KILLEEN, Texas — Spirits were high as military leaders, city of Killeen officials and distinguished guests gathered Jan. 30 at Killeen City Hall here to sign a partnership agreement for the Army’s Partnership for Your Success program.
PaYS is a strategic partnership between the Army and a cross section of corporations, companies and public sector agencies to provide Soldiers with an opportunity to serve their country while they prepare for their future. The program guarantees Soldiers and cadets five job interviews and possible employment after their service in the Army.
Col. Lakicia Stokes, U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Cavazos commander, Debbie Nash-King, city of Killeen mayor, and Edgar Fuentes, civilian aide to the secretary of the Army for Central Texas, were on hand to talk about the impact of the program and sign the memorandum of agreement between the Army and the city of Killeen.
“It’s a special day for the city,” Nash-King expressed as she addressed the audience. “The city of Killeen has a history of wanting to service those who have served for us.”
She noted that 27% of the city’s 1,300 employees are veterans, and that partnering with the PaYS program is a “win-win opportunity for everyone involved.”
The Army website states that the PaYS partnership with the Army is designed to assist military recruiting efforts and “connect America with its Army.”
Stokes shared that as a former professor of military science, she understands the importance of the PaYS program to cadets and stressed the importance of the initiative for veterans.
“This program helps veterans leverage their skills, training and discipline gained through their military service,” she explained. “Programs that help veterans identify, leverage and articulate their skills assists both veterans and employers in recognizing the value veterans bring to various industries.
“We know the city of Killeen will continue to help veterans successfully navigate the transition from boots and camo to civilian workforce wardrobe,” Stokes continued. “And, we’re excited about how this program will strengthen the bond between our military installation and the city of Killeen.”
Fuentes began his speech by expressing his gratitude for a program that aligns with the Army mission and cultivates lasting relationships.
“Today, I’m honored to discuss a program that not only supports the Army recruitment efforts, but also fosters strong connections between our Soldiers and the civilian workforce,” he said. “The Partnership for Your Success program exemplifies the Army’s unwavering commitment to its personnel in our community.”
As he closed, Fuentes reaffirmed the sentiments conveyed by Nash-King.
“PaYS is a win-win opportunity for everyone involved,” he reiterated. “As we leave this gathering, let us take with us the conviction that our actions today contribute to a legacy of performance and opportunity. By championing programs like PaYS, we are not just investing in the future of Soldiers; we are shaping and investing in our community as a whole.”
Nash-King and Stokes signed the agreement, cementing the partnership between the city of Killeen and the Army. Nash-King excitedly hoisted a commemorative plaque above her head in celebration of the event.
The ceremony concluded with refreshments as Nash-King and Stokes used a saber to cut a celebratory cake.