WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Army appointed two new Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army during an investiture ceremony Aug. 16 here in the Pentagon.

The Honorable Ryan D. McCarthy, Acting Secretary of the Army, selected Jill A. Castilla to represent Oklahoma (North) and Patrick C. Warren to represent Kansas (Greater Kansas City).

"Jill and Patrick, you are joining a very elite group of CASAs. Your services are needed now more than ever as the number of Americans serving in the military continues to decrease," McCarthy said. "CASAs are having a significant impact in their communities. Last year, we were unable to reach our recruiting marks across the United States, but with the help of the CASAs and their community connections, they are growing. I am confident we will make our recruiting targets in these priority cities."

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

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.

JILL CASTILLA

"My early experience as an enlisted member of the Army and Oklahoma Army National Guard provided the structure and opportunities that led to my later personal and professional achievements," Castilla said. "I'm honored to share the unique benefits of Army service and engage with the patriotic spirit of Oklahomans.

"As a CASA, I look forward to connecting the community with my experience as an enlisted soldier, an Army spouse, a military mom and a community leader, while amplifying the support and message of Secretary McCarthy."

Castilla leads Citizens Bank of Edmond, Edmond, Oklahoma, as president and chief executive officer and as chairwoman of its bank holding company. Castilla joined Citizens in 2009, transforming the struggling small institution into the most innovative community bank in the nation. She is a described as a visionary, inventor, financial industry social media influencer, and is a frequent keynote speaker on leadership, banking and technology. She also serves as dean, Southwest Graduate School of Banking, Southern Methodist University, and as a presidential advisor, University of Central Oklahoma.

Prior to her career in community banking, Castilla served in management roles, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and was an Oklahoma National Guard enlisted member. She and her husband of 25 years, Lt. Col. Marcus Castilla, serve as co-presidents, West Point Parents Club of Central Oklahoma. She holds a master's degree in economics, University of Oklahoma, a bachelor's degree in finance, Hawaii Pacific University. She is a graduate of both the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking and the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Executive Leadership Program.

PATRICK WARREN

"One of the greatest opportunities I have had in my career at Kansas Speedway is meeting people who have chosen to serve our country," Warren said, the speedway's president. "I am honored to have the opportunity to serve in a different capacity as a CASA for the Greater Kansas City area and look forward to working with the Army to achieve Secretary McCarthy's priorities."

A University of Kansas graduate with an undergraduate degree in political science followed by a Juris Doctorate, Warren worked in the KU Athletics Program for eight years following law school. Warren left KU to attend the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where he received his MBA in 2004 with concentrations in finance and marketing. He joined Kansas Speedway in 2006 and was promoted to president in 2010.

He received Fort Riley's highest honor for private citizens, the Distinguished Trooper Award, in 2015 in recognition of his work with soldiers at the base. Warren has served in leadership roles in a variety of civic organizations including board of directors for the Kansas City, Kansas, Chamber of Commerce; Wyandotte County Economic Development Council; and Sunflower House. He currently serves on the board of directors, Kansas Chamber of Commerce, and is an active member of the Whiteman Air Force Base Community Council.