AUSA Launches Family Fellows Program

AUSA Launches Family Fellows Program

Photo by: AUSA

The Association of the U.S. Army is launching a Family Fellows program to grow and enhance its support to military families.

Four military spouses make up the program’s inaugural class. As AUSA family fellows, they are subject-matter experts and advisers on issues relating to military families. They will expand the AUSA Family Readiness directorate’s mission to educate, inform and connect through relevant programs and resources, educational and outreach efforts and advocacy for Army and veteran families.

AUSA family fellows also are expert resources for the association’s chapters, members, families and communities, and they will help create, build and execute Family Readiness products and events.

The Family Fellows program is in addition to AUSA’s Senior Fellows and Leadership Fellows programs.

“I’m delighted to welcome these incredible Army spouses to the AUSA family,” said retired Gen. Bob Brown, AUSA president and CEO. “Their expertise, experience and dedication will elevate AUSA’s ability to better serve and support soldiers and their families, who are so critical to the readiness and success of America’s Army.”

Retired Lt. Gen. Leslie Smith, AUSA vice president for Leadership and Education, lauded the addition of the Family Fellows program. “While soldiers and civilians make the mission happen each day for our Army, our spouses and family members keep us going every day,” Smith said. “Our family fellows will bring that experience, toughness and grit to help us succeed. We are honored to have them on our team to help educate, inform and connect.”

Holly Dailey, director of Family Readiness at AUSA, agreed. “We are humbled and honored that these talented, relevant and accomplished leaders are joining our team to help expand AUSA’s Family Readiness mission,” she said. “Together we will provide even more support to our soldiers and families.”

For more information on the Family Fellows program, click here.

The first members of the Family Fellows program are Karen Halverson, Angel Mangum, Ginger Perkins and Tina Wright.

Halverson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1984 and served on active duty for 10 years. The spouse of retired Lt. Gen. David Halverson, she has volunteered with organizations that support service members and their families, including Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, the Military Children Education Coalition, the Red Cross and United through Reading. 

She currently volunteers at Arlington National Cemetery as an Arlington Lady, serves as a mentor in the General Officer Spouse Mentorship Program and is vice president of her Naval Academy class. She and her husband have three daughters, two of whom are serving in the Navy.

Mangum has been married to retired Lt. Gen. Kevin Mangum for 35 years. As an Army spouse, she served as a Family Readiness Group leader and an adviser at all levels of command during her husband’s active-duty career.

A certified registered nurse anesthetist with more than 30 years in the medical field, Mangum has worked at Army hospitals in the U.S. and South Korea. After retiring as a medical provider, Mangum continues to volunteer for several causes. She is a docent at the Library of Congress, a mediator for the District of Columbia Superior Court, an Army general officer spouse mentor and an Army Arlington lady.

Mangum and her husband have a daughter who is an Army lawyer.

Perkins, who is married to retired Gen. David Perkins, has been an Army spouse for 38 years with more than 20 moves around the world. Her daughter is a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot with two tours in Afghanistan, and her son is a West Point graduate and former soldier.

She has written several publications, including the Training and Doctrine Command Army Spouse Protocol and Social Guide, The Army Spouse Handbook and AUSA’s Customs, Courtesies & Traditions of the United States Army, which is a primer for family members.

David Perkins is the distinguished chair for leadership for AUSA’s Center for Leadership.

Wright, who was born and raised in a military family, has been married to retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Wright since 1986. During her 33 years as an Army spouse, Wright volunteered for and later served in Family Readiness Groups at all levels, including as a senior spouse in joint commands. She also worked in the education field.

Her son is an Army infantry officer, and her daughter is an Army spouse.

Jeffrey Wright is an AUSA leadership fellow.