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Former VING Member Named New Civilian Aide To U.S. Army Secretary

WASHINGTON — A former Virgin Islands National Guard member was appointed a new civilian aide to the secretary of the U.S. Army this week.

During a ceremony at the Pentagon on November 13, Beresford Edwards was given that distinction by Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy to represent the territory.

“It is my distinct privilege to welcome Beresford to the CASA program,” McCarthy said. “Our CASAs offer fresh eyes and bring new perspective to how we recruit future soldiers.” 

Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy with retired VING Lt. Col. Beresford F. Edwards at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. this week.

A distinguished graduate of the Virgin Islands Military Academy, Lt. Col. (retired) Edwards served at least 32 years in the Virgin Islands National Guard as a military police officer. Since his retirement, he has served as the Chair Emeritus of the Virgin Islands Committee for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), bridging the gap between local employers and the VING. He also serves as the president of the Virgin Islands National Guard Association (VINGA).

“First, I thank God for Their unmerited favor. I would also like to thank Brig. Gen. (VI) Kodjo Knox-Limbacker for nominating me for the CASA position, and I am grateful to Secretary McCarthy for selecting me to serve in this prestigious position,” Edwards said. “Since retiring from military service in 2012, I dedicated my life to serve the men and women of the Virgin Islands National Guard. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the Guardians of the Eastern Front in my new capacity.”

VING Adjutant General Colonel Kodjo Knox Limbacker called Edwards’ appointment “a testament to our homegrown talent.”

“As the CASA, they will be the Army’s link to the people,” Knox Limbacker said. “They will continue to put service before self during a pivotal time in the history of the Virgin Islands National Guard. I am confident their efforts will enable VING to continue to be ready, relevant, and a responsive joint warfighting force.”

In all, McCarthy selected seven civilian aides who will represent the following states or territories: Michael B. Brown, Oklahoma (South); Steven Castleton, New York (South); Dan Dederick, North Carolina (East); Landy Dunham, Florida (Central);Edwards, Virgin Islands; Nicole Gilmore, Massachusetts; and Erica Jeffries Purdo, New Jersey.

CASAs serve a two-year term without compensation and may extend to a total of 10 years of service. They are a vital part of the Army, promoting good relations between the Army and the public and advising the Secretary about regional issues. Each state, along with the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories have one or more CASAs appointed to provide a vital link between the Army and their local communities.

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