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NEWS | July 1, 2024

Military Pay Operations director receives Towson Medallion

By Brad Staggs U.S. Army Financial Management Command

The Maj. Gen. Nathan Towson Regimental Medallion, named after a two-time Army paymaster general from 1819-1821 and 1822-1854, is an award given to Army finance and comptroller Soldiers and civilians who exhibit exceptional achievement or exemplary service. In the case of its most recent recipient, who served both in and out of uniform, both statements apply equally.

Susan M. Gillison, U.S. Army Financial Management Command Military Pay Operations director, was awarded the 886th Towson Medallion during an annual Army Military Pay Operations leadership forum at the Maj. Gen. Emmett J. Bean Center in Indianapolis June 14.

Brig. Gen. Paige M. Jennings, then USAFMCOM commanding general who presented Gillison with the medallion, summed up the feeling of those in attendance when she simply said, “it’s been a long time coming.

“Susan, you’ve given a lot to this nation both in uniform and out,” Jennings continued. “This is just a small thank you, one that should have been given to you a long time ago.”

Gillison said she plans to retire this fall with more than 40 years of cumulative service, in and out of uniform. She retired from the Regular Army as a major in 2005, and after a few years joined federal civil service in 2008.

In 2020, Gillison was at the helm of the AMPOs when they transition from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service back to the Army, where they were prior to 1994.

“Of all of the medals I’ve ever received, this is the one coveted award that I wanted,” Gillison told the assembled finance and comptroller professionals. “This has been the most fun career of my lifetime, and I just can’t thank everyone enough.”

Under USAFMCOM and Gillison’s direction, the MPO directorate performs the installation-level military support for the Army across the United States and Japan with 35 AMPOs and 14 satellite offices at 49 locations.

The AMPOs perform the full range of military pay services to include in and out-processing, input of transactions generated by orders and forms from Army units and activities, and separations. At select installations, the AMPOs process accession transactions for new Soldiers.

Taking great pride in her work leading and helping the AMPOs serve Soldiers and their families around the globe, Gillison said she draws from what she initially went to school to do as a career in the civilian world.  

“I'm an educator, an English educator by training, and it's all about explaining things to people so they understand,” Gillison explained. “If we would tell people things in the plainest language possible, a lot of the problems that do happen would be averted. That’s what I teach people.”

Even after four decades, Gillison’s teammates said she still has a smile for everybody she talks to and will be missed as she moves into retirement.


USAFMCOM delivers precision enterprise-wide financial operations to integrate, synchronize and sustain the battlefield through the Joint Strategic Support Area. The two-star command also directly supports the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management and Comptroller in their role as the principal advisor on all matters related to financial management and comptrollership.