AUSTIN, Texas – Austin-based tech leader Abdul Subhani is invariably passionate about IT and innovation.
When he isn’t guiding the work of his IT consulting firm, Centex Technologies, he can often be found teaching advanced computer science courses to college students, writing textbooks on information security, or speaking to the nuances of the rapidly changing IT field.
For the last three years, however, Subhani has enthusiastically taken on additional role: Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) – Texas (Capital Region).
“I am proud to serve,” Subhani said, adding that he is “committed to supporting all Department of the Army Civilians, Soldiers and their Families” as a CASA.
As direct advisors to the Secretary of the Army, CASAs play important roles in supporting recruitment efforts, liaising between regional and headquarters senior leaders, and improving communication between command and community. They volunteer significant time and effort to foster strong linkages among the Army, academia, private industry and the civic sector.
Subhani explained that there are about 100 CASAs currently, working from all areas of the country to positively influence Army problem-solving and decision-making.
Given his base in Austin, Subhani works closely with Army Futures Command (AFC) Commanding General Gen. James E. Rainey and Texas Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Thomas Suelzer, strategizing on future and present Army needs and capabilities.
He also leverages his tech industry expertise to inform cutting-edge Army science and technology activities, coordinating with the AFC Acquisition & Systems Directorate, the Army Software Factory and the Futures and Concepts Center to keep the Army apprised of key breakthroughs and challenges in the field.
“The proudest moment I had as a CASA was being a senior mentor to the Army Software Factory leadership,” Subhani said. “Seeing Army Software Factory come together and become a place where Soldiers take lead in developing software for the Army was a dream come true.”
His work additionally takes him to the Pentagon, where he helps Army technologists and senior officials understand and apply leading industry standards, such as Zero Trust Architecture and cloud migration.
Subhani credits many of his career successes in technology and business to the opportunities he was able to pursue after immigrating to the U.S. from Pakistan in 1998. He completed his senior year of high school in Texas before going on to achieve bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the state, which he has called home since. Subhani was motivated to take on the role of a CASA in large part due to the transformative experience.
“Being nominated to be a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) was something I never expected. It means so much to me to be able to give back and serve the country that has given me so much. I would not be where I am today if I was not granted the opportunities from this great country of ours,” Subhani said.
Subhani looks forward to continuing to advise the Army, both as a CASA and in another position he was appointed to in November of 2022: Distinguished Chair of Innovation and Strategic Engagement at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
“My hope is that we keep pushing through – not stopping – on modernization, and we bring in people who have the vision to make that change,” he said.