DA Civilian is First Woman Inducted Into Civil Affairs Hall of Fame
October 9, 2012
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Connie R. Almueti recently became the first woman to be inducted into the Civil Affairs Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Special Warfare Command and School here.
Almueti has spent nearly 44 years as a Department of the Army civilian, 24 of them with the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne). In that time, she has helped every commanding general of USACAPOC(A), from Brig. Gen. Joseph Hurteau in 1988 to the current commanding general, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey A. Jacobs, accomplish their missions.
Retired Brig. Gen. Dennis Wilkie, secretary-treasurer of the Civil Affairs Association, said he nominated Almueti because he felt she has had a significant positive impact on USACAPOC(A).
"In every command, you want a stabilizing effect somewhere, somebody who is there, who you can contact," he said. "Connie is that person. She is a continuity of knowledge, a repository of institutional knowledge. It's important to have that person who you can contact and get things done."
Almueti has served many other leaders throughout the command as well, providing knowledge and mentorship.
Wilkie knows firsthand the kind of impact Connie has had on CAPOC's soldiers, having served as commander of the 350th Civil Affairs Command and the 354th Civil Affairs Brigade.
"Connie is a great point of contact. You can't always get a commander or a staff member, but when you need to contact CAPOC, I could contact Connie," Wilkie said. "She has many friends throughout the Civil Affairs community, and I had encouragement from others to ensure she got nominated."
Brig. Gen. William G. Beard, former USACAPOC(A) deputy commanding general, has known Connie for more than 20 years, and also feels she deserves this recognition.
"She is the 'go to' person in all of CAPOC," he said. "If I need information or advice, I go to her.
"As many good friends and leaders as we have in CAPOC, she is, I believe, the foundation and the cornerstone of our success," said Beard, who is now serving as the deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Pacific Command, in charge of reserve mobilization and readiness.
Almueti hasn't always been a civil servant.
"I used to work for my uncle in real estate," she said. "I only did it part-time, but I decided I wanted to work with the government, so here I am still serving."
Almueti began her civil service career in 1967 as a clerk stenographer with XVIII Airborne Corps. She climbed the civilian ladder in the corps, eventually becoming the secretary to the assistant chief of staff.
In 1988, she joined USACAPOC(A) as its first Department of the Army civilian.
"I was here since the very beginning, initially working for the USASOC chief of staff," she said. "When CAPOC started, we had maybe 10 to 15 people, and we all worked in a little one-story building."
CAPOC has grown since 1988, and now counts more than 12,000 Soldiers, 285 military technicians and 43 Department of the Army civilians across 39 states. Jacobs, the current USACAPOC(A) commanding general, said Almueti has been a resource for all of them.
"She helps not only me, but my entire staff and my subordinate commands with her wealth of knowledge about how the command runs," Jacobs said.
Many of the leaders in USACAPOC(A) will be happy to hear that Almueti will continue to be a part of the organization.
"It's been working out well here," she said. "I am eligible to retire, but I just haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up."
Almueti said she has no plans to retire anytime soon. Being inducted into the Civil Affairs Hall of Fame speaks volumes about how much current and former soldiers of USACAPOC(A) appreciate her efforts.
"Her contributions to USACAPOC(A) during her 24 years of service to every one of its commanding generals has been invaluable," Jacobs said.
"I can't think of a more fitting tribute for Connie than to count her as one of our own - an honorary member of the Civil Affairs Regiment," he added.