"The root cause of the smuggling issue along the border is "'America's insatiable demand for drugs,'" Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin said. As a means to help curb that demand, the National Guard Counterdrug Program's Civil Operations Program works with community-based organizations (CBO). The Civil Operations specialist identifies local resources and develops partnerships for anti-drug CBOs to make them more dynamic and influential in their effort to turn the tide against the "insatiable demand for drugs."
One such specialist is Staff Sgt. David You, New York National Guard Counterdrug Civil Operations Program, who was named the 2015 Civil Operator of the Year for his effort in helping CBOs become more resourceful and in so doing more effective.
"His dedication to duty, technical skills and on the ground experience has made Staff Sgt. You New York State's finest Civil Operator and an invaluable asset to the Counterdrug Program," Col. Michel A. Natali, counterdrug coordinator New York National Guard, said.
"Although the majority of people know there is a problem with drug use in their neighborhood, not many people take action to combat the issue," You said.
But not You. He has spent the past four years helping CBOs become more resourceful as they worked to curb "America's insatiable demand for drugs."
You was honored for the work he did in 2015 with the Massapequa Takes Action Coalition (MTA) and the Rockville Center Coalition (RCC). He helped MTA earn the Partnership for Success Grant valued at $600,000 that spans four and one-half years, and he helped RCC land a Federal Drug-Free Community grant worth more than $625,000 that spans five years.
"With his insight, we have been able to remain focused on our mission, have a better
understanding of purpose and how we can best maximize our resources," Mark Wenzel, Co-Chair, MTA coalition said. "We are grateful for his support while representing the National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, and we are excited about our future progress."
This success would lead many to call it a day and a job well done, but not You. He coached and mentored three additional CBOs: Glen Cove SAFE, Jericho and Korean Community Services (KCS).
"Staff Sgt. You's unique military skills and decision-making process have proven to be of great value," Linda Lee, executive director KCS, said. "His work identifying, researching, and introducing the organization to new funders, as well as drafting request letters have directly increased KCS' capacity and has helped us sustain some of our programs."
"What gives me the most satisfaction working with anti-drug coalitions is the fact that I know I am making a difference in local NYC communities," You said.
You draws on his Army experience and military-unique skills such as Troop Leading Procedures, the Army's Problem Solving techniques, the Military Decision-Making Process, and analysis of the operational environment to enhance his work with coalitions.
"You has implemented DOD models of assessment within his daily work of civil operations," Maj. William B. Murphy, New York City Regional Commander said. "Implementing these assessments was not an easy task. It took countless hours of his own time focusing on professional development to ensure that he not only understood the concepts but could adapt them to a diverse and unique set of organizations."
Not only does he help train coalitions, You trains his fellow Guard members. As New York's senior Civil Operations trainer, You trained more than 20 Guard members in the New York Counterdrug Civil Operations Program.
"The accomplishment of Staff Sgt. You represents a model Civil Operations specialist," Col. Michel A. Natali, New York National Guard counterdrug coordinator, said. "It demonstrates the commitment of his work toward substance abuse prevention."
"When a coalition member tells me that I am doing a good job for their organization, it gives me pleasure because then I know that in working with these special individuals, I am helping them tackle this difficult challenge," You said.
In helping safeguard New York's communities, You is helping CBOs find more efficient ways to curb the "insatiable demand for drugs."