Army PaYS is now available to ARNG Recruits Nationwide
Story by: Antonio Johnson
Effective September 8, 2020, young men and women who join the Army National Guard (ARNG) in all 50 states and four territories 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.
Training all the MEPS Guidance Counselors would be the next task to complete and the PaYS Team, along with assistance from Mr. Matthew Saracco, Program Manager, ARNG MEPS, we're up for the challenge. The training took place on September 3, 2020 utilizing the Defense Collaboration Services (DCS) as the information platform. Guidance counselors from all 65 MEPS were split into two training sessions facilitated by the PaYS Senior Marketer, Antonio Johnson. Questions that were presented by the counselors in the chat room were answered by PaYS Team members during the live training. Guidance counselors from the pilot states shared their experiences in using Army PaYS and offered best practices to the field. By the end of the day, all of the MEPS Guidance Counselors were well-versed on Army PaYS and ready to offer the incentive to new recruits.
Mr. Saracco stated, "We are excited to have this benefit now offered to all ARNG applicants that qualify on their day of enlistment."
Recruiting and Retention Battalion leadership were the next groups to receive PaYS training. Using the virtual platform, Microsoft Teams, the Army PaYS Team provided training to all 54 battalions on September 10, 2020. The training was divided into three groups and facilitated by PaYS Team Members Antonio Johnson, Davin Bentley and Crancena Ross. CPT Alanna Sparrow, Operations Officer in Charge, National Guard Bureau was responsible for coordinating the attendance of the leaders and even the teams from Alaska and Guam were present. Senior Leaders asked questions pertinent to their areas of responsibility and the PaYS Team addressed all concerns accordingly. It was a great day of training and the PaYS Team took advantage of the opportunity to start connecting with their local ARNG leaders for future training.
Left - The PaYS Teams conducts training with ARNG Leadership on Microsoft Teams. Pictured L to R: JR Rivers, Antonio Johnson, Davin Bentley, Audra Jones, Samuel Armstrong and Crancena Ross.
Below - CPT Alanna Sparrow
"As an ROTC Cadet going into the National Guard, I knew the PaYS program existed but I didn't think it was not an option for me since I wasn't going Active Duty. Years later, I am excited to close that gap and assist new ARNG Soldiers in the steps towards finding full-time employment while serving our country. This is a great program as has been received very well during the pilot phase for enlisted recruits as well. I look forward to seeing the 54 states, territories, and the District of Columbia take advantage of the opportunities." - CPT Alanna Sparrow
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. The PaYS Team still has a lot of work to do in fully implementing PaYS Option 50 into ANRG Recruiting; however, they are off to a solid start. You can expect to hear much more in the coming months about this great collaboration.
"It is great to have the Guard participating in the PaYS program, it will benefit the Guard and it will benefit the Army". - Troy Nattress, Chief, Operations Division, TRADOC G3/5/7, Accessions Directorate
USAREC launches autonomous recruiting pilot
USAREC Public Affairs
The COVID-19 pandemic caused an expedited shift to virtual recruiting for U.S. Army Recruiting Command, highlighting the potential for success with mobile operations.
To ensure recruiting noncommissioned officers have the tools they need to operate efficiently and remotely, the command is beginning an Autonomous Recruiting Operations pilot Oct. 1.
One station from each of USAREC's six recruiting brigades will identify two recruiting NCOs to take part in the yearlong pilot to evaluate and continuously improve tools that will enable greater mobility for recruiting NCOs.
Each brigade will identify which station will take part in the pilot. Leadership will assess the progress every 90 days and expand the number of recruiting NCOs and stations, as appropriate, throughout the year. Recruiting NCOs will be assigned recruiting areas and mission parameters, and they will receive a recruiting toolkit to get started.
"The toolkit provides recruiting NCOs with everything they need to virtually process applicants," said Brig. Gen. Patrick Michaelis, USAREC deputy commanding general. "That includes the technical equipment and a government-operated vehicle to allow them to do their jobs in the way that works best for them away from traditional stations. Commanders have the latitude to deploy a range of leadership approaches to support the ARO mission."
ARO is designed to advance USAREC from the current recruiting methods into the future of recruiting NCOs working autonomously and capable of working away from their assigned recruiting station. The pilot is designed to demonstrate that recruiting NCOs can operate and process in both the physical and virtual planes.
The foundation of ARO relies on identifying the right recruiting NCOs who will work well autonomously. Recruiting NCOs must be self-motivated and demonstrate mastery in both the art and science of recruiting. Autonomous recruiting NCOs will determine which tools and techniques (physical or virtual, mobile or static) best suit themselves to most efficiently accomplish the mission in the assigned area and market.
"Our goal for ARO is for more of the recruiting force to operate autonomously and for a demonstrable increase in write rates, enlistments and market penetration," Michaelis said. "We know at some point we'll have to operate with a reduced number of recruiting NCOs, and ARO will enable USAREC to recruit the needed quality force with smaller numbers."
Once ARO is well-established, the command team believes USAREC will be able to sustain returning some billets to operational units to better handle the needs of today's Army and adjust its recruiting facilities to better accommodate smaller command numbers.
A MESSAGE FROM
THE PROGRAM MANAGER...
Dear PaYS Partners,
We are excited about offering Army PaYS to recruits joining the Army National Guard in all 54 states and territories. These Soldiers will be eligible to interview with your organizations approximately six months after the start of their Initial Entry Training. This initiative adds immediate value to the Army PaYS Program as well as your candidate hiring pools. We look forward to all the good news stories that emerge from this partnership.
Upcoming signing ceremonies/events: Contact your PaYS Regional Marketing Analysts for more information.
Regional Army PaYS Marketing Analysts:
Antonio Johnson (Senior Marketer)
Audra Jones (Northeast Region)
Samuel Armstrong (Southeast Region)
Davin Bentley (Midwest Region)
Donna Morales (Midwest Region)
Crancena Ross (Southwest Region)
Anthony Velasco (Southwest Region)
Corin Gillens (West Coast Region)
Remember to annotate your PaYS Soldiers hires and interviews into the PIX database, visit and like our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/armypays/, follow us on Instagram @armypaysprogram and all our social media platforms to share in all of our events. Send us your good news stories, job vacancies, etc., and we will highlight, at no cost, on all our social media sites. To participate in any Army recruiting event, don't forget to reach out to your regional PaYS marketing analyst.
For more information on PaYS program, visit our website at https://www.armypays.com.
It PaYS to partner with the US Army!
Troy L. Nattress
PaYS Program Manager
INSIDE ARMY PaYS...
Hispanic Heritage Month
Story by Alisha Reneau
September 15 - October 15 is National Hispanic American Heritage Month; American observe the month by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and celebrates the contributions Americans tracing their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South American and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean have made to American society and culture. The observance was born in 1968 when Congress authorized the president to issue an annual proclamation designating National Hispanic Heritage Week. Just two decades later, lawmakers expanded it to a month-long celebration.
PaYS Interviews CASA Mario Diaz
Interview by Crancena Ross
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the PaYS team takes the opportunity to recognize Mr. Mario E. Diaz, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA), representing the great state of Arizona. Regional PaYS Marketer, Crancena Ross had the privilege to interview CASA Mario Diaz.
Where were you born?
I was born in Los Angeles, California to a father from Costa Rica and a mother from Mexico. I was raised in Baldwin Park, California.
What was your experience growing up and in what ways has this impacted your view of culture?
Culture is very important to me. Growing up in a predominately Latino community made me realize how fortunate I was to have a strong cultural understanding growing up. This foundation has made me a stronger advocate for all communities that have been marginalized because of their color of skin or economic status in life.
Tell me about some traditions, celebrations or rituals your family participates in that others would see differently.
I was raised Catholic. The traditional religious events are memorable to me as this was a time to reflect upon family and community values. I also appreciate celebrating with friends their own traditions as our community in not just our neighbors across the street, but our "neighbors" across the world. Living in a global community is important to understand other cultures and traditions.
Why did you want to become a CASA?
I did not know that a CASA program existed until I was nominated. After reading and appreciating the program and how a CASA can be an advocate for soldiers and their families, I was honored to have been nominated and appointed.
What is it about being a CASA, you enjoy the most?
The most enjoyable aspect of being a CASA is my ability to solve problems or challenges for the U.S. Army. In particular, recruitment has its community barriers; especially in states where there are no Army bases or little understanding of the U.S. Army's structure. Thus, I work closely with the Recruiting team in Arizona to help open doors for the team.
How does your previous job experience tie in with being a CASA?
I have worked as a government staff member for a variety of elected officials including U.S. Attorney, Arizona Attorney General, Governor and a U.S. Presidential candidate. In all, I have valued the basic premise of working for government and that is that government workers are public servants. As a public servant I enjoy assisting people access government. My role as a CASA ties in nicely with this professional ethos of mine. To help people.
As a CASA, do you find it easier to open doors within the community?
Being a CASA requires much educating of individuals to appreciate the work we do for the Army. From the outset of my appointment, I communicated with nearly every elected official in the state the importance of my role. Not my personal importance, but the importance of representing the Secretary of the Army to help make life for soldiers and their families a fantastic opportunity while they serve our nation. Mayors, councilmembers, legislators now know to reach out to me or my tree other Arizona CASAs if they have constituents that may need assistance with the Army.
What about being a CASA do you find to be the most Challenging aspect of the job?
The most challenging aspect of the job is making Arizonans aware that CASAs are a resource for them. This is why a CASA has to be constantly in touch with community leaders to make them aware that CASAs have influence to make people's lives easier to maneuver within the Army system.
Do you have any regrets becoming a CASA?
It has been, will be and continues to be the highest honor bestowed on me to serve my nation, my state and my community as a CASA for Arizona North.
PaYS Highlights Hispanic-Owned PaYS Partner
RMI International, Inc.
Story by Corin Gillens
In honor of Hispanic Heritage month, PaYS would like to highlight one of their Hispanic-owned companies, RMI International Security located in Paramount, CA. Formally called RODBAT, the company was founded in 1996 by CEO & Founder Rick Rodriguez Sr., a second generation Mexican American.
To date, Rick has served over thirty clients in almost twenty countries on executive protection details. He has made a name for himself in the private security industry through his unwavering commitment to detail, planning, and execution of comprehensive personnel and asset protection programs. Rick prides himself on being able to locate and motivate security professionals, and leads people with those assets through extensive training and development, detailed direction, and a personal commitment to accomplish his client's security objectives.
His wife, Lupe, embraces her husband's vision and
currently oversees all financial aspects of their company. Her job includes
managing and overseeing annual sales in excess of 10 million dollars.
In August 2009, The Rodriguez's were awarded the prestigious SOL Business of the Year Award from the Latin Business Association. The Rodriguez's own and operated the security firm RMI International, which offers a vast array of security services, from even staffing and parking enforcement to guarding of international dignitaries.
During the night of being awarded, Rodriguez's two sons were also honored. Sgt. First Class Rick Rodriguez Jr., (Senior drill sergeant at Fort Jackson in South Carolina) and Sgt. Daniel Rodriguez, of Los Angeles Recruitment Battalion, received the Chairman's Hometown Hero Award. Both young men have served two tours of duty in Iraq and are now back home working for the family business.
RMI International, Inc. has been a proud Army PaYS partner since 2018. The company found out about the program through Daniel Rodriguez, who is assigned to the Los Angeles Recruiting Battalion. Rick Rodriguez Jr. stated "Here is a program that will allow young recruits to choose a company or organization to have a guaranteed interview with upon exiting the Army." Since Rick was already heavily involved in the community by being a Police Chaplin, a member of the City Council and on the Los Angeles Recruiting Battalion Community Advisory Board the partnership seemed like a perfect fit.
Right - Pictured: Daniel Rodriguez, (son and former Los Angeles Army Recruiter), LTC Mark Ripley (former Los Angeles Recruiting Battalion Commander), Rick Rodriguez Sr., Founder and CEO of RMI International, Inc., Rick Rodriguez Jr., (former Army Senior Drill Sergeant and current President of RMI International, Inc.)
The History of Labor Day
Story by Alisha Reneau - Contribution from www.dol.gov
Labor day is the first Monday in September and is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
During the major economic depression of the early 1890s, the Pullman Palace Car Company cut wages in its factories. Dissatisfied workers joined the American Railway Union (ARU), led by Eugene V. Debs, which supported their strike by launching a boycott of all Pullman cars on all railroads. ARU members across the nation refused to switch Pullman cars onto trains. When these switchmen were disciplined, the entire ARU struck the railroads on June 26, 1894. Within four days, 125,000 workers on twenty-nine railroads had quit work rather than handle Pullman cars.
The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed in 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During 1887, four more states Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.
The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pays tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership - the American worker.
Army PaYS Highlights Army CASA Stan Soderstrom
Story by: Davin Bentley with contributions from Julia Bobick, Kiwanis International,
and U.S. Army Public Affairs
The Army PaYS team would like to thank Stan Soderstrom, Civilian Aide to the Chief of Staff of the Army (CASA) for the State of Indiana, for his continued outstanding support of the Army and the Army PaYS program. Recently, Mr. Soderstrom was instrumental in engaging PaYS partners throughout the State of Indiana in an effort to garner support for the Army's National Hiring Day campaign which bolstered the Army's recruiting efforts for the year.
During a virtual ceremony on 21 May 2020, the Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy appointed Mr. Soderstrom as the CASA for the State of Indiana. During the ceremony, Mr. Soderstrom stated "The ability to serve as the U.S. Army CASA for Indiana is an honor for me, and I am excited at the opportunity to serve in this role. This state's legacy of providing our nation with Soldiers in times of war and peace is an important part of our history and our ethos. Our communities must continue to support our Soldiers, whether they are active-duty, Reserve or National Guard. Our primary commitment is to advocate for Soldiers and their families, and I am looking forward to dedicating myself in that endeavor."
Prior to being appointed as a CASA, in 2011, Mr. Soderstrom drove a key partnership between Kiwanis International, the U.S. Army Cadet Command, and the United States Army Recruiting Command. The initiative effectively bolstered the Army's education engagement strategy and identified key areas that has allowed the Army to establish and sustain connectivity in the community and in schools.
Apart from his duties as a CASA. Mr. Soderstrom servers as the Executive Director of Kiwanis International, a worldwide service organization in more than 80 nations, and the Kiwanis Children's Fund. His background includes global and community-based work in the public and private sectors.
A native of Amarillo, Texas, Stan earned his undergraduate degree at Texas Tech University with graduate studies at the University of Texas. He started his career at Sun Oil Company, and moved into consulting on energy and corporate/association management projects. In 1992, Stan joined the Dallas Cowboys marketing team. He helped develop and launch a major retail enterprise, which coincided with the team's 1990s Super Bowl championship runs.
A shift to the not-for-profit world came in 1997, when Stan joined the staff of Kiwanis International. He has held several positions within the organization and is also an active club member, giving him a unique, guiding perspective.
Left - Stan D. Soderstrom, executive director for Kiwanis International, signs a partnership agreement with Maj. Gen. David L. Mann, former Commanding General of U.S. Army Recruiting Command, and Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, former Commanding General of U.S. Army Cadet Command
Stan serves as board member for the Iodine Global Network, chairman of the board of the Heartland Film Festival, community advisor for the U.S. Army recruiting command, an elder at Zionsville Presbyterian Church, and a member of the Kiwanis Club of Zionsville.
Stan and his wife, Misty, reside in Indianapolis and have two children; a daughter who is a theme park design artist/cosplay fashionista, and a son who is a U.S. Marine.
Thank you Mr. Soderstrom for being a champion for the U.S. Army and U.S. Army PaYS program!
Sources and photos credit:
U.S. Army Public Affairs:
PaYS Partner Highlight: Lifetime Fitness
Story by: Donna Morales
Founded in 1992 by CEO Bagram Afraid and headquartered in Chanhassen, Minnesota, Lifetime Fitness has come to be a lifestyle for many. There are over 150 locations in the United States and Canada. The company's vision statement indicates that fitness is viewed as a lifestyle. The new vision statement of 2020 reads, the company "remains committed to championing a healthy and happy life for its members through a portfolio of unparalleled athletic lifestyle resorts that go beyond fitness to encompass the entire spectrum of daily life for individuals, couples, and families of all ages."
Left - Life Time Founder and CEO, Bagram Afraid
Lifetime Fitness has been a partner and supporting the PaYS program since August 2008 and the health club has a huge Army presence. The General Manager from Florham Park, Greg Luttman, was a former U.S. Army Infantry Officer and shares how Life Time Fitness is a great company for Veterans to work for since Veterans have ambitions, want growth and responsibilities. "You enlisted in the Military because you are mission-driven at heart. You are a change maker. So are we. As a Life Time Team Member, you'll make a real difference in people's lives on a daily basis" is what is posted on Life Time's website on their Military Career's page." He states.
In the last two months, Life Time has launched a Military page on their website highlighting some of our awesome team members, as well as their partnership with PaYS! On the site you can find their Military Skills Translator, a way to join their Talent Community if not quite ready to apply, as well as information on benefits, etc. You can check that out here: https://careers.lifetime.life/military.
Advice for Veterans transitioning to the workforce watch here: https://vimeo.com/381531039
Hertrich Family of Automobile Dealerships Tech Mentor Program
Story by Audra Jones
Established in 1963, the Hertrich Family of Automobile Dealerships represents the most complete line of multi-franchise sales, service, parts, accessories and body work with 20 franchises, 21 dealership, 19 brands, 4 collision centers, 11 cities, 4 states, and over 1,000 employees.
The Hertrich Family of Automobile Dealerships is looking for focused individuals with a driving desire to become a certified automotive technician to apply to their Hertrich Tech Mentor program. The Hertrich Tech Mentor Program takes an individual with little to no formal automotive training and helps them become a Master Certified Technician in just two years, a process that typically takes ten years to complete. This is an aggressive 5-year program with highly successful, measured results. You are teamed up a highly skilled, Master-certified A-level A.S.E. franchise technician for a unique chance for one on one learning.
Individuals who are accepted in to the program will receive a starter set of tools at no charge, all training paid or reimbursed, paid wages and benefits while you learn starting day one of the program, the opportunity to work hands-on in the shop immediately and be mentored one-on-one by a highly-skilled master technician, and the potential to earn up to $100,000+ a year as a Master Certified Technician. This is automotive training is available in only select locations and is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We are looking for the best of the best talented applicants with technical skills that know that they are meant to turn wrenches for a living.
To apply for the Hertrich Tech Mentor Program, visit https://hertrichfamilyofdealerships.jobs.net/page/technician-jobs, email email@example.com, or call (302) 648-JOBS.
A Big Thank You to these Partners Celebrating their September PaYS Anniversaries:
State Farm Mutual Insurance 29-Sep-00
Lockheed Martin 25-Sep-01
Penn United Technology, Inc. 5-Sep-03
Tulsa Police Department 8-Sep-03
Boston Fire Department 17-Sep-04
Liquid Transport Corp. 6-Sep-05
Missouri State Highway Patrol 12-Sep-05
Hyundai Motor America 22-Sep-06
Georgia Department of Corrections 25-Sep-06
Sentinel Transportation, LLC 25-Sep-06
Navistar, Inc. formerly "International Truck & Engine Corporation" 12-Sep-09 Bluegrass Cellular, Inc. 5-Sep-07
Century 21 Real Estate, LLC 5-Sep-07
Jenkins Brick Company 5-Sep-07
Milan Express Company, Inc. 5-Sep-07
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office 14-Sep-07
Connect One Security previously "Ranger American" 14-Sep-07
Texas Department of Public Safety 25-Sep-07
Anderson Equipment Company 26-Sep-07
Sleepy's LLC 5-Sep-08
Eaton Corporation 5-Sep-08
Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections - Corrections Services 13-Sep-08
Pierce Distribution Services Company 13-Sep-08
Metro Pavia Health System 23-Sep-09
Combined Insurance of America 21-Sep-11
City of Coronado 17-Sep-12
Thompson Metal Fab, Inc. 17-Sep-12
P. I. & I. Motor Express 20-Sep-12
Monarch Beverage Company 27-Sep-12
American Income Life Ins. ALTIG 9-Sep-13
Hays County Juvenile Center 9-Sep-13
Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. 11-Sep-13
Fenner Dunlop Americas 11-Sep-13
Nestlé, USA 23-Sep-13
Ophir-Sphiricon, LLC 11-Sep-15
Global Repair Group 25-Sep-15
First Transit, Inc. 30-Sep-15
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas 14-Sep-16
Gerelco Electrical Contractors, Inc. 18-Sep-17
Isaac Heating & air Conditioning Inc. 18-Sep-17
Centura Health 18-Sep-17
Coca-Cola Bottling Works of Tullahoma, Inc. 18-Sep-17
TransCore, LP 18-Sep-17
Constellis, LLC 27-Sep-17
Quinn CAT 27-Sep-17
Reliant Roofing, Inc. 27-Sep-17
Montgomery County Sheriff's Office 27-Sep-17
Suburban Plumbing SC 27-Sep-17
Mapei Corporation 27-Sep-17
Shasta County Sheriff's Office 12-Sep-18
Alta Enterprise LLC 12-Sep-18
Ralph Smith Company 12-Sep-18
Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority 24-Sep-18
Juneau Police Department 24-Sep-18
Main Events Caterers 24-Sep-18
Hertrich Family of Dealerships, Inc. 24-Sep-18
Republic Serives Procurement, Inc. 3-Sep-19
CentiMark Corporation 11-Sep-19
Kern County Sheriff's Office 11-Sep-19
Consumer 2.0 23-Sep-19
EEC Acquisitions, LLC 27-Sep-19
Charles County Sheriff's Office 27-Sep-19
AmeriQual Group, LLC 27-Sep-19
Bell Textron Inc. 27-Sep-19
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