Sergeant leads townPhoto and story by Kryn P. Westhoven, NJDMAVA/PA
When the military talks about ‘lessons learned’ it is in the context of using past experiences to insure future success. Sgt. 1st Class Phillip Ted Hussa has taken that process and applied it to the municipal government in his hometown of Denville.
In town he goes by the title of Mayor for this community of nearly 16,000. Hussa was elected to the mayor’s office in the fall of 2007, after serving 14-years on the township council.
As a Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course (BNCOC) instructor at the 254th Training Regiment in Sea Girt on weekends, Hussa certainly knows with 20-years of service in the National Guard what makes the military efficient and successful. It is that understanding that he brings to township operations.
“I use the Army model of organization, accountability and thoroughness,” said Hussa. “The Army approach is a logical approach.”
Hussa believes that there were numerous parallels in the decision making processes in the military that correlated directly to making sound decisions in his civilian role.
The Denville Public Works Department now monitors the cost of vehicle operations by maintaining a log book system similar to one used by military. He also is working to develop a local Emergency Management council that will be based on a military structure of command.
Hussa credits the Guard with providing the training to be successful in public service as every Soldier is expected to be an instructor, and public speaking is part of being a Soldier.
This 54-year-old mayor continues to draw from his Army Guard experiences in evaluating and deciding on policy as he oversees a $13 million dollar budget. As one way to save money, Hussa is looking to increase recycling in the town, efforts he is passionate about as he was the Morris County Recycling Volunteer of the Year in 2000.
So if it is saving green, going green or wearing his greens, Hussa is ready to lead and pass his experiences on to the next generations of NCO’s.
“We will place additional emphasis on our Military Outreach Program so as to ensure that we can assist all Guard and Reserve members in understanding their rights and obligations under USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act) while encouraging them to recognize supportive employers,” said Venticinque.
To accomplish that mission the New Jersey ESGR committee of nearly 150 volunteers has worked tirelessly to educate employers across the state and the new chairman challenged them to work even harder with the deployment of more than 3,000 New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers in 2008.
In the midst of the largest deployment of the New Jersey Army Guard since World War II, Venticinque knows the history of the unit. He retired in 1992 from the military as the Assistant Division Commander, 50th Armored Division, the predecessor of today’s 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
The New Jersey Field Committee which was formed in 1972, will continue to focus on the ESGR mission to ‘Gain and maintain active support from all public and private employers for the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve’ in the coming months according to Venticinque.
For more information on the New Jersey ESGR Committee visit www.njesgr.org/index.html.
|(c) 2008 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs|