FORT WADSWORTH, N.Y. –
The U.S. Army, the U.S. Army Reserve, and U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command welcomed the first officer to be direct commissioned as a civil affairs military government specialist at Fort Hamilton, N.Y., on March 19, 2022.
The purpose of the new position is to give commanders more operational flexibility by enabling civilian and military personnel with experience in various career fields the opportunity to be directly commissioned as officers in the U.S. Army.
“Today symbolizes the beginning of a new journey for us,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Coggin, the commanding general of USCAPOC, and the officer who presided over the commissioning ceremony. “It is really a big deal for the USCAPOC, and it is a really a big deal for the U.S. Army Reserve as well. The Army Reserve is using this initiative as a template, and hopefully this is going to help us get more 38Gs (civil affairs military government specialists) into our ranks.”
Civilians and service-members who have worked in Education, Finance and Banking, Water and Sanitation, and other key specialties all have the opportunity to apply for the initiative.
The newly commissioned U.S. Army Reserve Capt. Ryan Hooper, a 7th grade teacher in Philadelphia, was the 1st Soldier to receive his commission.
“It is not just a special moment for the Army, but today is also a special day for Ryan,” said Coggin. “He's a teacher, he's a mentor, he's a volunteer, and then he comes with a military background. That is going to serve him well as our newest commissioned captain.”
Ryan, who previously served as a specialist in the 82nd Airborne Division before becoming a teacher and earning his commission, said that is proud to receive the opportunity to help jumpstart the Army’s new specialty.
“It is an absolute honor to be the first officer,” said Ryan. “ I lept at the opportunity to serve in this capacity , and I believe that is an important initiative for the Army.”
Although Ryan was the first Soldier to be directly commissioned under the new program, more soon-to-be officers are set to join the ranks of the program within days of Ryan’s commissioning.
Ryan said that he believes that the program will be at its best once more Soldiers and Civilians join its ranks.
“It is our shared knowledge on different subjects that will give the Army new capabilities during its operations,” said Ryan. “I am wholeheartedly looking forward to the program growing, and I am also looking forward to my battle buddies and I utilizing our skills and our civilian backgrounds into real-world Army missions.”