WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army appointed two new Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army during an investiture ceremony on April 11, 2023, at the Pentagon, as Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth swore in Leslie Purser from Tennessee (East) and Jason Allen from Michigan (North).
“It’s an honor to welcome our two newest CASAs back to the Army team,” said Wormuth. “They served with distinction in uniform, and now as CASAs they will be great advocates for the Army in their local communities. I have asked them to help share the Army story to help young people see how the Army can give them a sense of purpose and provide a fulfilling career.”
Purser is a decorated combat veteran who retired as an Army major general after 37 years of service, serving within all three components, and 17 years as a civilian on the Joint Staff. Continuing her support of the Army in East Tennessee, she holds numerous positions, including president of the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council, former chair and current military outreach coordinator of the Knoxville Committee for Employer Support to the National Guard and Army Reserve, and a member of the National Mission: Readiness program. Purser works closely with veterans organizations, military units, Reserve Officers' Training Corps and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps detachments, and veterans service organizations, and is often sought as a guest speaker for their events. Outside of supporting the military, Purser is a member of her local Kiwanis Club, is actively involved with the Dandridge First United Methodist Church, and is vice president of her alma mater’s alumni association. Her support to East Tennessee has been noted by local and federal civic leaders, as Purser has created supportive military events and relationships where voids once existed, and fosters collaborative networks to promote support to Soldiers and their families.
"It is truly my honor and privilege to be selected by Secretary Wormuth to continue to serve my country and our Army in this new role,” said Purser. “I look forward to the continued relationships that I have been so fortunate to create in East Tennessee as we collectively enhance the goals of the Secretary of the Army."
Allen served in the Michigan Army National Guard from 1990 to 1996 and retired as a specialist. He has over 20 years of experience serving as a strategic business partner to members of Congress and secretary-level members, delivering guidance on many issues, including housing projects, business, economic development initiatives, and veterans affairs for cities across Michigan. Allen has spent most of his life in public service and has a passion for the military. He was a Michigan state senator for eight years, and served as the senior policy advisor to the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Allen also served as a Michigan state representative for four years, and was the Department of Agriculture state director for Michigan. Allen is an active and proud American Legion member with strong statewide contacts with military leaders and veteran organizations. He volunteers with Girl Scouts of the USA and is a board member of the Boy Scouts of America Michigan Crossroads Council.
“The opportunity to assist the Army and its components in Michigan is an honor and privilege,” said Allen. “I look forward to working with the secretary to enhance the role of Michigan.”
CASAs promote good relations between the Army and the public, advise the secretary about regional issues, support the total Army workforce, and assist with recruiting and helping our Soldiers as they transition out of the military.
Each state, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories have one or more CASAs to provide a vital link 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.