Governor Lamont Announces Veterans Affairs Commissioner Saadi Taking Six-Month, Quasi-Leave While on Active Duty
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Commissioner Thomas J. Saadi will be taking a six-month, quasi-leave of absence beginning Friday, November 15 while on active duty with the U.S. Army.
In a letter to the governor, Commissioner Saadi explained that he will be stationed in upstate New York, enabling him not only to maintain regular contact with his staff via email and telephone, but also giving him the ability to utilize his military leave and return to the DVA campus in Rocky Hill on occasion to keep the agency on a steady course forward.
Commissioner Saadi volunteered for the active duty mobilization. He is a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve, serving with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion.
“I appreciate the fact that we have a veterans affairs commissioner who not only has dedicated his career to ensuring our veterans have access to the services they’ve earned, but who also is willing to volunteer to serve our nation when called upon,” Governor Lamont said. “Commissioner Saadi’s willingness to take on this mission is to be applauded.”
“It is because of the strong support from Governor Lamont and Lt. Governor Bysiewicz that I am able to take on this mission of serving our nation on active duty while still serving our state’s veterans,” Commissioner Saadi said. “I am thankful to have a great team of dedicated DVA staff, volunteers, community-based partners, and veteran service organizations who will continue the collective mission of ‘serving those who served’ without interruption.”
Commissioner Saadi was reconfirmed by the Connecticut General Assembly as commissioner of DVA in March 2019 after being nominated by Governor Lamont to continue in the position he held since February 2018. He previously served as acting commissioner of DVA from October 2017 through February 2018, and prior to that served as the agency’s chief of staff and general counsel. Commissioner Saadi received his commission as a judge advocate in the Army Reserve in November 2005, completed officer basic training in 2006, officer advanced training in 2014, and command and general staff college in 2016.
In his absence, day-to-day operations will be overseen by two senior DVA managers: Michael Clark, fiscal and business manager, and Joseph Danao, director of projects and operations.
Commissioner Saadi expects to return to his position full time in mid-May 2020.