Meet Our Experts | - Leader Development for Army Professionals

Meet Our Experts

Everything you read on AskTOP would be worthless if it were written by some folks who didn’t know what they were talking about. Thankfully, that’s not the case.

Mark Gerecht (posts by Mark)
Mark Gerecht, Host of AskTOP.netMark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training. He is the Host of

Mackie Ocampo (posts by Mackie)
Mackie Ocampo, AskTOP Subject Matter ExpertMackie is a full-time Active Duty Sergeant First Class and has served over 7 years in US Army’s Adjutant General’s Corps to date. Currently, he serves as a Human Resources Sergeant in the 4th Infantry Division’s 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team S1 stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. Mackie has served in Korea, Afghanistan, and twice in Iraq accumulating over 47 months of overseas service. He believes that the “personnel” aspect of a Soldier’s career is a big factor in their morale and readiness and is determined to assist Soldiers in their professional development by providing sound advice and clarification of ongoing policies, regulations, and procedures.

Doug Eckstein (posts by Eck)
A photograph of AskTOP Subject Matter Expert Doug EcksteinStaff Sergeant Douglas “Eck” Eckstein is an Active Duty Paralegal NCO with over ten years of service in the Army. He has served overseas tours in Korea and Iraq. Eck served on active duty for seven years working in the personnel administration field then, after a break in service, returned to active duty in 2009 when he earned the Military Occupational Specialty, 27D (paralegal). He is experienced in administrative separations, UCMJ actions, court-martials, criminal law and Soldier’s rights.”

Jo B. Rusin (posts by Jo B.)
Jo B. Rusin, AskTOP Subject Matter ExpertJo B. Rusin is a retired soldier, who spent the majority of her career in Regular Army troop units from platoon leader to commander of a support brigade in the Gulf War. As a combat service support soldier, Jo B. served in units composed of both men and women from all racial and ethnic groups. She is a strong believer in the ability of soldiers to succeed, regardless of whether they are men or women or where they came from. Jo B. is the author of a number of military leadership books, including Move Out: The Insider’s Guide for Military Leaders; Move to the Front: The Classic Guide for Military Women; and Women on Your Team: A Man’s Guide to Leading Women.

Lee Kind(posts by Lee)
Lee Kind, AskTop Subject Matter ExpertLee Kind is former Army Transportation Officer with 8 years of service spending most of his time in the 82nd Airborne Division. Lee is passionate about sharing wisdom on physical fitness (scoring 370+ on PT tests) and practical leadership to help Soldiers excel in all they do and set the example for others to follow. Lee is the author of “MAX Out the Army, Marine, and Air Force Physical Fitness and Combat Fitness Tests” Volume I and II.
Matthew O’Keefe (posts by Matthew)
Photo of MatthweSFC Matthew O’Keefe is an active duty Career Counselor with over 12 years of experience in Retention and Recruiting. He originally enlisted in the Army as an Infantryman, and later became a Career Counselor after a brief 3 year recruiting tour in Seattle Recruiting Battalion. He has served in several retention positions including Cavalry, Infantry, Military Police, CBRN-E, Medical Brigade Headquarters, and Division Operations at 1st and 2nd ID. He currently serves in 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado. He is experienced in Retention Policy, Reclassification, Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB), Bars to Reenlistment, Selective Reenlistment Bonuses, Career Status Bonus (CSB)/REDUX, Reenlistment Contract Validation/Renegotiation, and OCONUS PCS policy.

John Perry (posts by John)
A photograph of AskTOP Subject Matter Expert John PerryJohn is a retired Command Sergeant Major with 7 years of experience on Active Duty and 30 years experience in the Army Reserve. John’s military areas of expertise include Missiles, Ordnance, Chemical, and Food Service. John has a degree in Electrical Engineering and is retired from Chrysler Corporation. He is currently employed by a defense contractor as a Senior Production Engineer. John is the Vice President of Army Reserve Affairs for the Redstone/Huntsville Chapter of the Association of the United States Army and former president of North Alabama Veterans Coalition. John and his wife received the Military Family of the Year award in 2008 and will be receiving the 2011 Spirit of America, Support of Military Family award in July for their long history of volunteer work in support of soldiers and their families.

Becky Pillsbury (posts by Becky)
Becky Pillsbury, AskTop Subject Matter ExpertBecky Pillsbury has 37 years of experience as a military spouse. She has served in several key positions influencing spouse and service member issues. She has 26 years as a teacher with specific experience in preschool, elementary education, middle school, hearing impaired, learning disabled in 3 countries and 11 different school systems. She is active in community organizations that include: Vice President – Still Serving Veterans, Board member- Association of Retarded Citizens (ARC) of Madison County, and numerous other committees.

Philip D. Cave(posts by Philip)
Philip D. Cave, AskTOP Subject Matter ExpertCDR Philip D. Cave, JAGC, USN (Ret.) has 32 years of military and security clearance law experience. Having handled cases from all branches of service, Philip is the resident legal guru on the AskTOP SME Panel. If you are facing adverse action, losing your security clearance, being labeled with an AWOL status, or otherwise seeking a professional Case Evaluation, visit Philip’s website to learn how he can help you.

Jeffrey W. Bennett (posts by Jeff)
Jeffrey W. Bennett, AskTop Subject Matter ExpertJeffrey W. Bennett, ISP has served 22 years in Army Intelligence and Transportation and now advises on national security. A teacher at heart, he is board certified to protect classified information and has a master’s in business administration. He speaks, writes and provides products to help professionals better protect sensitive and classified information. His books include, “ISP Certification-The Industrial Security Professional Exam Manual”, “Managing the Security of Classified Information and Contracts” and “Get Riche in a Niche; Writing, Self-Publishing and Marketing in a Specialized Market”. Red Bike Publishing

Dr. Harry Hobbs (posts by Harry)
Photo of Harry HobbsHarry is Retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 with over 29 years of military service, and graduate of 26 military schools and courses. He is a Master Instructor and has taught at every level of the Warrant Officer (WO) Education system/Academies: WO Entry Course, WO Basic Course, WO Advance Course, WO Staff Course and the WO Senior Staff course. He was the only Missile Systems WO in the history of the Army that has ever taught at every level of the WO Education System, was a Level C SERE Instructor, was an Active Duty Detachment Commander, earned a PhD and was selected for an early promotion below the Zone to the rank of CWO5 at the time of his retirement. He was inducted into the Prestigious Sergeant/Morales Leadership Club and the Audie Murphy Leadership Club during his enlisted career. He was inducted into the V Corps Distinguished Leader Club during his career as an Officer. He was awarded the Bronze Star while performing combat operations during Gulf War (Desert Storm). During his retirement ceremony he was awarded the Legion of Merit Award for his values based philosophy and ability to train and mentor generations of Soldiers into outstanding military leaders.

Donald Gentry (posts by Don)
A photograph of AskTOP Subject Matter Expert Donald GentryCOL(R) Don Gentry served for 30 years as a Field Artillery officer. He served in positions from Battery to Division in various Field Artillery and Fire Support positions. Don commanded 5 different organizations during his career. (2 Artillery Batteries, Field Artillery Battalion, Garrison, and the Sergeants Major Academy) Don served in Iraqi Freedom as the Chief of Operations for Multi-National Force, Iraq. After retiring in June 2011, Don has worked in the Emergency Management field and as a consultant supporting Army training exercises around the world. Don and his wife, Patti, now reside in Cedar Park, Texas.

Bennett Tanton(posts by Bennett)
Photograph Pending
Bennett is a former Reconnaissance Marine and US Army Infantryman. He deployed as part of JTF-6 executing counter drug operations, deployed on multiple operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Multi-national force operations in Egypt. He has a bachelors degree from American Military University in Security Management, is a 2014 graduate of Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) at Syracuse University, and currently pursuing a masters in social work. Bennett is a Co-Founder and Certified Peer Support Specialist for the Warrior Hall, and a peer mentor for Wounded Warrior Project. Bennett also works for the Veterans Administration as a Peer Support Specialist at the VA Medical Center in Wilmington, Delaware. Every day he wakes up happy to be working with Veterans, helping them navigate the system and rise out of homelessness and addiction.
Tom Perkins (posts by Tom)
Photo of TomTom is a Retired Sergeant First Class with 20 years of military leadership experience. He served as a Combat Medic (91B) and LPN (68WM6) in the Army Medical Corp. He has held positions ranging from Squad Leader to Senior Medical NCO. Tom has served in German, Hawaii, Iraq and Kuwait accumulating over 91 months of overseas service. He has been assigned as a PLDC instructor, Retention NCO, Orderly Room NCO, and Deployment Readiness NCO. He served ten years with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) beginning with Operation Desert Shield/Storm. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Wardmaster. Tom’s areas of expertise include Army medical policy and procedure, military leadership and counseling. He firmly believes that in order to accomplish the mission you must first take care of your Soldiers. He is also an inductee of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club (SAMC) and Order of Military Medical Merit (O2M3).

Norman Wade(posts by Norman)
Norman Wade, AskTop Subject Matter ExpertNorman M. Wade is the author and publisher of the “SMARTbook” series of military reference books. With eight separate titles currently in circulation (and more than 18 books over the past 17 years), the SMARTbook series is recognized as a doctrinal reference standard by military professionals around the world at the tactical, organizational/institutional, and strategic levels. A former Army aviator, Norm flew OH-58 Kiowa scout helicopters as a platoon leader during combat in Desert Storm and later commanded an attack helicopter company (AH-64 Apaches). He retired with more than 23 years of military service and served in a variety of leadership and senior staff positions. The Lightning Press

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