Sonya D. Strader-Cherry Serves as the Executive Assistant to the Chairman, Military Executive, Chief of Staff of the Reserve Policy Board, and Designated Federal Officer for the Reserve Forces Policy Board. She advises the staff on administrative policy and procedures and serves as the liaison to the Board regarding all administrative management functions.
Sonya was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, into a Marine family and grew up learning to appreciate authority, loyalty and strict family values. She moved to Waldorf Maryland to find better career opportunities, and worked as a Secretary for Army & Air Force Exchange Service for 15 years. Sonya decided to further her career with the Federal Government, in pursuit of her goals. In 2006 Sonya was hired as the Secretary for the Office of the General Counsel Personnel and Health Policy, which helped her gain extensive experience within the Department of Defense regarding policies and procedures.
Sonya soon transferred to the Total Force Manpower and Resilience organization where she learned the importance of manpower management structure. Sonya was then offered the opportunity to work in the Office of Legal Policy, where she quickly learned many databases leading to her by name selection to travel to the Middle East as the Defense Travel Administrator through the Civilian Expeditionary Workforce Program. This position worked directly for the J-8 Navy Special Warfare Unit 3, Joint Special Operations Task Force in Manama Bahrain, where she was awarded the Joint Civilian Service Achievement Award for her excellent performance.
After this year of specialize work, she returned home to support the DoD Veteran Collaboration Office as the Executive Assistant. Within a year, Sonya was selected again to use her subject matter expertise to perform as the Manpower Manager for the Combined Joint Task Force 10, J-1 in support of United States Forces Afghanistan, Bagram Air Base. Sonya served 15 months and traveled within the various Forwarding Operation Bases (FOB) to include North Kabul Compound, Gamberi, and Fenty. She stood up the manpower management office at FOB Gamberi for civilian and military members attached to the CEW and the Worldwide Individual Augmentee System (WIAS) program. Sonya returned with many awards to include Global War on Terrorism Medal, Commander’s Award for Public Service, and the NATO Medal to name a few.
Upon her return from Afghanistan, Sonya was tasked to work in the Executive Services Directorate assisting with the GAO, FOIA and Hotline programs. While conducting those duties, she attended the New Leader Program as well as the Inspector General training courses. Once again, there was a need for her skills in theater as the Area Support Group, Civilian Administration Specialist, Department of Human Resources while Dual-hatted to the Inspector General Office as the Assistant Inspector General. Sonya played a vital role in implementing Standard Operation Procedures, personnel accountability, and awards processing, along with utilizing her IG skills and training to provide independent, relevant, and timely oversight of the Department of Defense core values, such as accountability, excellence, efficiency, and integrity.
Upon her return, Sonya has represented the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness (OUSD P&R) in an exemplary manner, earning her the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.
Sonya and her husband Eric have been married for 25 years and have four adult children
(As of May 2018)