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NEWS | Dec. 19, 2023

Army Reserve bids farewell to New York Ambassador

By Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris 99th Readiness Division

The U.S. Army Reserve lost one of its key proponents Nov. 13 with the passing of retired major general and U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador Emeritus Robert J. Kasulke.

Kasulke served as an Army Reserve ambassador for New York state since 2013. In 2019, he received the Public Service Commendation Medal - the fourth highest public service decoration the United States Department of the Army can bestow upon a civilian - for his accomplishments in the role of Army Reserve ambassador.

He retired from the Army Reserve in 2012, having attained the rank of major general. His final assignment was commanding general of the Army Reserve Medical Command. He also served as deputy surgeon general for Mobilization, Readiness and Reserve Affairs, and commanding general of the 8th Medical Brigade.

Kasulke was a graduate of Fordham University where he received his bachelor’s degree in biology. He attended medical school at SUNY Syracuse College of Medicine and served as a physician in Watertown, New York.

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 and to local Army Reserve commanders.

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.