- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 30, 2005

Protecting veterans’ benefits and stimulating growth among local chapters of the National Association for Uniformed Services are goals Maj. Gen. William M. Matz Jr. has as the association’s new president.

Gen. Matz, 65, took over as president of the Springfield nonprofit organization and as administrator of the Society of Military Widows Jan. 15.

He has been preparing for his new role by meeting with Capitol Hill leaders and members of the Defense Department.

The association was started in 1968. It represents all branches of the uniformed services: the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The group supports legislation that upholds the rights of service members, their families and children.

Gen. Matz brings to the association 32 years of military experience and stints in the defense industry. He most recently spent 2 years in Saudi Arabia working with Vinell Arabia, a defense contractor for the Saudi national guard owned by Vinell Corp., a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corp.

He served as the company’s program general manager for the guard’s modernization program, overseeing more than 1,000 contracted workers and training army membershow to operate light armored vehicles. His job also included training the Saudi national guard on base and compound defense measures.

Gen. Matz said challenges he faced included “keeping a very high level of training while trying to attract and attain good people” despite terrorist activity.

“I would say one of the things that really helped me was learning to work for and with a foreign government,” he said. “You had to balance what they wanted and what they felt they needed, so that was a good learning experience.”

Earlier, Gen. Matz wasvice president of Army programs in the D.C. office of defense contractorRaytheon Corp., after retiring from the Army in 1996. He left the company in 2001.

His daily responsibilities as president of the association include managing the full-time staff of 14, overseeing growth and development of the organization’s 110 chapters in the United States and overseas,and meeting with members of Congress and the Defense Department.

Gen. Matz said he wants to work closely with other veterans associations.

“To me, it’s really a privilege to be able to take those leadership traits that I’ve been able to develop through life and apply them to working hard for what I feel is the greatest asset this country has, and that is our serving troops and our veterans,” he said.

Ben Butler, the association’s director of legislation, will work with Gen. Matz daily. He said Gen. Matz’s energy and enthusiasm fit well with the organization’s mission.

“He is an outstanding leader and manager, and he’s very enthusiastic about helping veterans and retirees to enhance their benefits,” Mr. Butler said.

Gen. Matz and his wife, Linda, live in Great Falls, Va.They have three adult children and six grandchildren.

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