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    Honorary commander introduces himself to troops

    Honorary commander introduces himself to troops

    Photo By Spc. Adrianne Lopez | The Honorary Commander, James Murren, talks with recruiters with Land Component...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Adrianne Lopez 

    17th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs Section

    LAS VEGAS – The honorary commander of the Nevada National Guard, James Murren, met with Soldiers on Joint Task Force 17 and Nevada Army National Guard recruiters to introduce himself and share his perspective about how Nevada was able to act quickly to acquire and deliver personal protective equipment (PPE) to local and surrounding communities on March 9 in Las Vegas.

    On November 2, 2021, Murren became the Nevada Guard’s honorary commander as announced by Nevada Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Ondra Berry. Murren’s role in the Nevada Guard is to educate key community leaders about Nevada Guard unit’s missions and to foster a supportive relationship with the community, increase military involvement in civic endeavors and organizations and make members of the local community feel tied of the Guard.

    Murren stepped down as the CEO of MGM Resorts International in 2020 to head the state’s COVID-19 Response, Relief & Recovery Task Force, which mobilized the private sector to help state agencies in the battle against coronavirus. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for Howard University and board member of Cirque du Soleil, Paysafe and Playstudios. Murren co-founded the Nevada Cancer Institute, which was the official cancer institute for the state of Nevada until 2013. He was also a founding contributor to Nevada’s first Fisher House which provides housing for Military and Veterans’ families. In addition, he served as chairman of the American Gaming Association and was on the Board of Trustees of the Brookings Institute.

    Murren’s first stop that morning was at the COVID-19 testing and vaccination site at the College of Southern Nevada, Charleston Campus where he met with Guardsmen assisting the Southern Nevada Health District. He talked about how the task force got started and how it faced its toughest obstacle yet.

    “We were getting boxed out of buying PPE because of richer states and the Governor said that it’s not right,” Murren said. “We started this task force and in the span of two weeks we raised $13.5 million. That allowed us to go from the back of the line to the very front and not settle with PPE that was not to standard. We sent planes all around the world to go and grab the PPE and bring it back home. But we had another problem. How do we disperse it? When we have a problem, who do we call? The National Guard! With the help of General Berry and this task force, we were able to disperse the PPE to all of the communities of Nevada and help save lives.”

    He expressed his gratitude towards the Soldiers and Airmen for their dedicated service to their communities. James along with Land Component Commander, Brig. Gen. Troy Armstrong, coined three Soldiers who worked at the site. Among those were 1st. Lt. Kristopher Hayman, Sgt. Joanna Medina and Spc. Keith Davis.

    “Take away the unique things these individuals did, I can tell you in every case it’s about setting the example, it’s about leading from the front, it’s about exemplifying the Army values,” Armstrong said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a sergeant, a lieutenant, or a general, you can be a leader at any level.”

    Murren then traveled to the Army National Guard Spring Mountain recruiting office where he met with the recruiters who worked out of that location and leaders from the Retention and Recruiting Battalion. They discussed how Murren could help with recruiting and other areas of the Nevada Guard. Murren then joined Armstrong to recognize their efforts on behalf of the Guard. He and Armstrong coined Capt. Nick Galbiso, 1st Sgt. Michelle Ochoa, Sgt. 1st Class Marvin Fabella, Staff Sgt. Yvette Hernandez, Staff Sgt. Jazzmene Loftis and Spc. Benjamin Visser.

    After visiting those locations that day, Murren said he was inspired by Nevada Guard leaders in their communities and is grateful to play his part in Nevada Guard history.

    “The greatest fighting force in the world here in Nevada, working to help their fellow Nevadans,” Murren said. “I’ve seen this in action during this pandemic when the Guard distributed the critical PPE that saved not hundreds but thousands of lives in our state. I’ve seen the Guard in our COVID-19 testing sites where we’re so desperately trying to understand the trajectory of this disease. The Guard helped the medical professionals understand where we stood to help flatten the curve and reduce the infection and mortality rate. I’ve seen the guard set up vaccination sites to give the much needed vaccinations to all Nevadans. I’ve seen them every step of the way. I am humbled and I am honored to play a small part. When General Berry asked me to jump on board, the only thing I could ever say to him was yes!”



    Date Taken: 03.09.2022
    Date Posted: 03.30.2022 18:42
    Story ID: 417525
    Location: LAS VEGAS, NV, US 

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