Just For the Record

Lt. Colonel Chalas Award Ceremony

Massachusetts Maritime Academy has produced more than it’s fair share of “rock star” grads who are outstanding in their fields.  But, it should also be noted that these stars are not all employed in the maritime sector.  While many cadets are drawn to the Academy by the love and lure of the ocean, not all choose to pursue careers on the sea.  Recently promoted LT. Colonel Marisol Chalas '96 is one of these.  And this time the Congressional Record has taken note!

House of Representatives

ON THE PROMOTION OF MAJOR MARISOL ALTAGRACIA CHALAS

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY

HON. BETTY MCCOLLUM

OF MINNESOTA IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

“Ms. McCollum of Minnesota: Mr. Speaker I rise today to congratulate Major Marisol Altagracia Chalas on the occasion of her well-deserved promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army.  Marisol began her outstanding military career 28 years ago as an enlisted soldier and has broken barriers on behalf of women in this country ever since.  Most notably, in 2001 she had the distinction of becoming the first Latina National Guard Black Hawk pilot in the United States.  Throughout her career, she has held the position of Battle Captain and Platoon Leader during Operation Iraqi Freedom Aviation Liaison under the Combined Joint Task Force in the Dominican Republic, Lean Six Sigma Advisor and Force Management and Exchange Officer with the Canadian military.  Marisol also has outstanding corporate experience, having worked in management positions at General Electric and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Marisol’s commitment to public service is not limited to serving in the U. S. Armed Forces.  It extends to helping her community as well.  Marisol started a leadership lunch and learn program for children at Fort Bragg, took part in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program, and currently serves on the board of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.  She also received the USCIS Outstanding American by Choice Award in 2017, which highlights and celebrates the experience and work ethic that immigrants contribute to the United States.

As an Army Congressional Fellow in my office, Marisol brought a unique perspective to my staff.  Her long, distinguished career in the military added invaluable insight while we considered the Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Appropriations legislation.  The policy and funding measures she worked on helped to improve the lives of U. S. service members around the world.  Additionally, Marisol oversaw the State and Foreign Operations and Homeland Security appropriations portfolio during her year in the office.  Whether it was meeting with constituents, staffing day-long Appropriations Committee markups, or debating important issues with staff, Marisol always conducted herself with utmost professionalism and respect.

Marisol’s service and dedication to our nation truly upholds the U. S. Army’s core values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.  Thank you, Marisol, for your service to our nation and for your service to the people of the Fourth District of Minnesota.  We wish you nothing but success in the next chapter of your life.