Magazine article Warrior - Citizen

Congress 101: The Army Reserve on Capitol Hill

Magazine article Warrior - Citizen

Congress 101: The Army Reserve on Capitol Hill

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON, D.C. Ever wonder how Congress works? How a bill becomes a law? Well, maybe not, but you can be sure that decisions are being made that impact you - both as a Soldier and a citizen. So it might be good to know...and maybe even have a voice in how your government is working for you.

For Army Reserve officers, the opportunity to experience daily life in Congress is available through the Army's Congressional Fellowship Program. Selected officers-called fellows- serve in a senator's or representative's personal office or on a Senate or House committee for a one-year assignment.

"The fellowship program is open to officers of all branches," said Col. Gregory Scheidhauer, Chief, Army Reserve Legislative Affairs Division. "Selection is based on the officer's willingness to go outside of their comfort zone and do something challenging."

Previous Capitol Hill experience is not a prerequisite, as the fellowship program includes study in the Legislative Affairs graduate program at The George Washington University (GW) in Washington, D.C.

"The [GW] program provided me with a solid institutional foundation that was reinforced and expanded once I began working in my congressional office," said Maj. Krystyl Watson, Army Reserve fellow In Congressman Thomas J. Rooney's office (R-FL-17).

After the fall semester of school, fellows go to work in a Capitol Hill office at the start of the new session of Congress in January. Once there, fellows receive 1 on-the-job training as a congressional staff member.

"Every day is different," said Maj. Stacy Goodman, Army Reserve fellow in Senator Bernard Sanders' office (l-VT). "For example, I'll take two to three meetings with constituents or Veterans Service Organizations regarding legislation, answer * constituent questions and I also review testimony."

The fellowship provides Army personnel with a greater understanding of Congress and also provides I congressional offices with an in-house defense i representative to assist with an often demanding workload. …

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