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    Take the Hill: North Carolina officer named Army Congressional Fellow



    Story by Sgt. Brian Godette 

    382nd Public Affairs Detachment

    RALEIGH, N.C. - Army Maj. Richard Trimble, the former commander of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) – part of the North Carolina National Guard – is on the path to a unique mission. On Jan. 8 Trimble began steps that will lead him to an assignment in a congressional office.

    “I will be part of the Army Congressional Fellowship Program,” Trimble said in an interview after the ceremony.

    The ACFP is a three and a half year program, which includes pursuit of a master’s degree in legislative affairs, service on the staff of a member of Congress, and an Army or Joint Staff assignment in a congressionally related duty position.

    “The Office of the Chief Legislative Liaison in the Pentagon basically oversees Army interaction with Congress, maintaining the strategic relationship the Army and Congress have. The congressional fellows are that office’s conduit into Congress,” Trimble said.

    The purpose of this program provides an opportunity for outstanding officers and senior noncommissioned officers with strong promotion potential the chance to understand and appreciate the importance of the relationship between the Army and Congress, while exposing as many congressional members and staff to the quality of Army officers, senior NCOs and civilians.
    This in turn helps Congress learn about the Army as an institution through contact with Army fellows working in their office and develops a pool of officers and senior NCOs from which some may be selected for future congressional liaison assignments.

    Trimble’s first step is to complete four months of Army-required intermediate level education at Fort Belvoir, Va. The next phase marks the start of the fellowship program, where he will attend George Washington University and earn a master’s degree in legislative affairs.

    Trimble said he is honored to represent the National Guard in such a competitive program.

    “I think [the Army] had over 800 applications submitted this year. Two soldiers are selected and only one is a traditional National Guard soldier, so I feel very fortunate to have been selected,” Trimble said.

    Leading up to this assignment, Trimble has led soldiers as a Special Forces detachment and company commander, including combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally he holds a Master of Arts degree in liberal studies from Georgetown University.

    “[The ACFP] is going to be a great opportunity to get insight on the higher level of the National Guard Bureau – seeing how the staff processes work up there, how the halls of government work, what it means when they take certain actions, and how that affects the force down here at the state,” Trimble said.

    Eligibility criteria for the ACFP was quite detailed, Trimble said. Applicants were required to submit a packet containing an Adjutant General letter of recommendation and release agreement, their past five evaluation reports, a physical fitness record, an essay, up to four recommendations, proof of an undergraduate GPA of no less than 3.0, and their record of previous combat experience, he said.

    “I’m very grateful of the support the North Carolina National Guard has given me throughout this process, all the way up to the North Carolina Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Gregory Lusk,” Trimble said.

    In 2016, Trimble’s class of fellows will complete their assignments with the Army’s Office of the Chief Legislative Liaison.

    While Trimble has no control over certain aspects of his ACFP experience – such as the state or party of his assigned congressional staff tour – he said the assignment will help him continue to serve and grow as an Army officer.

    “I would love the chance to work for a North Carolina congressional official but that decision is not up to me. At the end of it, I look forward very much to coming back to this state to put what I learned to work to benefit the North Carolina National Guard,” Trimble said.



    Date Taken: 01.16.2014
    Date Posted: 03.03.2014 11:03
    Story ID: 121415
    Location: RALEIGH, NC, US 

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