WASHINGTON – During a virtual ceremony on Sept. 29, 2020, at the Pentagon, Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy appointed four individuals as new Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army. The new CASAs are David A. Zeeck, from University Place, Washington; Gil Tam, from Honolulu, Hawaii; James Cada, from Lincoln, Nebraska; and John Harpel, from Clarksville, Tennessee.
“These are unprecedented times, and the Army is fortunate to have you in the community interacting with civic leaders, educators and businesses,” Secretary of the Army McCarthy said at the ceremony. “We have found that there is a dramatic correlation with CASAs and an increase in recruitment. CASAs are a valuable asset in the community and help make a difference.”
CASAs, a vital part of the Army, promote good relations between the Army and the public and advise the secretary on regional issues.
Each state, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories have one or more CASAs to provide vital links between the Army and the communities they serve. CASAs are usually business or civic leaders who possess a keen interest in the welfare of the Army and their communities.
“I appreciate the secretary’s confidence in naming me to the position and look forward to supporting and working closely with the National Guard and Reserve units in Washington state,” said Zeeck, who currently serves as a regent at the University of Washington and as the state auditor’s representative on the Washington Sunshine Committee.
“I am humbled and honored to be selected by the secretary for this important position, and I look forward to working closely with the National Guard and Reserve units in Hawaii to help future Soldiers achieve their goals in serving in the U.S. Army and becoming Soldiers for Life,” said Tam, a retired Lieutenant Colonel with 25 years of Army service, who currently serves as president of Native Hawaii Veterans, LLC.
“I am honored and excited that the secretary selected me for this important position and I have already met with and am working closely with the National Guard and Reserve units in Nebraska to help future Soldiers achieve their goals of serving in the U.S. Army,” said Cada, a lawyer and who served in the Army during the Vietnam War.
“I am thrilled and honored that Secretary McCarthy has selected me to become a CASA for the state of Tennessee. Having spent almost 30 years interacting with Fort Campbell Soldiers and their family members has been very rewarding and I am looking forward to deepening my relationship with Soldiers and to learn more about the Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves,” said Harpel, a military & government relations officer at the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce.
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 distinguished service.
For more information about the CASA program, please visit https://casa.army.mil.