Friends and leaders watched as Dr. Bill Cathcart, vice president and general manager of WTOC-TV, was sworn in as Georgia's fourth Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) in a ceremony at Hunter Army Airfield March 4.

He was invested by Brig. Gen. John Hort, deputy commander (rear), Third Infantry Division, but was nominated by Maj. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams, commander, Third Infantry Division, who is currently serving as commander of the Regional Command South in Afghanistan.

"It was an honor to be nominated by Maj. Gen. Abrams ," said Cathcart. "I look forward to working with the command on the troop side and the garrison side at Fort Stewart and Hunter."

Cathcart said he sees himself as a liaison between the local military and the office of the Secretary of the Army in Washington DC.

"Some subjects are difficult to push uphill," he said. I'll do all I can to get the recognition needed to serve folks here."

Hort said representation on the military's needs is critical and we need someone with character and integrity in the position with a sincere interest in military affairs who will speak civilians, soldiers and their families. Cathcart will be in a position to do that, and also to remind the Secretary of the Army of the support for Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield from the Coastal Empire.

CASAs are civilians business and community leaders who are accustomed to speaking out on issues and influencing their peers. They are selected for the position by a review panel and the Secretary of the Army that reviews their biography, their letter of intent and their letters of recommendation.

They advise and support Army leaders across the country by disseminating information about the Army's objectives, roles, requirements and major programs through public speeches, personal contact and participation in Army and community events.

"When you look at Dr. Cathcart's resume, you can see that he's demonstrated his knowledge of the military and his compassion through his service to all branches, not just the Army," said Hort. "He's been an 'honorary' everything-- he's given his all. He's an incredible man who loves his community and his country."

CASAs serve a two-year term but their service can be extended to 10 years, and possibly for six additional years as a senior CASA.

The Army formally recognized the program In 1922. Interaction with the Army was broad; with specific duties left to each aide's own discretion. Then, as now, aides served without pay or compensation. Since the program's reorganization in the early 1950s, more than 500 persons have served as civilian aides. Cathcart is the 97th CASA serving in the office at this time.

Page last updated Fri March 22nd, 2013 at 00:00