Branch: National Guard
Duty Station: Maryland
Number of Deployments: 6
Number of PCS's: 0
Share your military spouse story:
My story started in 1998 in Southern California when a simple hello and a smile from a Marine captured my heart. The next chapter of his military service moved us cross country to join the Maryland Army National Guard; an organization his father, a Sergeant First Class, served from 1964. The day he enlisted at the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade (29th CAB) in Edgewood, Maryland, I joined the Family Readiness Group as a core volunteer. I vowed to learn from those who came before me and support as many Maryland military families as possible. Within a year I was the Soldier and Family Readiness Group (SFRG) Lead Volunteer and never looked back. As a National Guard spouse I know the importance of a stable home, family living only miles away, and the value of time to raise a family. Our kids Cheyenne, a junior at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) studying Architecture Design and Kaycee, a PV2 serving in my husband’s unit at the 29th CAB have always guided me to support the children of our soldiers. During my husband’s first four deployments I met soldiers from 18 other states while volunteering at mobilization sites and received my call-sign “Mama Hash.” I have had the honor during 52-months of deployments, to serve incredible spouses and military children with various needs; farewell ceremonies, holiday toy drives, deployment ceremonies, Red Cross communications, fundraisers, welcome home ceremonies. My efforts are still evolving even after 23 years. My strength to thrive at finding solutions to challenges, and ways to build resilient families in the midst of military travel, drill weekends, annual training and deployments are a result of being a proud military Spouse, Mother, Daughter-in-Law and “Mama Hash” to my family and our serving military and their families.
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I served 1-year as a Core Volunteer for F Co 2-224th, 15-years as a Lead Volunteer for D Co 248th, A Co 1-224th, Aviation Depot Maintenance Round-out Unit and 1100 Theater Aviation Support Maintenance Group, 4-years as the 29th CAB Family Readiness Support Assistant, and 3-years as the Maryland and District of Columbia Military OneSource State Consultant. I have 22 years of additional fundraising and volunteering with the school system, Gunpowder Wounded Warrior Outreach, Operation Homefront and United Through Reading. I believe it is my leadership in volunteering that lead to my current position as the Executive Assistant to the Adjutant General. I have over 8,000 volunteer hours and raised more than $50,000 in support of our guardsmen. My efforts come from my love of the military and the rewarding “thank you” hug/fist bump. Not everyone can lead or seek to volunteer but it is my passion and I will continue as long as there are soldier and family members to assist, mentor and inspire.
Describe your involvement in the military community:
Unique. I would describe my involvement within the military community as unique. Each day 85% of my time is spent on the phone, answering emails and assisting in-person service or family members. I work and volunteer my time to the Maryland National Guard 24/7. I am blessed that everything in my life allows me to support all who wear or those who support our state’s guardsmen. Working hard to build trust with the guardsmen allows me to build a deeper relationship with them as a soldier and individual. This is essential and powerful. It is also is an privilege that the soldiers and families are comfortable to call me at any time to support them with issues, provide resources or listen to them as they struggle with their own challenges that come with being a civilian soldier and/or family member.
Describe how you support your community:
My community is my support village and I am theirs. Our home is nestled in the country with two other homes. Of the 6-adults that live in these 3-homes, five work on Aberdeen Proving Grounds (APG) and I work at the Fifth Regiment Armory in Baltimore. On a greater scale my hometown has 22% veteran population. We are surrounded by the army base, multiple Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legions and veteran owned businesses. When I am not working at the armory or volunteering, I take the opportunity to visit businesses in the community. In addition to getting to know the owners I am expanding my resource database. This allows me to stay current with the organizations, businesses and churches that assist our military. Identifying military discounts are a bonus, but I seek out those who are able to provide assistance when a guardsmen needs a helping hand at little to no cost; affordable housing, food, legal advice, mental health care, and nutritional support to name a few.
What do you advocate for? Why?
I advocate for “Mission First, Family Always.” I want to empower the military with knowledge and confidence to overcome the unexpected obstacles. No matter if I am working for the Adjutant General, supporting my husband’s military career, leading the SRFG or raising our children to volunteer and serve, I ensure soldiers and families get accurate information on benefits, dependent IDs, and Family Care Plans. Being approachable is my advantage. With that, it is up to me to gain their trust, be reliable and educate so they are able to take care of their loved ones. This is achieved by sharing resources through email and social media, attending drill weekends and proving my cell phone for 24/7 assistance. A military spouse for 22+ years and 82-months of TDY, I know the importance of being prepared and resilient. “Why?” It is REWARDING! I assist, comfort and rejoice with a birth, new rank, retire, house fire, unexpected injury, death, or a leaky faucet. I am honored to be “their village”.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I am the key to spreading the message. Twenty-three years of being present at the 29th CAB armory and hangar or at Joint Force HeadQuarters, the military community knows I will provide resources and support at any time of day. By working and volunteering for my extended military family I am dedicated to spreading the message of being accessible, reliable and understanding of each situation that is presented to me. I use my confidence, unique perspective, and strong independent personality to share important information. I maintain a presence through monthly newsletters, specialized emails, SFRG Facebook and personal Instagram pages. I also attend drill weekends, National Guard organized events such as Future Formation, Soldier Readiness Processing, Child and Youth events, deployment ceremonies, Family Days and Yellow Ribbon events. By supporting events most weekends, I am able to reach soldiers and family members from all brigades.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
The honor of being named Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year 2022 allows for an unimaginable opportunity to network with other exceptional spouses, volunteers, as well as access to active and reserve service members and families throughout the other 53 states and territories. An experience where I am able to continue to expand my knowledge while supporting other components and branches with financial resources, behavior health referrals, employment opportunities, DEERS enrollment, Honor Guard requests and community outreach for services. An honor that allows me to support soldiers and airmen at our 28 armory and readiness centers that make up the Maryland National Guard. Maryland also has 13 Active Duty Bases and numerous reserve centers. I will use this opportunity to help Maryland National Guard be “Always Ready, Always There.”
Mrs. Allyson Hash is the spouse of First Sergeant Scott Hash, who is currently deployed to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Simply put Allyson is a force of nature that is in constant care mode for the Soldiers of our MD Army National Guard. She is an ever-present part of our Soldiers and Families lives. She inspires others by her selfless service putting in long hours as a volunteer checking in daily with families of deployed Soldiers. She has developed multiple family support programs. She knows the basic truth that empowering family members to lead and work within the family support structure creates a purpose and connection to their deployed Soldier. She guides family members through the tough times and rallies our military leaders and fellow family members to assist those in need. Allyson is an Ambassador to our state and federal leaders advocating for our families and the unique challenges that Reserve Component Soldier/Family teams face.
- by Adam Flasch
Allyson has been through four deployments with me and performed duties as the lead FRG every deployment. She continues to educate and support Soldier's family members that are left behind providing insight for their well being. She has been a member of the Maryland National Guard Family Readiness Group for 23 years, the Family Readiness Assistant for five years, and worked for Military One Source for three years. She has embedded herself into Army Aviation and is known as the Queen of Aviation, although she has enabled other branches and supported the entire Maryland National Guard.
- by Scott Hash