PaYS Soldier Hired at Hyatt Hotel & Resorts
By Shae Warzocha
Army PaYS Program
After graduating from college with a degree in Sociology, Van Casis hit the job market. The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol appealed to his adventurous side and he started the rather long process of training and processing. Unfortunately for Van, the restructuring of the agency delayed his start date. Van found himself back home in Chicago with family, once again looking for work. Not far from his parent's house, the Army Career Center caught his attention. Having enjoyed the firearm training with the Border Patrol, Van decided to check out the Army.
Van scored very high on the Army's entrance test and with his college degree, had his pick of career choices with the Army. So when he chose to enlist as a 92G Army Food Service Specialist, many of his friends questioned his choice. "I originally wanted to go in as an Officer but the process is lengthy and I learned I could always apply once I was in" Van explained.
As part of his enlistment package, Van remembers viewing several employers with the PaYS Program enlistment option. “I chose Hyatt because I planned on living in St Louis, MO after my Army enlistment and I had stayed at the Hyatt there and really thought it was a great hotel” Van said.
Photo left - Mr. Van Casis, former PaYS Soldier
Photo right - Mr. Van Casis, Lead Cook, and Mr. Michael Barber, Executive Chef, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
During his Army career, Van excelled in food service and in a short amount of time was recognized for his cooking skills and dedication. "I was selected by my brigade to cook for visiting high ranking officials and eventually chosen to compete in the Army's Culinary Art's competition". Van went on to compete twice winning a total of six medals, while stationed at Fort Lewis-McCord in Washington.
If you ask Van what was his greatest accomplishment during his Army career, surprisingly it's not his success in culinary competitions. "Getting through my deployment in Afghanistan is what I'm most proud of" he modestly explained. "I cooked for visiting, very high level, Army and government officials". Van was recognized not just for his cooking abilities, but for his initiative, and ability to run a team and ultimately the entire kitchen operation.
His decision to exit the Army after his first tour, prompted the memory of the PaYS program and his guaranteed interview with Hyatt. He remembered the paperwork he signed during the enlistment process had a contact number for the Hyatt human resource manager. The human resource manager instantly recognized Van's name from the PaYS Soldier report and scheduled an interview. This lead to a personal interview that Van confidently said "I knew if I could get in front of them they would hire me". And with a resume that clearly stood out that's just what happened. Van was hired on the spot and started working in October of 2013 as the Lead Cook for the St Louis Hyatt.
"I found the PaYS program to be very beneficial. I feel that I would not have gotten an opportunity with Hyatt if not for their partnership with the Army. Who knew that back in 2009 when I signed up for the PaYS program and picked Hyatt that all I needed was that first interview? It literally got my foot in the door" stated Van.
Van is the Lead Cook and works under Executive Chef - Michael Barber. "Hyatt Regency St. Louis was in need of experienced, quality employee with a strong work ethic. Having spent time in the military as a food service specialist, we knew Van had received quality training and experience, along with the discipline to support a very busy culinary operation. Since joining the Hyatt Culinary team, Van has proven to be reliable and dedicated employee who takes pride in everything he prepares. Van's thirst for knowledge and desire to improve his culinary skills has made him a valuable asset to our team" Chef Barber said.
Continuing to learn new techniques, cooking styles and more complicated cuisines has kept Van's love for cooking alive. "I am constantly challenged with cooking with new and higher end foods as well as for banquets of 800 to 1000" Van shared. "I see myself staying with Hyatt because there is so much room for advancement. Hyatt has resorts all over the world and travel is defiantly in my future so everything aligns well for a long career with Hyatt".
When not cooking, Van's love of sports finds him playing both ice hockey and golf. He recently competed in and won a BBQ competition. He was presented with a smoker grill he is looking forward to using. Van doesn't rule out owing a restaurant someday and has always wanted to own a fleet of food trucks. Although initially, his family and friends questioned his cooking career decision, today anyone who has had the pleasure of eating his culinary creations would agree it was simply his fate.
Rivera Group Partners with the U.S. Army PaYS Program
By Shae Warzocha
Army PaYS Program
Photo left - Nashville Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Ryan McCabe and Dr. Joey Rivera, CEO/President, Rivera Group
A ceremony commemorating the partnership between the U.S. Army and The Rivera Group was held at the Fort Knox Saber and Quill Club on 5 May. Rivera Group provides software development, systems & network engineering, and hardware and software sales. The company is comprised of 100 employees working in 10 states. "Our company is filled with veterans, because veterans don't know the answer to any question could be no" Dr. Rivera, CEO/President, Rivera Group, said. "You can't teach an employee work ethic" he continued "the secret to our success is we believe in jumping in the foxhole with our clients, the veterans we hire have already been in the foxhole and we couldn't be more proud to join the PaYS Program."
The Nashville Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. McCabe, thanked Dr. Rivera for joining the PaYS Program. He explained how PaYS partners help his team of 266 Army recruiters prove the Army is the best place to start their career. “Not all 17 and 18 year olds are forward thinkers, but their parents are, and PaYS is an effective tool to win the best and brightest” Lt. Col McCabe told the audience. Joining the ceremony was the Post and Cadet Command CSM Roger Howard, Recruiting Command Deputy Director, ACoS G7/9 Mr. Tim Blair, local Fort Knox Rivera Group employees, and members of the PaYS team.
Photo right - Left to right - Lt. Col. Ryan McCabe, Nashville Recruiting Battalion Commander; Dr. Joey Rivera, CEO/President Rivera Group; Ft. Knox and Cadet Command Sergeant Major, CSM Roger Howard; Mr. Robert Thomas, PaYS marketing analyst.
Great Lakes Recruiting Battalion's Reserve Partnership Zone Conference Features PaYS Partner
By Shae Warzocha
Army PaYS Program
The Great Lakes Recruiting Battalion, Lansing, MI held their quarterly Reserve Partnership Zone Conference in April. The Battalion Commander, LTC John Blankenhorn invited PaYS Partner Arrow Strategies to speak to the council members. Mr. Jeff Smith, SR Talent Acquisition Specialist, and Valeria Arrowsmith-Timlin, SR Human Resource Specialist, both attended.
Photo above - Left to Right - Ms. Valeria Arrowsmith-Timlin, Human Resource Specialist, Arrow Strategies; LTC Blankenhorn, Battalion Commander, Great Lakes Recruiting Battalion; Mr. Jeff Smith, SR Talent Acquisition Specialist, Arrow Strategies; Mr. Robert Thomas, PaYS Midwest Marketing Analyst
Mr. Smith provided a brief overview of Arrow Strategies explaining how similar their company is to Army recruiting in the pursuit of quality candidates. Arrow Strategies is a leader in talent acquisition recruiting for a wide variety of corporate clients. The company has been recognized as one of the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work for “Best of the Best” award a total of three times; Detroit Free Press “Top Workplace” winner; Crain’s “Coolest Places to Work”. Mr. Smith served in the U.S. Marine Corps and shared how this understanding of veterans and the attributes they bring to the work force, keeps them in demand. Mrs. Arrowsmith-Timlin discussed how a close working relationship with the reserve units in the Detroit area has helped them in their pursuit to place reserve Soldiers with their clients. She urged everyone to continue to develop a relationship with industry and was looking forward to working with the Great Lakes Battalion in the future.
PaYS Midwest Marketing Analyst, Robert Thomas provided the council with a PaYS Program overview. He reinforced the unlimited possibilities of partners joining Reserve unit activities and working with Army recruiters for high school and college recruiting events.
PaYS Marketing Team Attends Regional Job and Career Fair
By Shae Warzocha
Army PaYS Program
Elizabethtown, KY - April 21, 2014
The Hardin County Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Career Center hosted a Regional Job and Career Fair at the Pritchard Community Center in Elizabethtown, KY April 21, 2014. Several PaYS Marketing Team members attended the job fair and were welcomed by the Director of the Kentucky Career Center.
"Job fairs are great for keeping in contact with our PaYS Partners. Many of the individuals staffing our partner's booths are not the primary PaYS point of contact and may not be familiar with the program" Robert Thomas, PaYS Midwest Marketing Analyst said. Attending jobs fairs provides the PaYS Marketing team a great opportunity to spend time with attending PaYS partners to publicize the program down to the ground level. "Meeting the partners, especially at Veteran focused job fairs, is a great opportunity to discuss the value, attributes, and importance of hiring veterans" Robert explained.
The Marketing team, accompanied by local Army Recruiting personnel, met participating partners adding another layer of value to the job fairs. "When we assist in introducing Army recruiters to PaYS partners we are making an important connection" said Maria Hernandez, the PaYS Marketing Coordinator. "Hopefully they will continue the relationship and find other events to jointly participate," Maria continued.
Mr. Robert Thomas, PaYS Midwest Marketing Analyst met with the PaYS POC Mr. Kenny Reese from URS. Kenny is a retired Army recruiter and knew firsthand how the quality of Army mechanics could enhance the URS mechanics team. URS hired Mr. Charles Richards to work on Army vehicles for their contract with the US Army, requiring no training, since they are the same vehicle he works on during his Army Reserve Drill weekends.
Below - Mr. Charles Richards works on a vehicle for URS.
PaYS Partner Bluegrass Cellular representatives Ms. Kelly Bolton, Ms. Alyssa Morales, and Ms. Kenna Tribble met with Mr. Robert Thomas, PaYS Midwest Marketing Analyst. Bluegrass Cellular frequently works with the local Army recruiting personnel attending joint recruiting events. They have coordinated with local Reserve units to meet cable installers.
Robert met with the Walgreens representative, Mr. Richard Newman, and presented him with a "Proud PaYS Partner" tabletop display. "The tabletop display lets veterans know that they are a veteran friendly employer" Robert explained, "It can also serve as a reminder to any veteran with the PaYS enlistment option."
Robert also met with Ms. Sarah Reynolds from State Farm. State Farm has been a PaYS partner since 2000 and hired one of the first Soldiers, Daniel Hillbish, as a claims adjuster. "We need Agents who are used to being independent and self starters, and Soldiers already have these attributes" Sarah explained.
Above - State Farm PaYS Soldier Mr. Daniel Hillbish at the State Farm Headquarters
Union Pacific Railroad Leadership Seminar Prepares Cadets for Careers
By Ted Groholske
PaYS Southwest Marketing Analyst
The Leadership Seminar held in San Antonio Texas, this April was a great success according to Ken Kuwamura, SR. Recruitment Manager at Union Pacific Railroad. “The Cadets were very qualified and we offered positions to five out of the six cadets that attended the event” Ken said. The sixth Cadet would have been offered a position in the Operations Management Training Program (OMT) however he was unable to accept the position because of travel issues. “This year’s applicant pool was impressive and a great fit for Union Pacific Railroad” Ken added.
This was the third year in a row that Union Pacific organized a leadership seminar. “This time we added a phone interview before inviting applicants to the event. I really feel that helped us do a better job in identifying a better fit applicant for Union Pacific Railroad. Also we added the spouses to the event this time and it helped the applicant feel a little more comfortable when making the decision in taking on the challenges of this opportunity. It also gave the spouses the opportunity to ask questions about benefits, life style and expectations” said Ken.
Invitations were extended to Cadets in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Ken’s team also invited applicants they met during the year at other recruiting events. Two Cadets stood out at Texas Tech career fair and were invited, Cadets Daniel Arron and Cameron Valenta. Daniel is a senior in the Civil Engineering department and Cameron is a senior majoring in Political Science. “I learned about this event by talking with Ken at a college career fair and when I spoke with my ROTC advisor, LTC Allison, he told me about the PaYS program” Daniel said.
The Leadership Seminar prepares applicants for a career with Union Pacific. Senior managers, OMT supervisors, and human resource managers spend the two days explaining what they are looking for in candidates and what they expect from their employees. “What I have learned so far is that UP is very serious about Safety, Service and Leadership. If we concentrate on those three things we will do well in the interview” Cameron shared. I have interviewed with other companies and neither one worked out so I have been looking forward to this event. I feel better prepared for answering questions about how I would fit into their company” he explained.
Daniel shared “I’m not intimidated by the interview process because they really give you information about what they are looking for, although our leadership in ROTC may be different from corporate America, they have showed us how good leadership is good management and the techniques are similar".
Rodney Mace is the Manager of Technical Training, Human Resources for Union Pacific Railroad and was excited to have time to informally get to know the candidates. “My favorite part of this event is being able to spend time talking to the Cadets and getting to know them better. While on breaks we are able to mingle and answer questions in a less formal setting. We are able to learn more about the whole person “Rodney said.
Both Ken and Rodney have advice for next year’s Cadets. Ken’s advice includes “Take advantage of this opportunity. This program will set you apart from the rest of the applicants”. Rodney advised “If I could give advice to the next years Cadets it would be to learn as much as you can about the company. Certainly talking with a current employee, specifically anyone who has gone through the OMT program would be beneficial”.
Transition Soldier Life Cycle Meeting
By Shae Warzocha
Army PaYS Program
Mr. Walter Herd, Director of the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) presents the final Transition Soldier Life Cycle concept to the commanding general of the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mustion and The Adjutant General of the U.S. Army, Brig. Gen. David K. MacEwen on 24 April, 2014.
The General George Patton Museum of Leadership in Fort Knox, Kentucky, served as the location for the Soldier Life Cycle meeting. The three day seminar hosted by Mr. Walter Herd, Director of ACAP, included representatives from all Army organizations affecting Soldier transition services.
Brig. Gen. David K. MacEwen opened the session, telling the participants that the Army transition mission is to "prepare and connect". The Military Life Cycle Transition Assistance Program (MLC TAP) was created to retain quality Soldiers, develop career readiness skills while introducing the Soldier to the many benefits the Army offers and to prepare leaders to mentor Soldiers to Achieve a successful transition from active duty and or into the Army Reserves.
The Army's plan to downsize makes the transition phase of a Soldiers career more important than ever before. The Army plans to allow normal attrition to contribute to the downsizing. On average 67% of Active duty Soldiers will separate after completion of their first term; 50% of mid-career Soldiers will separate; 25% of careerist will separate prior to retirement. The goal is to start the military career planning at the Soldiers' initial entry into the Army and have it continue throughout their career, adjusting for military longevity or exit to civilian or reserve status.
Results from the meeting will be used to create the first Army Transition Regulation and develop a Military Life Cycle for Soldiers. The Partnership for Youth Success Program is at the very beginning of a Soldier's career and will be included in a Soldier's yearly commander's review and integrated into the ACAP out processing. Soldiers and commanders will be able to access the Soldier's pre-designated partner and job qualifications. This will allow commanders to proactively guide Soldiers to acquire any certifications and licensing required prior to separation.
# 509 NuCO2 Management, LLC - Miami Battalion - NuCO2 is the primary beverage gas supplier to the top 100 national restaurant chains. They are the only national provider of ISBT Certified beverage grade carbon dioxide and draught beer grade nitrogen. There are over 150 service locations across the US with 155,000 customers and over 30 million consumers daily.
Ready and Resilient Second Video Released
Photo left - SMA Raymond F. Chandler III, Sergeant Major of the Army
By Shae Warzocha
Army PaYS Program
Sergeant Major of the Army, Raymond F. Chandler III, is featured alongside Medal of Honor recipient, SSG Ty Carter, in the Army’s latest video release in the series Ready and Resilient. “Leaders have a key role to play in building a ready and resilient force” SMA Chandler opens with and continues to share the role he expects Army leadership to uphold.
SSG Ty Carter, a Medal of Honor recipient shares his story of how his leadership ensured his combat experience in the past did not define his future. The Army's Ready and Resilient efforts seek to change Army culture by directly linking personal resilience to individual, unit and Total Army readiness. The purpose of this video is to continue the 'drum beat' for Army leaders to become more active in identifying Soldiers with possible issues, get them help and remaining a part of the health solutions process. "When people care about you they go out of the way to make sure you're ok" SSG Carter said. And thanks to his leadership SSG Carter is sharing his success story as part of the Army's Ready and Resilient campaign.
Photo right - SSG Ty Carter, Medal of Honor Recipient
The Army Resiliency Directorate released its second of several videos featuring Medal of Honor recipient SSG Ty Carter. This video, titled "Engaged Leaders Make A Difference" (http://bit.ly/1fSNaJu) continues the 'drum beat' for encouraging Army leaders to become more vigilant in knowing their Soldiers -- being able to immediately identify when Soldiers are struggling, getting them help and remaining a part of the health solutions process.
This video is also available for download via DVIDS: http://www.dvidshub.net/video/330685/engaged-leaders-make-difference-psa#.U2FkOYX4LJV.
For additional information, please visit the Army's Ready and Resilient website at http://www.army.mil/readyandresilient or call (703)571-7255/7245.
Specialist Ty M. Carter distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Scout with Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on October 3, 2009. On that morning, Specialist Carter and his comrades awakened to an attack of an estimated 300 enemy fighters occupying the high ground on all four sides of Combat Outpost Keating, employing concentrated fire from recoilless rifles, rocket propelled grenades, anti-aircraft machine guns, mortars and small arms fire. Specialist Carter reinforced a forward battle position, ran twice through a 100 meter gauntlet of enemy fire to resupply ammunition and voluntarily remained there to defend the isolated position. Armed with only an M4 carbine rifle, Specialist Carter placed accurate, deadly fire on the enemy, beating back the assault force and preventing the position from being overrun, over the course of several hours. With complete disregard for his own safety and in spite of his own wounds, he ran through a hail of enemy rocket propelled grenade and machine gun fire to rescue a critically wounded comrade who had been pinned down in an exposed position. Specialist Carter rendered life extending first aid and carried the Soldier to cover. On his own initiative, Specialist Carter again maneuvered through enemy fire to check on a fallen Soldier and recovered the squad's radio, which allowed them to coordinate their evacuation with fellow Soldiers. With teammates providing covering fire, Specialist Carter assisted in moving the wounded Soldier 100 meters through withering enemy fire to the aid station and before returning to the fight. Specialist Carter's heroic actions and tactical skill were critical to the defense of Combat Outpost Keating, preventing the enemy from capturing the position and saving the lives of his fellow Soldiers. Specialist Ty M. Carter's extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and the United States Army.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, SSG Carter's military awards include the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal (with 4 oak leaf clusters), the Army Achievement Medal (with 2 oak leaf clusters), the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Navy/Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with two campaign stars), the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (with numeral 2 device), the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, and the Air Assault Badge. He is also authorized to wear the Valorous Unit Award and the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
SSG Carter is currently stationed as a staff noncommissioned officer with the 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He lives in Washington State with his wife and children.
ACAP Job Fairs
Click here -
- for current job fairs.
NHRA zMAX Dragway, Charlotte, NC
Schumacher advances to second round; Brown earns first Four-wide title
Photo left - Antron Brown, far right, holds up his "Wally" Trophy for the crowd at the zMAX Dragway
Charlotte, NC (April 14, 2014) -- U.S. Army Top Fuel drivers Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher and Antron Brown came to Charlotte for the Fifth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway., with the goal of claiming their first Four-Wide title. Both teams displayed a level of engineering and teamwork reflective of the Army's leading-edge technology in the most unique event on the 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. Brown came out the winner, while Schumacher was narrowly defeated in the second round.
Schumacher, driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR), opened eliminations by winning his first round foursome over Khalid alBalooshi, Sidnei Frigo and Richie Crampton with a pass of 3.815 seconds at 3.2412 mph. In the second quad, the seven-time Top Fuel champion was edged by J.R. Todd and Doug Kalitta. Schumacher and Kalitta ran identical times (3.847 seconds), but Kalitta bested "The Sarge" on the starting line with his light of 0.069 seconds compared to 0.091 seconds.
"I just let myself down on that run," said Schumacher. "And, I hate to do that. The resolve that this U.S. Army team displays is the strength of our team, just like that of the Army Strong Soldiers. They never give up. I had a good light in the first round (0.063 seconds) and was absolutely planning on the same thing in the second round. I just left a little late. It would have taken an amazing reaction time to win regardless. If you can't rise to the occasion. that’s what we are here for. It's not easy. It's more difficult to leave in those center lanes. I'm not making excuses at all. I caught myself looking up instead of looking at the right bulbs. Two cars made it down the track quicker than us and earned a win and gave themselves a chance to win the Four-Wide. We didn't. We're going to stay here and test tomorrow. We're getting a lot better. The U.S. Army car is getting a lot faster, and we're going to win a lot of races this year."
The key to Brown's run to his first Four-Wide victory, and 43rd overall NHRA event title, was his reaction time. The 2012 Top Fuel champion left the line in 0.042 seconds in the final foursome aboard the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Dragster for DSR. The time enabled Brown to earn the win light with his pass of 3.800 seconds at 317.42 mph despite the fact that Shawn Langdon also turned in a pass of 3.800 and J.R. Todd clocked a run of 3.799 seconds. Brown was consistent all weekend making three solid runs in qualifying and then exceptional lights in both the first round (0.051 seconds) and the final sealed the victory run.
"Just an incredible day," said Brown. "It feels good to get another win; it's tough enough just to win a round in this Four-Wide deal, but we did it today. As drivers, the only thing we can do is screw it up on the starting line. You just have to be on point and give it all you have. When you're racing people like J.R. Todd, a great driver, and Langdon, a tremendous leaver, you've got your work cut out for you. I just went up there and was poised. On race day, you have to be on time. It feels really good to get the job done, especially when the Matco Tools/U.S. Army boys work so hard. To go out in the final round and do what we did is purely awesome. This feels really good."