Mother’s Day with the reigning Mrs. District of Columbia and Teen District of Columbia: Mother-Daughter Duo Shares Advice for Busy Families
Wife. Mother. Soldier. Communicator. Lieutenant Colonel Ruth Castro has held many titles – and has shouldered even more responsibility – during the past few years. And now she’s the reigning Mrs. District of Columbia 2022, alongside her daughter Jaelene – currently an 8th grade student in VA and the reigning Teen District of Columbia 2022.
The Mother-Daughter duo are the perfect example of empowering and inspiring women everywhere – to be the best version of themselves.
Army Reserve Soldiers are more than public servants. Some are courageous and resilient parents and spouses balancing professional careers, family, health and well-being, all in the context of the Army Reserve lifestyle. This Mother’s Day—and everyday—the Army Reserve reaffirms its commitment to its mothers and their families by improving their quality of life through providing the best care, support, and services for Army Reserve families.
I had the honor of speaking with Army Reserve Lt. Col. Ruth Castro and her daughter Jaelene who discussed how Army Reserve mothers and families remain resilient through the special programs offered to assist Soldiers’ families. They also talked about their military family experiences such as mother-daughter extracurricular activities, overcoming challenges and maximizing their time together between military duty.
Mothers fulfill vital roles in their families, communities, civilian careers, and their Army Reserve units. The Army Reserve story isn’t complete without the countless contributions and groundbreaking accomplishments of women Soldiers and the families who support them.
Families are the backbone of our military and face their own unique challenges. Their support makes the all-volunteer Army Reserve force stronger. That’s why the Army offers several programs to help moms and spouses who, at times are the sole parent caring for their children while also ensuring kids are healthy and resilient. Special services for children and spouses include:
- Childcare support
- Employment & education assistance for spouses
- Tutoring and homework help
- Scholarship programs for military children
- Healthcare assistance for family members
And much more.
To learn more, visit: usar.army.mil.
ABOUT OUR GUESTS
LTC Ruth Castro was born in Toledo, OH and raised in St. James, MN and La Victoria, TX. She enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard, as a Private First Class in 1999, serving in St. Paul as a personnel services specialist in the Adjutant General Corps. In 2003, after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice at Texas A&M, she was commissioned into the AG Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve. Her first officer assignment was with the 345th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment in San Antonio, TX.
Currently the Advertising and Marketing Chief at the Office of the Chief of Army Reserve, LTC Castro’s past assignments include: Director of Communications, Army Marketing and Research Group in Crystal City, Virginia; Public Affairs Officer for 1st Mission Support Command in Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico; Media Officer at U.S. Northern Command, Colorado; Public Affairs Officer for 4th Sustainment Command, and Commander, 345th Public Affairs Detachment in San Antonio, TX. While deployed, served as Detachment Commander, 755th AG Company at Forward Operating Base in Kalsu, Iraq.
LTC Castro has a Master of Arts Degree in Strategic Communications from Michigan State University. She is happily married for 15 years to Pablo Castro a network communications manager at Northrop Grumman, and former Army tanker. They have 4 children Jaelene (13), Yarely (11), Miguel (7) and Catalina (10 months). The Castro family is rounded out by 2 dogs Chuy and Princess Bella, and two cats Max and Ruby,
MILITARY EDUCATION AND AWARDS:
LTC Castro’s military education includes: Basic Combat Training, 1999, Fort Sill, OK; Personnel Services Specialist Advanced Individual Training, 2000, Fort Jackson, SC; Adjutant General Officer Basic Course, 2004, Fort Jackson, SC; Public Affairs Officer Qualification Course, 2004, Fort Meade, MD; Postal Operations and Supervisors courses, 2005, Fort McCoy, WI; Defense Support of Civil Authorities, 2013, Colorado Springs, CO; Adjutant General Captain’s Career Course, 2013, Fort Jackson, SC; and Command Staff and General College, 2016, Fort Belvoir, VA.
LTC Castro’s awards and decorations include: Meritorious Service Medal w/2 Oak Leaf Cluster; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Army Commendation Medal w/ 1 Oak Leaf Cluster; National Defense Service Medal; Iraqi Campaign Medal w/1 Bronze Star; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge, Gold.
LTC Castro is a head coach for Girls on the Run NOVA at a local middle school. She is also a volunteer for Postpartum Support Virginia and was recently accepted into The Mission Continues Women Veterans Leadership Program Cohort 4 with an expected graduation date of July 2022. LTC is the reigning United States of America’s Mrs. District of Columbia 2022, a title she won alongside her daughter, Jaelene.
Jaelene is currently an 8th grade student in Manassas, VA. She is the oldest of four children. She plays the flute in her school band, participates in Heart & Sole program in her middle school and is currently taking her love for horses to a new level by learning how to ride horses.
Jaelene volunteers at her church to help with the pre-school classroom and is actively involved in her church’s youth group. She is a black belt in Taekwondo and member of the CIT (Certified Instructor Training) program at her DoJo. Jaelene teaches Taekwondo once a week at her DoJo and assists other instructors as needed.
Jaelene is the reigning United States of America’s Teen District of Columbia 2022, a title she won alongside