Candidate Statements for Division 19. Society for Military Psychology

Please note that the submission of a candidate statement was voluntary, so not all candidates listed on the ballot will have a statement.

Candidate: Maurice L. Sipos, PhD

Office: President-elect

Candidate Statement:

I am honored to be nominated to serve as president of the Society for Military Psychology (APA Division 19). As a military psychologist, I consider Division 19 my professional home and am proud to be an APA and Division 19 Fellow. Throughout my 23-year career as an Army research psychologist, I have applied psychological approaches in laboratory, garrison, training, and deployed environments. Each assignment has allowed me to work with a diverse team of professionals, to include civilian and military clinicians, academicians, and consultants, on topics ranging from psychopharmacology to behavioral health to leader development in a way that has supported clinical practice and informed policy. As a leader, I have directed research organizations such as the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, advised senior military leaders on the health and well-being of their units, and served as the Deputy Consultant for Research Psychology to the Army Surgeon General. On a personal note, I grew up in a military family and particularly appreciate Division 19’s work supporting military families. If elected, I will focus on three major initiatives: (1) expanding mentorship and professional development opportunities, (2) recognizing member contributions, and (3) promoting a future grounded in the core values we hold as a professional society. I look forward to the opportunity to champion our profession across the APA to ensure the division is well represented and to ensure our efforts to support Servicemembers, Veterans, and their Families is recognized. Thanks for your consideration.




Candidate: Eric Alan Surface, PhD

Office: President-elect

Candidate Statement:

Division 19 offers a home to all in psychology who serve and support the military community, its members and its organizations, whether in a healthcare, research, academic, consulting or operational role. We share a common focus and desire to serve.

I am asking for your vote for President-elect because I believe in our mission, I desire to serve our members, and I have the experience and capability to lead our Division. I served our Society as Secretary (2014-2016), working closely with three Presidents. I was trusted with important tasks, such as co-authoring our response on proposed APA Ethics changes. I understand the challenges and opportunities we face.

I will promote our interests in APA; strengthen our relations with other Divisions; support the General Applied Psychology/Psychologists Caucus; pursue the participation of and support for all specialties within our Division; and focus on the engagement and development of our members throughout their careers with emphasis on students and ECPs.

I am honored to be a Fellow of our Society. I have worked in the SOF Community for over 20 years. I have co-authored 100s of technical reports, 20+ journal articles and book chapters, and 100+ papers/posters. I started a consulting company and recently a learning analytics software company.

I understand it is an honor and privilege to serve our community. I’m willing and ready to take on this responsibility. I have the experience and capability to lead our Division. Please cast your vote for me for President-Elect. Thank you for your consideration!




Candidate: Thomas W. Britt, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

I am excited to provide this statement in support of my candidacy for Member-at-Large for Division 19. I strongly believe that my experiences in the field of Military Psychology and my commitment to the discipline have prepared me to be an effective representative and advocate for the division. I have been conducting research in the field of Military Psychology since entering the U.S. Army as a research psychologist in 1994 and as a Professor of Psychology at Clemson University since leaving the U.S. Army in 1999. I care deeply about doing research that will improve the health and well-being of military personnel, and believe it is important to collaborate with practitioners of military psychology. As a result of my research program on the role of stigma and other factors influencing a Soldier’s decision to seek mental health treatment, I have had many interactions with military psychology researchers and practitioners. These relationships have prepared me to advocate for both the researcher and practitioner constituents of the division, as well as to foster collaborations between Division 19 and other divisions within APA. By facilitating cooperation and coordination between different constituents within Division 19, I hope to grow membership within the division and enhance the role and impact of the division within APA as whole. If elected as a Member-at-Large for the division I pledge to support all members of the division and to be an effective spokesperson for the policies and programs being advocated by the President and Executive Committee.




Candidate: Bruce Crow, PsyD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

Thank you for reading Division 19 candidate statements. I’m running for Member-at-Large (MAL), a position within the executive committee that serves the president in helping them fulfill their duties. There are three MALs, each filling a three-year term - staggered so that one position becomes vacant each year. MALs are assigned general duties and provide additional interface between members and division officers. This statement will tell you a little about me. In 2012 I completed 30 years Army active duty and achieved mandatory retirement. I immediately returned to work as a DA civilian until summer 2017. I’m now a Senior Fellow at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine in an implementation science fellowship sponsored by the DoD Military Suicide Research Consortium, researching dissemination and implementation of evidence based practices that reduce military and veteran suicide. While on active duty I was privileged to serve in a number of roles including psychologist for a combat division, MTF staff psychologist, director of intern training, department chief of consolidated behavioral health, and Specialty Leader / Consultant to the Army Surgeon General. My professional training was firmly grounded in the military beginning as an HPSP recipient at Nova Southeastern University with an internship and neuropsychology fellowship completed on active duty. My clinical and organizational experiences have ranged from working with Soldiers in the field to general officers in the Pentagon which has given me a breadth of skills for understanding practical and political requirements for an organization’s mission success - Bruce Crow




Candidate: Joseph B. Lyons, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

Hello, I’m Dr. Joseph Lyons, and I’m running for the office of Member-at-Large for Division 19. I would love to have your support, but first let me tell you a little about myself. I’ve been a research psychologist for the Air Force Research Laboratory for 13 years and I served in the Air National Guard in Ohio. I learned as an Eagle Scout the value of service and the need for capable people to raise their hand in support of a mission larger than themselves. Stemming from a family that was full of military members, I’ve always had an admiration and devotion to our military. From a research standpoint, I think the military offers the best and most rewarding domains for research.

I would like to continue my service to Division 19 as a Member-at-Large for the Division. My three years as the Editor for Division 19’s publication, The Military Psychologist, allowed me to witness the breadth of topics within Division 19 and the dedication of its members. As a Member-at-Large, I would serve to meet the needs of the Executive Committee and the President of Division 19. My experience as the Editor for Division 19’s publication, my prior experiences within the Air Force Research Laboratory and collaborations with other service partners, and my prior experiences within the Air National Guard have provided me with a solid foundation from which to continue my support of Division 19. Please help me take the next step to support Division 19.




Candidate: Marcus VanSickle, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

As an active-duty Navy clinical psychologist, I have a total of 17 years of military service (enlisted Marine, Navy officer). I have been an active member of Division 19 since 2011, initially as a student member and campus representative for the Uniformed Services University and now as an Early Career Psychologist (ECP). I am actively involved in clinical work with military populations, military suicide prevention research, and am currently completing a Masters in Clinical Psychopharmacology. I feel the combination of these efforts demonstrates my multi-faceted approach to serving within Division 19. Trained as a scientist-practitioner, I value the science of research in clinical application and the advancement of psychology. As an ECP, I believe I am uniquely situated to assist with the identified concerns of growing and maintaining other ECPs within our division. As Member-At-Large I would work to build upon inter-organizational relationships, increasing involvement with other Divisions of APA, and further publicizing the amazing work of military psychologists in all spheres of psychology practice. Throughout the past years I have met many of you and remained engaged in all of our social media platforms; I will continue to be a visible member of this division and a staunch advocate for the advancement of our science. In sum, I believe these characteristics make me a strong candidate for your next member-at-large. If elected, I will work to maintain clear lines of communication between you and our executive committee and will work diligently toward our growth.




Candidate: Rebecca Kate Blais, PhD

Office: Council Representative

Candidate Statement:

I have been a proud Division 19 member for over 8 years. I am an assistant professor at Utah State University and Principal Investigator of the Military Social Science Laboratory. I have worked with active duty service members and veterans for 10+ years as a civilian. I am the granddaughter, daughter, and sister of 3 proud Marines. As a clinical psychologist, I research trauma response mechanisms, barriers to care, and correlates of suicide among veterans.

I have served in several roles in Division 19, including Program Chair/Co-Chair for the annual APA Convention, Associate Editor of Military Psychology, and Faculty Mentor. In my role as Program Chair, I seized the opportunity to work closely with other divisions to accurately represent the goals and mission of our Division. In this position, I gained insight into divisions where our relationship could grow stronger through an improved understanding of our charge.

I wish to be elected to the Council of Representatives to continue my service to Division 19. I specifically aim to build our working relations with other divisions to promote our research, clinical, consulting, education, and leadership calls to service. Given my past experience, I have a unique understanding of how to do this effectively in the current APA political climate.

I am attuned to the needs and mission of Division 19. My dedication to Division 19, research and clinical services expertise, and clear communication skills make me an ideal candidate for this position. It would be an honor to serve our Division.




Candidate: Larry K. Lewis, PhD

Office: Council Representative

Candidate Statement:

There is a physically strenuous exercise where a team collectively carries a heavy object and where there is a position that requires one team member to shoulder a greater amount of weight than his/her teammates. The best teams are those where members take turns “rotating to the hard position.” It is now my turn to rotate to the hard position as I seek the office of Division 19’s Council Representative.

As one of our Division’s two representatives in APA’s legislative body, I pledge to continue the rich legacy of ensuring the diverse disciplines and interest groups comprising military psychology have a voice in shaping APA’s policies and practices, determining its strategic goals and priorities and promoting the adherence to the highest standards of civility and fairness. I will bring to this effort the sum total of my experiences as: a clinical psychologist in the 82nd Airborne Division, a behavioral science instructor at the Army Medical Department Center and School, an operational psychologist working with the Army Research Institute to improve assessment tools and protocols, a director in a major command headquarters developing programs and consulting with senior military and civilian leaders, a national security psychologist supporting activities to protect our Nation’s secrets from internal and external threats, and as a simple soldier who has personally witnessed the power of psychology, from the home front to the battle front, to make a meaningful difference in the lives of military, civilian and contractor personnel and their families.

Thank you for your consideration.