Army salutes long-term public affairs officer

Courtesy 415th BSB

***image1***For at least 30 years, the 415th Base Support Battalion’s only public affairs officer has fostered a good working relationship between Army, Air Force and local nationals.
Brigitte de Jesus, affectionately known as Frau de Jesus, has been the 415th BSB public affairs officer since the battalion was formed when the 29th Area Support Group split in 1993. The newly formed battalion garnered Mrs. de Jesus, who had been the 29th ASG public affairs officer for 10 years.
One of Mrs. de Jesus’ biggest achievements has been her work with the KMC Special Olympics for more than 20 years. She negotiated adding German athletes and moving the location to the Police Academy eight years ago.
“I was invited to the academy for a sports event, and I thought ‘wow! This would be perfect for our Special Olympics,’” said Mrs. de Jesus. “I suggested it, and everyone was thrilled to their tootsies.”
To top it off, Mrs. de Jesus even designed the 415th BSB unit crest.“Her extensive institutional knowledge of host nation and U.S. relations is unsurpassed in Kaiserslautern,” said Army Lt. Col. David Hall, the 415th BSB commander. “She provides liaison between the U.S. Army, the city of Kaiserslautern and the state of Rheinland-Pfalz.”
Mrs. de Jesus was born and raised in Kaiserslautern but is an American citizen.
She has been the liaison for 22 commanders, six of which were for the 415th BSB, since she started working as a community relations specialist with the U.S. military in 1976.
“One of my functions is to introduce the commander to the ruling dignitary in Kaiserslautern and the entire community all the way to the state level,” said Mrs. de Jesus. “It’s definitely very important, and I have provided that continuity even through all the commanders I have had.”
She performed this function so well that in 1999 she was awarded the German State of Rheinland-Pfalz Distinguished Service Medal. This is the German state’s highest humanitarian and public service award for fostering German-American and international relations.
“I’m glad Frau de Jesus always passed on important information she received from German authorities to me to be published in the Kaiserslautern American,” said Petra Lessoing, staff writer for the KA. “That way, Americans in the KMC were instantly made aware of changes such as road closures, autobahn construction, official events, and more.”
Mrs. de Jesus is also known for building a good working relationship between the Army and Air Force.
“Brigitte has been a real ally to our office. She has offered repeated counsel and advice and always within the framework of helping us accomplish the mission,” said Maj. Mike Young, 435th Air Base Wing public affairs chief. “Her behind-the scenes advocacy has served to establish and strengthen our relationship with the 415th BSB and has helped foster our standing within the KMC in general.”
(Courtesy 415th BSB)