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News | Nov. 10, 2020

Kentucky commissioner ‘PaYS it forward’ with USAREC commander

By Jason Schaap USAREC Public Affairs

Tuesday was PaYS day for the Kentucky Department of Veteran’s Affairs and Army Recruiting Command. Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, USAREC commanding general, and KDVA Commissioner Keith Jackson signed an Army Partnership for Youth Success agreement during a ceremony here on the eve of Veterans Day.

“I cannot think of a better time to solidify this partnership,” Vereen said during his welcoming remarks.

PaYS program agreements establish partnerships with organizations across private and public industries that guarantee job interviews for Future Soldiers and ROTC cadets when they successfully complete their term of service. KDVA joins many other public sector agencies, like the City of Chicago and Kentucky State Police, who make up more than 800 organizations with PaYS commitments. Amazon, Coca-Cola, John Deere and Disney are among those in the private sector.

Jackson, a former Army battalion commander, spoke about starting out as a young Soldier at Fort Knox 32 years ago and how Tuesday’s ceremony represented a way for his organization and his generation to give back to today’s youth.

“My grandfather taught me years ago about paying it forward,” Jackson said. “This program is an excellent opportunity for us to pay it forward…to those who choose to serve and those who have served.”

For Soldiers, the PaYS process starts at the beginning of their Army journey. Recruiters review the jobs loaded by PaYS partners that match military occupational specialties. Program details can then be discussed with an applicant, as well as the applicant’s family. PaYS establishes a relationship between the Soldier and participating partner before, during and after service with the guarantee of a job interview.

“PaYS partners provide us with an additional incentive for our new recruits,” Vereen said. “They help us show parents the Army genuinely wants to invest in the future success of their sons and daughters.”

PaYS began in 2000 as an enlistment incentive for Regular Army enlisted Soldiers. It expanded to include Army Reserve Soldiers in October 2002, and later expanded to include ROTC, Reserve Component cadets, Officer Candidate School, Warrant Officer Flight Training, and the Army National Guard.

This unique program is part of the Army’s effort to partner with America’s business community and reconnect America with its Army, something Jackson spoke to Tuesday.

“As PaYS partners,” he said, “we will carry the Army story to the Commonwealth (of Kentucky), to (its) civic, corporate and educational communities.”

More information about the program and becoming a PaYS partner is available at www.armypays.com. PaYS is just one way to support recruiting efforts within communities. More opportunities are available through the Partnership Outreach Program at www.goarmy.com/cp.

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