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NEWS | June 5, 2024

New Army Reserve Ambassador appointed to New York

By Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris 99th Readiness Division

Maj. Gen. Kris A. Belanger, 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 Janice M. Gravely as a United States Army Reserve Ambassador for New York.

Gravely holds a PhD in Public Policy and Administration (Specializing in Terrorism, Mediation, and Peace) from Walden University, and a Master of Education Degree in Instructional Technology from McNeese State University. She currently serves as Jefferson County NY American Legion – Vice Commander, American Legion Post 789 Trustee, National Ethical Conduct Committee Chair - American Legion Auxiliary, NY American Legion Department Chair of ALIVE (Active Lady-Veterans Inspiring Value and Endurance), Member- North Country Veterans and Service Member Suicide Coalition, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7227 Chaplain, and Climb To Glory ROCKS (Officer Mentorship Organization) Senior Trustee.

Gravely retired from the U.S. Army in 2018 as a lieutenant colonel. She was the first female and African-American commander in the 101-year history of American Legion Post 789 from 2021-2023. She was selected by ABC50 as The Remarkable Woman of the North Country in Recognition of International Women’s Month in 2022, and by WTEN television in Albany as Top 10 Influential Women in New York Capital District Region for Women’s Equality Day in 2011.

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. Ambassadors are Special Government Employees who represent the Chief of the Army Reserve.

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

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 who wish to remain engaged in military affairs. Each state and territory has at least one ARA.

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