FORT HAMILTON, N.Y. – The Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for New York South, Steve Castleton, joined Fort Hamilton’s garrison leadership team to recognize employees during a quarterly all-hands awards ceremony at the Community Club here Feb. 18.
“It’s important that we honor our team for their distinguished service,” said Col. Craig Martin, Fort Hamilton garrison commander. “People feel empowered and have a sense of pride when they are respected and see the value in their work. They need to understand what role they play in the bigger mission and we must recognize them for that. The whole organization gains something from this.”
The awards ceremony and all-hands discussion is part of overarching Installation Management Command's Service Culture initiative, which focuses on caring and engaged leadership. Part of the program is to have impactful workforce engagement to include recognition and dialogue, which, in turn, enables them to best support the military community.
The day started with Castleton assisting in the presentation of awards to civilian employees who earned recognition from October to December 2021. The visit continued with an installation tour followed by a brief oveview of the garrison’s mission, organization, key partnerships, and initiatives.
Castleton was appointed as a CASA during an investiture ceremony in 2019. CASAs are business and community leaders appointed by the Secretary of the Army to advise and support Army leaders across the country. They proactively engage the community and provide guidance as needed. They serve without salary, wages, or related benefits, and are afforded a 3-star protocol status. CASAs are a vital part of the Army’s mission. They promote positive relations between the Army and the public, and also advise the Secretary about regional issues. Prior to his role serving in an official capacity, Castleton was an avid supporter for the military. He has two sons and a daughter-in-law currently serving on active duty. During his official tenure, he has championed causes to acquire resources, build relationships with community partners and local leaders, and collaborated for countless engagements with Major League Baseball and the National Football League.
“Mr. Castleton’s commitment and outreach efforts are admirable and help expand the call to service message throughout the New York metropolitan area,” Martin said. Castleton said what he values about this role is that he is in a position where he can make positive changes. “From being able to make a difference in the lives of 1,500 future members of the Armed Forces by conducting enlistment ceremonies at professional sporting events to being able to getting a bill passed in Congress, I feel this is what I was born to do,” said Castleton. “The bill enabled all honorably discharged veterans, their spouses, and caregivers to get life-saving COVID-19 testing and vaccines.”
The visit concluded with a lunch with employees to acknowledge teams personally and learn of any matter that he can assist with. Castleton emphasized his passion for customer service by reiterating how he became such an avid support of the military.
“It all started when I went to get a bumper sticker from the local recruiting office because of my children,” shared Castleton. “I was given a red-carpet treatment and it was the impetus for me to get involved.”
“Days like this demonstrate our lasting commitment to take care of our people,” said Charles Walker, Fort Hamilton deputy to the garrison commander. “It is important we provide the best possible customer service to our customers. Excellence in customer service is a result of how an organization treats its employees. We intend to keep events of this nature as part of our routine.”