After a career of more than 30 years in the Army Reserve, a Watertown doctor was picked as one of three ambassadors of the service for the state of New York.
Robert J. Kasulke, a retired major general and practicing physician in the city, will represent the service at events all the way from Albany to the Canadian border.
Theres so many things going on with the military now that people look at the active component, and they dont realize how much play the reserve component has and how it works with the active component, Dr. Kasulke said. Id like to help fill in that picture.
Dr. Kasulke said receiving the post was an honor and a privilege.
He was selected for the ambassador post, a three-year position, at the end of May.
Among the roles listed for the position are educating state and regional government and business officials about the role of the service, appearing at public events and advocating for service members and their families, particularly during deployment periods.
The ambassadors also help the service in its recruiting efforts.
Dr. Kasulke said he was excited about going beyond his time in the medical command of the Army Reserves to speak about the service as a whole.
The ambassador program was established in April 1998, and there are 100 Army Reserve ambassadors throughout the country. Dr. Kasulke said the other two ambassadors for the state are positioned closer to the New York City area.
Though the ambassadors are given the status of two-star generals for protocol purposes, the volunteer positions are undertaken without any salary, wages or other benefits.
Dr. Kasulkes 33-year military career included time as the commanding general of the Army Reserve Medical Command, Pinellas Park, Fla. Among the awards he received through the course of his career were the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation with Oak Leaf Cluster.
Other local roles held by Dr. Kasulke include deputy medical examiner for Jefferson County and medical director of Hospice of Jefferson County.
The ambassador role will be in addition to his future role as international president of the Interallied Confederation of Medical Reserve Officers, which he will assume in 2014.