Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce President Selected for Advocate Position with the United States Army

Ike McLeese Reappointed Civilian Aide to Army Secretary

The Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce has announced  that President and CEO Ike McLeese has been reappointed as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA). McLeese was selected by Secretary John M. McHugh to represent the state of South Carolina and will serve as the official advocate for the United States Army throughout the state. This is McLeese’s fourth two-year term as a Civilian Aide.

Formed in 1922, CASAs have become a vital part of the U.S. Army, promoting good relations between the Army and the public, as well as advising the secretary about each regional area. Each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia have one or more CASAs appointed to serve as the link between the Army and their local communities. Civilian Aide positions are also located in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. CASAs serve a two-year term without compensation. Terms may be extended to a total of ten years of service, followed by possible appointment as a CASA emeritus. To date, more than 500 individuals have served the Army and the nation as a CASA.

“Reappointment as the CASA for South Carolina is an outstanding honor and privilege,” McLeese said. “South Carolina fully understands, appreciates and continues to support the long-term partnerships with our local military communities. This position plays a critical role in facilitating productive dialogue as these local, regional and national relationships continue to grow and foster new collaborations.”

McLeese has longstanding ties to representing and supporting the sustained success of the S.C. military community, as well as advocating for the well-being of military members and their families.

During his 18-year tenure as president and CEO of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, McLeese has grown the organization’s membership and non-dues income, as well as led the implementation of a strategic plan to develop and grow the Columbia area through the Navigating from Good to Great initiative. McLeese currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Veterans Policy Academy, Midlands Technical College Foundation, Midlands Business Leadership Group, Midlands Housing Alliance and the Board of Visitors of Anderson University.

McLeese is a graduate of Anderson University and the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.

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