Friday, June 25, 2021  

About Us

Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army (CASAs) are business and community leaders appointed by the Secretary to advise and support Army leaders across the country. CASAs come from many professions including business, education, finance, industry, law, the media, medicine and public service. Each is proactively involved in the community and brings to the position an interest in the Army, a high degree of business and civic leadership and an ability to influence the public. CASAs are Special Government Employees who agree to serve as representatives of the Secretary of the Army without salary, wages or related benefits, and are afforded a 3-star protocol status.

CASAs bridge the gap between the Army and civilian community by disseminating information about the Army's objectives and major programs to the public through speeches, personal contact and participation in Army and community events. CASAs assist with recruiting by increasing the positive image of the Army and connecting Army recruiters to key influencers in the community.

CASAs provide individual advice to the Secretary of the Army on public sentiments toward the Army. CASAs work closely with Army leaders and installation commanders and serve as the Secretary' s liaison for Army National Guard and Army Reserve matters. They also engage with local, regional, and state officials, Federal Agencies, Members of Congress and their staff.

Each CASA is committed to supporting all Department of Army Civilians, Soldiers and their Families. In particular, CASAs partner with the Soldier for Life program to assist Soldiers as they transition from the Army.

Secretary of the Army, Ryan D. McCarthy (left) swore in Steve Castleton as the new CASA for
New York (South) at the New York Giants vs. New York Jets Football game on 10 November 2019.


Just before World War I, the Military Training Camps Association (MTCA), a private group, began a training program to train leaders for the Army. In helping the Army select and train candidates for what was to become known as the Plattsburgh Camps, the MTCA suggested that an inner group of "Civilian Aides to the Secretary of War" could benefit both the Army and the Association.

In 1922, the Army formally recognized the training program and the Civilian Aide concept. Interaction with the Army was broad; with specific duties left to each Aide's own discretion. Then, as now, Aides served without pay or compensation.

In 1950, Secretary of the Army Frank Pace, Jr. redesigned the program to meet the Army's growing need for contact with grass roots opinion throughout the country. Secretary Pace also changed the policy of selecting Civilian Aides solely from the ranks of the MTCA and reduced their terms to two years. The Aides' primary mission has become promoting good relations between the Army and the public by acting as spokespersons and advisors.

Since its reorganization in the early 1950s, the program has undergone few changes. Since 1950, more than 500 persons have served as Civilian Aides.

Appointee Criteria

To serve as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, the appointee:

  • Is a United States citizen of outstanding character, integrity, and patriotism.
  • Has a deep interest in military affairs.
  • Is a leader in community affairs.
  • Is in a position to disseminate information about the Army to a broad cross section of the public and to other prominent citizens in his or her area.
  • Is able to interpret and affect public attitude toward the Army.
  • Is able and willing to devote a reasonable amount of time to the activities of a Civilian Aide.
  • Will reside in the State or Territory the Civilian Aide is appointed to represent.
  • Will not be an employee of the Department of Defense as defined in 5 U.S.C. ยง 2105.
  • Will not be an active member of the National Guard or a member of the Ready Reserve (Selected), Individual Ready Reserve, or Standby Reserve.
  • Will not be a paid employee of any political party.
  • Will not be a Federal, state, or local elected or appointed official or employee, if such position would present a conflict of interest.
  • Will not hold financial interests or positions that conflict with the performance of his or her duties as a Civilian Aide. For the purposes of analyzing whether a nominee holds an interest, the interests of the nominee's spouse and dependent children are attributed to the nominee.