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NEWS | Nov. 3, 2022

New Army Reserve Ambassador appointed to Rhode Island

By Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris 99th Readiness Division

Maj. Gen. Rodney Faulk, commanding general of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 99th Readiness Division, has confirmed the appointment by Lt. Gen. Jody J. Daniels, chief of Army Reserve and commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command, of Ernest “Ernie” Almonte as a United States Army Reserve Ambassador for Rhode Island.

As executive director of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, Almonte leads a team of professionals who help member municipal government interests before the executive and state administrative agencies as well as the provision of technical assistance, information sharing, and training to assist municipal officials in fulfilling their responsibilities.

After retiring as an audit partner at RSM US LLP on April 30, 2021, Lt. Governor Sabina Matos appointed Almonte as the chief of staff. In this role, he managed the office staff and led initiatives on housing, small business, veteran affairs, long term care, and many other issues. Almonte served the Rhode Island Department of Health as the interim chief financial officer and associate director where he led the financial team of a $400 million organization during part of the COVID pandemic.

Almonte spent 16 years as the Rhode Island auditor general, responsible for the State of Rhode Island financial, performance and fraud audits. Almonte was responsible for the $8 billion Comprehensive Financial Report, audits of Rhode Island Lottery financials, IT controls, and provided insight and foresight on pensions. He has served in numerous positions as chairperson of audit committees including universities and the Department of Defense Audit Advisory Committee at the Pentagon. Almonte was named among the top 100 CPAs in the country by Accounting Today on two occasions.

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. Army Regulation 140.1, Chapter 9 outlines the role, function and operational level of the USAR Ambassador. 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 provides 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 Regional Support Commander and to local USAR 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 ARAs 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 ARA.

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