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    Director of the Army National Guard visits Alaska Guardsmen

    Army National Guard director visits JBER

    Photo By David Bedard | JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Director of the Army National Guard, Lt....... read more read more



    Story by David Bedard 

    Alaska National Guard Public Affairs

    JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Director of the Army National Guard Lt. Gen. Timothy Kadavy visited Alaska National Guard units and Alaska communities across the state Jan. 10 to 13, with stops at JBER, Fort Greely, Bethel and Napaskiak.

    As director, Kadavy guides all programs and policies affecting the Army National Guard – a force of more than 350,000 Soldiers in the 54 states, territories and the District of Columbia.

    The general was accompanied by Command Sgt. Maj. Brunk Conley, the Army National Guard command sergeant major, and Chief Warrant Officer 5 Peter Panos, the Army National Guard command chief warrant officer, along with other members of his staff.

    During visits to remote sites, Kadavy witnessed the ongoing implementation of the rural engagement plan, an initiative directed by Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and Adjutant General of the Alaska National Guard Brig. Gen. Laurie Hummel. The rural engagement plan is a statewide effort to restore and enhance the presence of the National Guard in rural Alaska.

    “I think [the Rural Engagement Plan] is a commitment that the Alaska Army National Guard needs to make to the citizens of Alaska, and I think General Hummel – in how she wants to implement it – is on the right track,” Kadavy said. “We [the Army National Guard directorate] are doing everything we can to provide the capacity and the capability to assist her in what she wants to do.”

    Hummel placed the director's visit in context.

    “We thank General Kadavy for visiting Alaska, and Gov. Walker for helping to bring another national-level leader to our state,” the adjutant general said. “It’s important the head of the entire Army National Guard understands Alaska – especially rural Alaska – with its unique challenges and impressive capabilities of the men and women who fulfill the Guard’s missions here. Alaskans are the unquestioned subject matter experts on arctic operations, and Alaska is vital to our nation’s success as the entire world turns its attention to the Arctic.”

    Kadavy met with Alaska Army National Guardsmen Jan. 10 at the Alaska National Guard armory on JBER, where he hosted a town hall meeting. He briefed Soldiers concerning the vision he and Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark Milley have for the future of the Army National Guard.

    The director flew to Bethel Jan. 12 with Alaska National Guard leadership to meet with local Guardsmen and residents. He also met with veterans at the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

    From Bethel, Kadavy boarded a tracked small-unit support vehicle for Napaskiak, 6 miles from Bethel, where he attended a ceremony recognizing retired Guardsmen.

    After meeting with Guardsmen, veterans and residents in rural Alaska, Kadavy said he was impressed with the people he encountered.

    “I learned about the patriotism of the community that resides here in Alaska,” he explained. “They care very much about their families, their state and the nation.”

    During his town hall with Guardsmen at JBER, Kadavy stressed how the Army National Guard, along with the Army Reserve, is an integral part of the Army's total force. He related how his No. 1 priority, readiness, is in line with the chief of staff of the Army.

    “We can never lose focus of our warfighting mission,” the director said. “In the Army National Guard, we are part of the Army – the total Army.

    “We fight and win our nation's wars. We have been doing that since the beginning of our country ... and we will continue to focus on our warfighting capabilities.”

    Kadavy spoke candidly about the effects of cuts to the defense budget and how the Army will shrink to a total force of 980,000 Soldiers: 450,000 active duty, 335,000 Army National Guard and 195,000 Army Reserve.

    “There's a lot of risk we're dealing with in an Army of that size,” the general elaborated. “With an Army that size, we're all in. We're all there for our nation, and we're all there for our states.”

    Pursuant to a request by Milley for selected Guardsmen to train beyond the 39 annual days prescribed by law – 24 weekend days and 15 annual-training days – Kadavy acknowledged Guard units could train more in the future in an effort to ensure more rapid mobilizations in response to global conflicts.

    “We may ask you to do more days,” he said. “We may ask you to do a little bit more as you train up and get ready.”

    Kadavy said if Guard units were called to more training days, there would be a balance between readiness and the needs of Guardsmen and their employers.

    “This is not going to be the active component,” he said. “We have an active component to do those missions, but we are part of the Army, and there are certain expectations of us as well.”

    Despite a shrinking force, Kadavy said the Army National Guard will continue to invest in up-to-date technology and organization.

    “Modernization is critical,” he said. “If we're going to go to war with ... the regular Army and the Army Reserve ... we have to be able to operate together and fight together, and our modernization must ensure we are interoperable with the active components.”

    Another theme Kadavy spoke about was the Army National Guard as a profession.

    “Let there be no doubt that everyone in this room is an Army professional,” he said.

    The pillars of professionalism for Army National Guard Soldiers, Kadavy said, are the Three C's: Character, competence and commitment.

    To be professionals of character, the general referenced “Not in my Squad,” a grassroots initiative championed by Sgt. Maj. of the Army Dan Dailey that aims to extinguish sexual assault at the lowest level. He said it was an example of how honor is instilled Army wide.

    “That means doing the right thing all the time, every time,” Kadavy said. “It's never wrong to do the right thing.”

    To be a competent professional, the director said Guardsmen have to be knowledgeable in their basic Soldier and military occupational specialty skills.

    “You have to know your job ... because we are a team of teams, and it all starts with the individual,” he said. “We all know individually what our duties and responsibilities are. If you're a professional, you have to be an expert.”

    Finally, Kadavy said the committed professional takes ownership.

    “This is your Army,” he said. “This is your Army National Guard in Alaska, and these are your units and your Soldiers. This is our profession. We're committed to ensuring we're the most professional and best Army in the world.”

    Kadavy extended his gratitude to the assembled Guardsmen.

    “Thank you,” he said. “Thank you for serving your country, thank you for serving this state, and thank you for being members of our Army National Guard and our Army. I am going to ask you to stay – stay in the Army National Guard. It's important for your country, and it's important for your state.”

    In addition to asking Guardsmen to thank their employers for allowing them to serve, Kadavy had another request.

    “Please, when you go home at night, thank your families for serving and tell them that I'm thankful they let you serve each and every day in our Army National Guard and our Army,” he said.



    Date Taken: 01.14.2016
    Date Posted: 01.14.2016 19:58
    Story ID: 186352

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