Army Reserve Ambassador receives public service award

By Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris | 99th Readiness Division | Dec. 21, 2017

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. — U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador (Emeritus) Carl R. Venditto of Southington, Connecticut, recently received the Public Service Commendation Medal.

Venditto has served as an Army Reserve ambassador since May 2000 and is a national leader in communicating the Army Reserve message to leaders and the public. A former Connecticut Veteran of the Year, Venditto serves on the Veterans Advisory Council for two Connecticut legislators.

Venditto serves on the Commonwealth Service Academy Selection Committee and the Connecticut Military Coalition, and continually works with the University of Connecticut Reserve Officers Training Corps to ensure cadets know the options of becoming an Army Reserve officer.

He also works with local groups such as the Reserve Officer’s Association, Association of the United States Army, American Legion, World Affairs, Marine Corps League, Military Officers Association of America, First Company Governor’s Foot Guard, Army Retiree Council and the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to ensure the Army Reserve’s needs and the needs of Soldiers are addressed.

The Army Reserve Ambassador Program was established in 1998 to promote awareness of the Army Reserve, its goals and objectives, and to serve as a vital bridge in our states/communities to further educate and garner support for the Army Reserve. Ambassadors are a powerful means of message delivery to the American people.

The function of the ambassador is similar to that of civilian aides to the Secretary of the Army, and carries a protocol status equivalent of a major general that is a key means by which ambassadors are able to effectively execute their responsibilities. Ambassadors are Special Government Employees who represent the Chief of the Army Reserve without salary, wages or related benefits.

Ambassadors provide community outreach assistance to Army Reserve members/families, other military personnel/families as needed, and provide feedback on plans, programs and needs to the commander of the Army Reserve, the Readiness Division commander and to local Army Reserve commanders.

Additionally, ambassadors build relationships and strive to improve the understanding and knowledge of the Army Reserve within the business and social sectors of communities across America. They help to educate the public, community leaders, and congressional staff offices about the capabilities and values of the Army Reserve and the Soldiers who live and work in their communities. They establish open lines of communication with the local communities; and they work to support recruiting efforts by assisting community and business leaders in recognizing that the Army Reserve strengthens the Soldiers, the community, and the nation.

While not all ambassadors have military experience, many are retired officers or senior non commissioned officers who wish to remain engaged in military affairs. Each state and territory has at least one Army Reserve ambassador.

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