DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Former Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz has been chosen to represent Alabama while serving as an aide to the Secretary of the Army.
Secretary Ryan McCarthy appointed Schmitz as the aide for Alabama (South) last Thursday in a virtual ceremony between the Pentagon and Dothan.
As a civilian aide, Schmitz will help maintain a positive relationship with the Army and the general public and advise the secretary about regional matters. Schmitz said working as an aide would be an honor.
“Having four brothers and a father who all served in the military, I have seen the challenges that they and their families faced as they dedicated their lives to serving our country,” he said in a report by Fort Rucker Public Affairs staff. “I am looking forward to serving as a voice for families like theirs as I continue to tell the story of the U.S. Army and its impact on the great state of Alabama and the U.S.”
Schmitz served as Dothan’s mayor from 2009 to 2017, refusing to run for a third term and running for Dothan City School Board chairman instead. Mark Saliba would go on to succeed Schmitz as the current mayor.
A man of the community, Schmitz led the founding of the coalition group Fort Rucker: Heartbeat of the Wiregrass to help support the post and its contributions to the Wiregrass. This group is made up of citizens, city governments, businesses, military personnel, and others who wish to achieve this goal.
This group effort later brought more than 1,600 citizens together for one of the Pentagon’s largest listening sessions.
He also has served as a volunteer for the Association of the U.S. Army and has worked with other groups that support our local military.
“I have served on the Board of the Fort Rucker-Wiregrass Chapter of the AUSA for 15 years and the Board of Friends of Fort Rucker for eight years,” Schmitz said. “Through these two organizations, my passion for Fort Rucker has grown exponentially. I also saw Fort Rucker’s economic impact on the Wiregrass firsthand during my time as mayor of Dothan and still every day as a small business owner for over 30 years.”
Maj. Gen. David J. Francis, Fort Rucker’s commanding general, said Schmitz is a good person to have as a civilian aide, pointing out his history of supporting the military.
“Mike has been a friend to Fort Rucker for many years and I look forward to working with him in his new role,” Francis said. “I know his appointment will only strengthen the already incredible bonds between Fort Rucker and the Wiregrass.”
Civilian aides to the Secretary of the Army serve two-year terms without pay, although these terms can be lengthened to 10 years. After 10 years, a civilian aide can be named as a CASA Emeritus for distinguished service.