WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Army invested eight new Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army -- CASAs -- recently during a ceremony here in the Pentagon.

The Honorable (Dr.) Mark T. Esper, Secretary of the Army, presided.

CASAs are a vital part of the Army. Their duties and responsibilities include keeping the public informed about why a strong and robust Army is vital to our national security; partnering with the Soldier for Life Program to support our transitioning Soldiers and families; connecting prospective Soldiers with recruiters and commissioning sources; promoting good relations between the Army, Congress, and the public; and advising the Secretary on regional issues.

Those appointed and the states represented are:

Tammy Carnrike, Michigan (South).
Susan Shugert Green, Ohio (Central).
Michael D. Hockley, Kansas (East).
Timothy A. Jones, Alaska (North).
Eric S. Mansfield, Ohio (North).
Kevin D. Offel, Oklahoma (North).
Charles L. Rice Jr., Louisiana (South).
Don Tyre, Florida (Northeast).

"It is my distinct privilege to invest Tammy, Susan, Michael, Timothy, Eric, Kevin, Charles, and Don into the CASA program," Esper said. "CASAs connect 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. I have full confidence each 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.

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.

Extensive community relations experience -- Tammy Carnrike

"I am honored to serve as CASA for Michigan (South)," said Carnrike. "In this role, I will work to highlight the tremendous range of opportunities possible for collaboration, partnerships and exchange of knowledge between Michigan communities and the U.S. Army. This position will also allow me to continue, in a very visible way, to support the well-being of our service members and veterans and to be their advocate and voice throughout Michigan.

"I am humbled and very grateful to take on this new role, and I look forward to helping the Army tell its story to the people of Michigan."

A leader in chamber management for more than 20 years, Carnrike is chief operating officer for the Detroit Regional Chamber, a position she has held since 2006. She has served in national leadership positions including chairman of the U. S. Chamber's Institute for Organization Management Board of Trustees and chairman of the board, Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

In addition, Carnrike is a member of the advisory council, U. S. Army Life Cycle Management Command, Army Tank-automotive & Armaments Command; and a member, governance committee, "Protect and Grow: A Strategic Plan for Michigan's Defense and Homeland Security Economy." She is also a Joint Civilian Orientation Conference alumni, sponsored by the Secretary of Defense, where she spent five days visiting each branch of the U. S. military and learned about the readiness of the armed forces and our nation's defense policies.

West Point grad, businesswoman -- Susan Shugert Green

"It is a privilege and honor to have been appointed to serve as CASA for Ohio," Green said. "I embrace being a 'Soldier for Life' and thoroughly enjoy sharing the Army's proud story across generations and eras. The Army has given and continues to give me wonderful opportunities that I would not have otherwise had, and for that I will always be grateful. I look forward to new opportunities to support our soldiers and their families as well as our veterans and future service members. Go Army!"

Green served more than 24 years of active and reserve duty in the Army since commissioning from West Point in 1985. After leaving active duty, she worked in corporate business, taught ROTC as a reservist, and was an urban high school teacher before founding her own business in 2011.

She dedicates much of her time to volunteerism, especially in support of our military and veterans. Her volunteer activities include Ohio Department of Veteran Services Women's Advisory Committee, West Point Department of Admissions, American Red Cross, Community Watch, Military Homecoming Celebrations, and Ohio National Guard Family Readiness.

In 2016 Green was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame and in 2017 she was honored by selection for the Ford Oval of Honor. Most recently she was selected as the 2018 Ohio Daughters of the American Revolution Veteran Volunteer of the Year. Green is most proud to be a mother of her three sons of which two chose to serve in the Army making her a very proud Army mom.

Army veteran, college trustee -- Michael D. Hockley

"After serving the Army for almost three decades as an active duty and reserve officer and supporting the mission of the Army as a trustee of the Command & General Staff College Foundation for the past decade, it is a privilege and honor to continue serving the Army as CASA for the state of Kansas," said Hockley.

"My experience as a former soldier, military and civilian attorney, and active community volunteer give me a unique perspective in working with each community, local Army commands, and the state to assist in the growth and wellbeing of our warfighters, families, and veterans," he said. "Making a positive difference in our community for the military has been and will continue to be my priority."

Hockley is a law partner with Spencer Fane, LLP in Kansas City. His practice concentrates on litigation, environmental law, and renewable energy. He serves in leadership roles in a variety of civic, professional, and business organizations to include founding trustee and chair, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Foundation Board of Trustees; past chair, United Way of Greater Kansas City Board of Trustees; treasurer, board of regents, American College of Environmental Lawyers; and member, board of directors, Armed Forces Bank NA.

He was named Kansas City Environmental Lawyer of the Year in 2012, 2016, and 2018. Hockley graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1973 and the University of Nebraska College Of Law in 1980. He served for 28 combined years as an active duty and reserve Army officer.

Aviator, academy graduate -- Timothy A. Jones
"It's my great honor and privilege to serve the Army and the great state of Alaska in this capacity," said Jones. "Alaskans have a history of strong support for our military. I thank Secretary Esper for the opportunity and look forward to working with the Army and the citizens of our state to sustain and grow that positive relationship."

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, Jones spent 27 years as an Army aviator. He served in a variety of assignments in conventional and special operations forces to include combat commands in Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He ended his Army career at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, where he served as garrison commander. He retired as a colonel in 2011.

After retirement, he went to work with Doyon Utilities where he serves as vice president of administration. He chairs the military affairs committee of the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce; is advisory board secretary for the Golden Heart Community Foundation; and is a public member of the state legislature's joint armed services committee representing Interior Alaska.

Iraq veteran, soldier-father -- Eric S. Mansfield

"My 20 years of faithful service in the United States Army have included some of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and now I have the opportunity to continue that service for Ohio's soldiers and families," said Mansfield.

"As a retired Army officer, Iraq veteran, and a father of a current soldier, my heart has never been far away from the military," he said. "I look forward to working with community and state leaders to meet the needs of our soldiers, veterans, and families in a meaningful and tangible way."

Mansfield served more than 20 years as a professional soldier, enlisting in the Ohio Army National Guard in 1986. He served six years as an enlisted soldier before earning his commission through the Ohio Military Academy where he was selected both as class president and the school's honor graduate.

As a captain, Mansfield was commander of the 1484th Transportation Company in Akron, Ohio, on 9/11. Later, he deployed as a logistics officer to Operation Iraqi Freedom during 2003-04. After retiring in 2006 at the rank of major in the Army National Guard, he helped lead "Mitts for Military," an initiative resulting in much needed recreation equipment sent to more than 2,000 deployed troops from all five military branches.

As a career journalist, he often covered military issues as an Emmy award-winning anchor reporter with WKYC (NBC) in Cleveland, Ohio. He produced and wrote two military documentaries with Western Reserve Public Media, including a one-hour film documenting the creation and dedication of Ohio's Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Mansfield currently serves as executive director, University Media Relations at Kent State University. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Dayton and a master's degree in Public Relations from Kent State.

Fourth generation vet, Blackhawk pilot -- Kevin D. Offel

"It is an incredible honor to serve Secretary Esper and our Army as a CASA for the great state of Oklahoma," said Offel. "As a fourth generation armed forces veteran and former Army officer, I personally understand what our soldiers and their families sacrifice every day.

"My family and I look forward to working with Secretary Esper, his team, and our steadfast leaders in Oklahoma to assist in the growth, combat readiness, and well-being of our brave warfighters, their families and my fellow veterans."

Offel served five years as an Army aviation officer and Blackhawk helicopter pilot with 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Hood, Texas. He served in uniform simultaneously alongside his father and older brother, who served in the Air Force; and his younger brother who served in the Navy.

After being medically discharged for injuries sustained during active duty, Offel earned a master of business administration degree from Emory University, Atlanta. He joined GE's Junior Officer Leadership Program where he completed leadership training at Crotonville, N.Y., and obtained Six Sigma Black Belt Certification.

He continued his professional career in healthcare, serving as president, CEO, and COO of several successful healthcare companies. Offel is currently president and CEO of Centennial Hospice in Oklahoma City and also an operating partner for Shore Capital Partners in Chicago.

He is president of U.S. Military Academy Class of 1996; president of West Point Society of Central Oklahoma; an ambassador for Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame; board director for Folds of Honor Oklahoma; and a Member of First Wave and YPO in OKC. Offel is an accomplished pilot and holds both a commercial helicopter instrument and private airplane single engine land certificate. He and his wife, Heidi, have two sons.

Intelligence officer, businessman -- Charles L. Rice Jr.

"As a former military intelligence officer in the United States Army, it is a real privilege and honor to serve as a CASA for Southern Louisiana," said Rice. "As a veteran and current businessman, I look forward to working with various communities throughout South Louisiana and the State to assist in the wellbeing of our soldiers, their families and veterans. I will work diligently to ensure the Army and its men and women in uniform are portrayed positively."


A distinguished military graduate, Rice spent four years as a military intelligence officer and served with the 101st Airborne Division.

After leaving the Army, he attended Loyola law school and went on to a successful private practice. During his legal career, Rice served as senior counsel at Entergy where he works today. Subsequently, he was appointed New Orleans city attorney and later served as its chief administrative officer. During his tenure he supervised 6,000 employees and managed a $600 million budget.

After returning to private practice, Rice returned to Entergy in 2009 and, in 2010, was named president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans, a $750 million gas and electric utility.

Rice's civil involvement includes service as Area 1 President of the Southern Region of the Boy Scouts of America and is on the board of the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the New Orleans Business Alliance. He was recognized by New Orleans City Business as a "Leader in Law" in 2009.

Major general, Florida guard commander -- Don Tyre

"As a career soldier, it is truly an honor to serve the Secretary of the Army in this new capacity as his CASA in the Northeast Florida area," Tyre said. "Understanding the needs of our Soldiers, their families, our veterans, and the community in which they live and work is crucial to the effectiveness and future of our Army.

"I can't think of a more important role to champion and I look forward to being the conduit that keeps this critical line of communication open," he said.

Tyre retired at the rank of major general after 45 years of military service. He was commissioned a second lieutenant through the Florida National Guard's Officer Candidate School program in May 1980 and has commanded at every level from platoon through brigade before taking command of the Florida Army National Guard in October 2010.

His other key assignments include director of the Joint Staff, Florida National Guard; deputy chief of staff operations and inspector general, Florida Joint Force Headquarters, Florida National Guard. He served as a principal advisor to the adjutant general on domestic operations; served as the joint task force commander during emergencies with the state of Florida; and successfully served as the nation's first dual status commander during Hurricane Isaac. The hurricane's effects complicated and divided the Florida Guard's support of the Republican Party Nominating Convention in Tampa in 2012.

Starting with his work as the deputy chief of staff for operations and ending with his command of the Florida Army Guard, he planned, sourced, prepared and deployed more than 15,000 Soldiers overseas in support of our national security objectives.