Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Edgar Fuentes is driven by a strong desire to mentor and inspire others.
After serving as a Soldier for 31 years, he found renewed purpose as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA), a position he has held since early 2022.
“I am humbled for the opportunity to continue to serve,” Fuentes said of the advisory role.
Appointed by the Secretary of the Army, CASAs are unpaid volunteers who disseminate information about Army priorities, including recruitment and retention, and support initiatives related to Soldier housing, morale, welfare and recreation. Their dual roles as community leaders and Army advocates strengthen relationships between Soldier and civilian communities.
Fuentes is assigned to the Central Texas region, an area that includes Fort Hood. As a former senior enlisted Soldier, he understands the nuances of Army life – including the desire to balance work and family duties – and has embraced the chance to lend insight and support to the local Army community.
“Everything that supports the community, the Soldier’s life in general, that’s pretty much where I spend my time,” Fuentes said.
While he served in Germany, Korea, Central America, New York, Oklahoma and Texas, Fuentes spent the majority of his career as a Soldier at Fort Hood. As a result, Central Texas felt most like home, and is where he ultimately chose to retire and later serve as a CASA.
“I know Central Texas. I’ve lived more in Central Texas than I’ve lived anywhere in my life,” Fuentes said.
He supports the region alongside retired Maj. Gen. Kendall Cox, who also serves as a CASA for Central Texas. Fuentes appreciates how the two are able to offer “different lenses” based on their backgrounds while supporting myriad activities at one of the Army’s largest installations.
“With my background, I’m able to help people understand what the Army is,” he said, adding that “there’s nothing like talking to a person who actually served.”
Fuentes finds his work assisting with the development of Army programs and offering advice on how to overcome challenges to be both meaningful and rewarding. He also greatly enjoys participating in recruiting events that showcase what the Army is able to offer potential Soldiers.
“The experience that you will gain serving in the armed forces will definitely help you in your future, no doubt in my mind,” he said.