WASHINGTON (October 26, 2017) -- The newest Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) were invested during a ceremony conducted this week at the Pentagon.

Mr. Robert G. Carmichael Jr. and Mr. Craig A. Wilhelm were selected by the Acting Secretary of the Army, Ryan D. McCarthy. Carmichael will represent Maine and Wilhelm will represent Oregon.

"I am honored to be selected to serve as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army." Carmichael said. "I look forward to assisting the Secretary in reaching out to the public and advocating appropriately in any way I might make a difference for our Army."

"I am honored to be Oregon's next Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army." Wilhelm said. "I stand ready to support and advocate for our State's Army soldiers, veterans, and families; and share the Army's story with the Oregon public. I look forward to supporting such an important program and partnership."

CASAs are a vital part of the Army, promoting good relations between the Army and the public and advising the Secretary about regional issues.

"It is my distinct privilege to invest Robert and Craig into the CASA program. CASAs are a vital connection to communities across the country and help the Army convey the hard work being done to ensure America's Army remains the most dominant land force in the world," said McCarthy. "I have full confidence Robert and Craig will positively impact their respective states and the CASA Program."

Each state, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories have one or more CASAs appointed to provide a vital link between the Army and the communities for which they serve. CASAs are usually business or civic leaders who possess a keen interest in the welfare of the Army and their communities.

A U.S. Army veteran of nearly 14 years, Wilhelm served in various command and leadership roles as a Boeing CH-47 helicopter pilot in the U.S., Germany, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia, Hungary, Iraq, and Afghanistan. From 2000 to 2003, he served as the executive liaison and operations officer for the National Assessment Group, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technologies, and Logistics) at the Pentagon. Wilhelm left the Army at the rank of major in 2006 after completing a successful command assignment with the 12th Aviation Brigade in Iraq and Afghanistan. He moved to Oregon to begin a civilian career as vice president of business development for a metals recycling company. Wilhelm is currently the president of Abacus Federal Services which provides management consultation services, business development expertise and recovery and recycling operations of obsolete telecommunications infrastructure throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. He is also the founder and board president of the Windy25 Memorial Fund, a non-profit organization supporting families of our military's fallen heroes.

Carmichael served 27 years in distinguished service in the military in a variety of assignments including the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at Fort Campbell, Ky., and culminating his career as the assistant adjutant general, Army of the Maine National Guard. Upon retirement in June of 2006, he assumed the position as senior vice president of human resources, training, IT and facilities for Maine Savings Federal Credit Union. He is designated as a senior professional of human resources (SPHR). Carmichael served on a number of community boards and committees including the Credit Union National Human Resources/Training and Development Executive Council; chairman emeritus, Maine State Committee for Employer Support to the Guard and Reserve; corporator, Eastern Maine Healthcare; and chairman, Maine Credit Union League Human Resources Council. Currently, he is a member of the town council in Bucksport, Maine, working to revitalize the community after the loss of their major employer, the Verso Paper Mill.

CASAs serve a two-year term without compensation. Terms may be extended to a total of 10 years of service. The secretary may recognize a civilian aide as a CASA Emeritus after 10 years of service with distinguished service.