NJ Veteran Journal
Summer 2005 Edition
Col. AbelDistinguished Army Veteran Appointed Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs
By Roman Martyniuk, NJDMAVA/PA

In October 2004, the Governor appointed Col. Stephen G. Abel, United States Army (Retired) to serve as the Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs, succeeding Col. (Ret) Emil Philibosian

In his capacity as the DCVA, Col. Abel administers three Divisions. The Division of Veterans Healthcare Services oversees the operations of the state’s three longterm care veterans’ homes and respite care program. The Division of Veterans Programs oversees the Veterans Service Offices, other state entitlement programs and services—veteran’s preference determinations, veteran’s status determinations, and the blind and catastrophic veteran pension entitlements. The Division of Veterans Services oversees the nation’s busiest State Veterans Cemetery, located in North Hanover Township; the operation of the state’s Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing program, the State Approving Agency that is responsible for certifying the VA funded educational and training program, and the state-owned monuments and memorials.

Col. Abel previously served as the Director of the Division of Veterans Services from 1 April 2000
to 2 October 2004. In that capacity, he oversaw the operation of the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Cemetery at Arneytown as well as the maintenance of the veterans’ section of three satellite cemeteries. He also was responsible for operation of Veterans Haven, a transitional
housing unit for homeless veterans. Additionally, he supervised the State Approving Agency, which certifies all educational and training programs for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Finally, he was responsible for the construction, operation, and maintenance of New Jersey’s Veterans Monuments and Memorials. They include the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Educational Center in Holmdel, the New Jersey Korean War Memorial in Atlantic City, and the New Jersey World War II Memorial, which is under design. He chaired the Doyle Cemetery and Jersey City Veterans Park Quality Review Boards, served as the Secretary to the World War II Commission, and was the Department’s liaison to the Cemetery Veterans Advisory Counsel
and the World Trade Center Memorial Commission.

While still on active duty with the Army, Col. Abel served as the Inspector General for the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard. Born on July 25, 1951, in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree (1973) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in National Security Strategy degree from the National Defense University (1994).

The Deputy Commissioner earned his commission through the ROTC Program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he was a Distinguished Military Graduate. In 1976 he was
assigned to Camp Pelham, Korea, where he served as the Executive Officer of Battery B and
then as the Commander of Service Battery, 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery. In 1981 he was assigned overseas again, this time to 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. During
this tour, he served as the 1st Brigade’s Fire Support Officer and Division Artillery’s Adjutant. In 1994 he was promoted to Colonel from below the zone and reassigned to Korea where he served as the Secretary to the Combined Joint Staff of United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/U. S. Forces Korea and the Eighth United States Army. After returning to the United States in 1996, he assumed duties as the Chief of Combat Arms Division, U. S. Total Army Personnel Command.

His military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, two awards of the Legion of Merit, six awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Army Service Ribbon,
Overseas Ribbon with numeral three device, and the Army Staff Badge.

Table of Contents
Abel New DCVA
Governor’s Letter
Vets Homes Update
NJ Medals Honor Veterans
Mental Health Hotline
Army Program For Vets
VA Reaches out to New Vets
Vets News You Can Use
One Shots
POW Expanded Benefits
VSO Listing
Front Page / General Info

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