DALLAS -- The U.S. Army appointed five Texas residents as new Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army during an investiture ceremony in the Perot Building here Jan. 8.
The Honorable Ryan D. McCarthy, Secretary of the Army, selected Darcy Anderson to represent Texas (North); Joseph Bray to represent Texas (South); Timothy L. Kopra to represent Texas (East); Gus Rodriguez Jr. to represent Texas (West); and Abdul Subhani to represent Texas (Capital Region).
"I want to thank Darcy, Joe, Tim, Gus, and Abdul for their willingness to serve," McCarthy said. "Our Army is an all-volunteer force. Now, more than ever, we rely on our volunteers, such as CASAs, to help build networks, foster relationships and tell the Army story to your communities. You are the first handshake into the city and the last handshake as I head back to D.C. The Army is open for business and we're looking for the best of the best. I am counting on our CASAs to lead the way."
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 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.
"Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army are an integral part of sharing the U.S. Army story," Anderson said. "I am proud to be appointed as it will allow me to continue serving my country and assist both the secretary and key Army leaders. I look forward to using my network and platform as a business and community leader to build bridges of understanding between the U.S. Army and the public."
Anderson served in the Army five years in various capacities with Corps of Engineers combat units. He has served as a board member for both West Point Association of Graduates and West Point Society of North Texas and as a member of Congressmen Marc Veasey and Van Taylor's service academy selection boards.
Anderson is currently Hillwood Management vice chairman, a real estate, oil and gas, and investments company. From November 2000 until April 2009, he served as Perot Systems chief people officer and as vice president of information technology services and consulting firm. Prior to joining Perot Systems, he held various positions at Hillwood Development Corporation beginning in 1987.
"Being selected as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army is truly an honor, and I can't think of a better place to serve in this capacity than in San Antonio -- Military City USA," Bray said. "One of my top priorities will be the continued support of Army recruiting, helping to find the best and brightest future Soldiers for our Army. I am eager to engage the leadership and people of South Texas."
Bray served with Army's 720th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, Long Binh, Vietnam, from November 1970 to December 1971. After his military service, Bray received bachelor of arts and master of business administration in finance degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He retired from BBVA Compass Bank in June 2016 after a successful 42-year career in financial services. Since retiring, Bray has actively worked with and supported Army recruiting in South Texas and at the U.S. Army Recruiting Command level.
"It is an honor and privilege to be selected to serve as a CASA," Kopra said. "I am grateful for the opportunities and unique experiences I was provided in the Army that I would not have had otherwise. I look forward to continuing my service in this new role and connecting with others in the Great State of Texas to share that message as well as to promote the Army's mission and goals."
A retired colonel, Kopra served 25 years in the Army as an aviator, experimental test pilot, and astronaut. Following graduation from the United States Military Academy, he served in operational and leadership positions in the 101st Airborne Division's Air Cavalry Squadron and 3rd Armored Division. He deployed as part of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and as Comanche helicopter program developmental test director.
After assignment to NASA's Johnson Space Center and selection as an astronaut, Kopra served as a mission specialist and flight engineer on STS-127, STS-128, and International Space Station Expeditions 20 and 46 before commanding ISS Expedition 47. In all, Kopra completed three spacewalks, took part in several hundred experiments onboard the ISS, and logged a total of 244 days in space.
He has four masters degrees and is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School. He is now with Blue Bear Capital, an energy tech venture capital firm, and also advises several other companies. Kopra is active in the Houston community, serving in various capacities with the Greater Houston Partnership, Houston's entrepreneurship ecosystem, and education and veteran-centered initiatives.
Rodriguez is an El Paso native and is Future Force Solutions, Inc., president and CEO. He served in various Association of the United States Army leadership positions to include General of the Army Omar Bradley chapter president. He was instrumental in developing the Adopt-a-Fort Bliss unit program and had development oversight of the chapter's wounded warrior efforts.
Additionally, he served as AUSA West Texas State president; AUSA's 4th Region acting executive vice president, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas; and currently serves as Region IV president and on the AUSA Council of Trustees.
He served as board of directors chairman for both Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce and Sierra Providence Health Network. He currently serves as Hospitals of Providence, East Campus, vice chairman of the board. Among other honors he was inducted into the Fort Bliss and El Paso Business halls of fame.
"I am deeply honored and humbled to be chosen to serve as a CASA," Subhani said. "This is an important opportunity and I look forward to working with the secretary and other civilian aides to support and strengthen the bonds between the military and civilian communities in the Central Texas region."
Subhani is Centex Technologies president and CEO, an IT consulting company he founded in 2006. He currently serves as a member, Association of the United States Army -- Central Texas Chapter board of governors. Additionally, he is a member of the Forbes Technology Council; Baylor Scott & White McLane's Children's Hospital Advisory Council; Texas A&M University -- Central Texas Foundation Board; and Chancellor's Council of the Texas A&M University System cabinet member.