSSDs) initiative, which is a new member affiliation composed of K-12 school districts whose total student enrollment is at least 25% Hispanic. The HSSD affiliation was started in order to address the many challenges facing both higher education and K-12 in recruiting, retaining, and graduating Hispanic students. The goal is to have HACU-member colleges and universities collaborate with HSSDs in an effort to frame, develop and carry out new and innovative initiatives that benefit their respective student populations and significantly increase Hispanic student success.

Over the last ten years, the Army has forged a relationship with HACU the sponsorship of the national conference which leverages its presence on-site to engage students. Over several days students and educators were provided guided tours at the University of Illinois campus in Chicago. Last year marked the first year the Army and HACU partnered to conduct an Army Medical Department (AMEDD) focused seminar.   

The Army’s partnership with the HACU strengthens its commitment to be a resource within the Hispanic education community. It increases awareness among America’s youth showcasing the Army as a pathway to higher education, leadership, and career opportunities. This reinforces the U.S. Army as an organization that provides mental, emotional and physical strength like no other.US Army Recruiter SSG Bendana and Chicago BN ESS John Turks spoke at the HACU college tour University of Illinois at Chicago

With plenty of Army recruiting officials on hand as guides and at the Army’s display table, students and educators learned more about the Army’s support of education and community sponsorship. Also staffing the Army’s booth at the exhibit hall, PaYS Marketing Coordinator, Sheila Oberlitner, spoke to educators and students. “I think many of the students were surprised at the facts; ROTC programs produce 88% of the Army’s entry-level Officers and offer more scholarships for higher education than any other organization in the U.S.” Sheila said.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) was a favorite topic of the educators. The Army has developed more than 70 no-cost programs, tools and opportunities for front line teachers to use in their daily works. “STEM is great but not the only program that enriches learning, the Army has engineering competitions, internships and leadership development as well” Sheila reported.

Photo right - US Army Recruiter SSG Bendana and Chicago BN ESS John Turks spoke at the HACU college tour University of Illinois at Chicago

Students gained insights into how ROTC offers scholarships for AMEDD doctors, nurses and technicians as well as the Army’s 80 medical career specialties including veterinarian and dental. Educators learned about AMEDD’s world-class medical contributions and advancements in medicine because of the collaboration between scientists and surgeons. They also saw firsthand how the Army’s partnership with HACU builds stronger citizens with values that make the community strong.

Sheila Oberlitner

PaYS Team Recognizes Sheila Oberlitner for Her Contributions as She Transitions to Army Education

In a ceremony held Friday May 24th at the Maude Complex Fort Knox, KY, Sheila Oberlitner was presented with a Recognition Award signed by PQC CEO Stacey Smith endorsed by the AMRG PaYS Program Manager Angela Byrd. She is leaving PaYS but will remain with AMRG as the Education Outreach Specialist.

Sheila joined the PaYS team just under two years ago filling a newly expanded position as the Marketing Coordinator which covers Social Media. She also managed the PaYS National Hot Rod Association events, attended numerous conferences, and job fairs. During her tenure PaYS Facebook friends increased from 4 thousand to well over 6 thousand. "I'll miss working with the PaYS partners and their Soldiers" she said.

We wish her continued success in her new position and thank her for her dedication to the PaYS program and United States Army.


Willie Harris

Willie Harris - PaYS Southeast Marketing Analyst

Willie joined the PaYS program as a Marketer covering the Northeast region in August of 2010. In February of this year he transferred to the Southeast region. The Southeast region covers the 2nd Army Recruiting Brigade and portions of the 4th and 6th Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Brigade.

Prior to joining the PaYS Team, he worked for team MTCI, where he excelled as a Training, Development, and Support Technologist. There he developed lesson plans, handbooks, user manuals, handouts, and provided technical training presentations.

Willie proudly dedicated 20 years of service to the United States Army serving as a Combat Medic with a three year assignment with the Army Recruiting Command. A few of his major accomplishments included earning the coveted Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB), Air Assault Badge, the Gold Recruiter Badge and the Gold Recruiter Ring.

Born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where his father was stationed during his 21-year Army career, Willie graduated from Zweibrucken American High School in Zweibrucken, Germany and studied at the University of Kentucky. His hobbies include playing sports and motorcycling. He and his wife, the former Joyce Bradford of Radcliff, Kentucky, have two sons, Tre' and Andre'.

From his years as a Combat Medic Willie still believes in helping people saying, "PaYS is a rewarding job. I feel its important work, assisting employers to find experienced and reliable employees; being a part of finding Future Soldiers employment opportunities when they become veteran or Cadets upon graduation."

Old Table Top Display

PaYS Table Top Poster Receives an Update

Old display at AT&T job fair

Many of our PaYS partners attend job fairs across the country including Veteran specific job fairs. Several years ago a table top display was created for use by our partners at these events. It served two purposes, identifying the partnership with the Army PaYS program and serving as a reminder to Veterans attending the event of their possible connection to PaYS.

So, as the Army Marketing & Research Group (AMRG) continues its quest to bring one brand to all Army products, it was time for the table top display to receive a facelift. AMRG exists to build a strong national marketing campaign, conduct market and accessions research and build an enterprise brand across the Army. The tabletop display is just one more product viewed by the public that creates an opportunity to showcase the brand unity.

PaYS Marketing Analyst provide the tabletop display to all new PaYS partners to announce the partnership internally and routinely provide the poster during training visits. The tabletop display will be provided to partners once the final design is approved and printed for use at job fairs and community events.

Photo upper left - Old Display
Photo upper right - Old display at AT&T job fair
Photo right - New Display

Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals Commerce, GA – Third Atlanta Win a Charm for U.S. Army Driver Antron Brown

Raymond Spears, Antron Brown and LTC Grabski speak at the Southern Nationals Commerce, GA NHRA Y.E.S program
Photo right - Raymond Spears, Antron Brown and LTC Grabski speak at the Southern Nationals Commerce, GA NHRA Y.E.S program

It's become a tight race at the top of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel standings after the U.S. Army duo of Tony Schumacher and Antron Brown closed the curtain Saturday on the rain-shortened Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway May 4, 2013.

Ever-changing track conditions kept crew chiefs and their teams on their toes over this two-day event, which was originally scheduled to be a typical three-day NHRA show last weekend but was postponed due to persistent rain showers and shortened. Saturday began under mostly cloudy skies, and a brief but torrential rain shower between the first and second rounds led to the 90-minute delay just after the noon hour. The final round occurred under sunny skies and rapidly rising track temperatures, a factor which Brown and his Matco Tools/U.S. Army team accounted for in setting up for the final round and which likely led to Bernstein's smoking tires at the outset of his final-round run.

Strength in Action Zone Commerce, GAAttending the Race as a guest of the Army was Raymond Spears is a Technical Recruiter for the URS Corporation. A partner since 2009 URS has a PaYS Soldier hire testimonial is featured on website. Raymond recruits for the Defense Maintenance & Logistics Group at URS. He is an Army veteran with 23 years' of service. URS is very active within the Army community participating in events and Grassroots initiatives.

Raymond was featured as a guest speaker for the Youth, Education Services (Y.E.S.) program. The YES program is dedicated to educational programming and presented on the race track grounds prior to the actual race. High school and college aged students attend the presentation. Speakers like Spears join drivers Tony Schumacher and Antron Brown along with a local Army Soldier and share their success stories and lessons learned.

Photo left - Strength in Action Zone Commerce, GA

Participants also visited the U.S. Army Strength in Action Zone to explore the elements that give U.S. Army Soldiers a strength like no other with a variety of fully-interactive fitness, educations and other technical components.

25th Annual NHRA Kansas Nationals at Topeka Kansas
The Army Strength in Action Zone was a fan favorite at the Kansas Nationals in Topeka

Attending the Kansas Nationals in Topeka were Trooper Donald Hughes and Officer Patrick Saleh from PaYS partner Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP). The event provided them the opportunity to meet with Army Racing team members, Army Recruiting personnel, Reserve Officer Training Corps, community leaders and influencers. Trooper Hughes and Officer Saleh spent time visiting the Army Strength In Action Zone and enjoyed a luncheon at the Army hospitality tent.

Prior to the race the KHP representatives had an opportunity to meet with U. S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher. Tony opened the weekend by blazing to Friday's top qualifying run, performed flawlessly in winning convincingly in the first, second and semifinal rounds of eliminations, and even recorded the weekend's top speed before being nipped at the finish line by just 8 feet in the thrilling final-round run against Shawn Langdon.

Photo right - The Army Strength in Action Zone was a fan favorite at the Kansas Nationals in Topeka.

It was the fifth final-round appearance by Schumacher's in eight events this season and the 124th of his career, but his attempt to deliver his third event title of 2013 was snatched by the closest of margins by Langdon's run of 3.750 seconds at 324.20 mph. Schumacher's reaction time of .030 of a second bested Langdon's .044 of a second, and his top speed of 327.27 mph was more than 3 mph faster. But Langdon's elapsed time - the best Top Fuel time of the weekend - was enough to bring the Al Anabi Racing driver his third event title of the season and vault him into second place in the Top Fuel standings, 34 points behind the championship-leading Schumacher.

"It was an absolutely great weekend, but you hate to get that far and get beat," said Schumacher, who beat Cory McLenathan in the 2010 Topeka final for his lone event title at Heartland Park. "I am so proud of this U.S. Army team. Each and every one of those guys plays a vital role in the success of the Army car on the track. Similarly, every Soldier, no matter which of the more than 150 career options he or she chooses in the Army, is vital to the success of the mission. Shawn made a run in that final that would've beaten anybody. It was a stout run. He just went out and did what A.J. (Al Anabi Racing team manager Alan Johnson, Schumacher's former crew chief) and Langdon do. He went fast and he wasn't late on the tree. Either one of them makes a mistake and they get beat. We were machine-like. They just outperformed us. He's a great dude. It's a great team. It's my old guys and it's going to be a battle to the end. No one's ever doubted that."

238th Army Birthday

238th Army Birthday

Two hundred thirty-eight years ago, our nation's leaders established the Continental Army, beginning a rich heritage of successfully defending this great country and her citizens. Today, we celebrate the continued strength, professionalism and bravery of our ready and resilient Soldiers in the all-volunteer force. Our Soldiers remain Army Strong with a lifelong commitment to our core values and beliefs. Following more than 12 years of war, the Army remains committed to the readiness, training and advancement of the Total Army through the Army initiatives: Ready and Resilient, The Army Profession and Soldier for Life. This 238th birthday commemorates America's Army - Soldiers, families and civilians - who are achieving a level of excellence that is truly Army Strong. We also celebrate our local communities for their steadfast support of our Soldiers and families. We are "America's Army: Service to the Nation, Strength for the Future."

Founded in June 14, 1775

When the American Revolution broke out, the rebellious colonies did not possess an army in the modern sense. Rather, the revolutionaries fielded an amateur force of colonial troops, cobbled together from various New England militia companies. They had no unified chain of command, and although Artemas Ward of Massachusetts exercised authority by informal agreement, officers from other colonies were not obligated to obey his orders. The American volunteers were led, equipped, armed, paid for, and supported by the colonies from which they were raised.

In the spring of 1775, this "army" was about to confront British troops near Boston, Massachusetts. The revolutionaries had to re-organize their forces quickly if they were to stand a chance against Britain's seasoned professionals. Recognizing the need to enlist the support of all of the American seaboard colonies, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress appealed to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to assume authority for the New England army. Reportedly, at John Adams' request, Congress voted to "adopt" the Boston troops on June 14, although there is no written record of this decision. Also on this day, Congress resolved to form a committee "to bring in a draft of rules and regulations for the government of the Army," and voted $2,000,000 to support the forces around Boston, and those at New York City. Moreover, Congress authorized the formation of ten companies of expert riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, which were directed to march to Boston to support the New England militia.

George Washington received his appointment as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army the next day, and formally took command at Boston on July 3, 1775. 


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Take advantage of our over 6,000 facebook fans and let us post your current openings.  Several partners are having success advertising on our facebook and receiving contact from Soldiers and their friends.  If your employer restricts internet usage or does not have a facebook page send us your current positions and we will post them on our page.

We are always looking for content for both our newsletter and facebook page.  Send content to the PaysCoordinator or your PaYS Marketing Analyst. 

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TwitterPaYS Program on Twitter

As the Army PaYS Social Media Division continues to ascend, in the hopes of bringing better awareness of the Army PaYS Program to a larger social media audience the program initiated a Twitter account. The Army PaYS Facebook Page has seen tremendous growth and outreach in the past year with over 6,000 fans. We are hoping for a similar response to our Twitter account, a consistent following. The Army PaYS Facebook page remains the premier outlet for recruiters to inform their Soldiers about how the program works, and to highlight the kind of interaction we maintain with our Partners. However, with a venue such as Twitter a new, yet similar and diverse audience, should respond well to the program! Follow us on Twitter: !


Now you can watch PaYS testimonial videos on YouTube!

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