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    Vermont Army National Guard sees success retaining soldiers

    86th IBCT (MTN) competes in the Edelweiss Raid

    Courtesy Photo | U.S. Army Maj Charlie Flood, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain), Vermont...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. J. Scott Detweiler 

    86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (MTN)

    The Vermont Army National Guard has accomplished an impressive feat so far this fiscal year, surpassing their retention goal by 120%.

    The Vermont Army National Guard now ranks fourth among all Army National Guard units across the country.

    The Vermont Army National Guard has a retention goal of 150 soldiers for fiscal year 2023 and have already surpassed that by retaining 179. This success comes despite the ongoing recruiting challenges faced by military units across the country.

    The Vermont Guard’s leadership attributes this success to several factors, including a comprehensive retention strategy that focuses on building strong relationships between leaders and soldiers. The Guard also offers an array of incentives and benefits to encourage soldiers to remain in service, such as tuition assistance and opportunities for professional development.

    In 2020 the Vermont State legislature authorized significant upgrades to the Guard’s tuition assistance, offering 100% tuition benefits for current Vermont National Guard service members to pursue bachelor’s degrees and certificate programs within Vermont. In 2022 the legislature expanded these benefits to include a second bachelor’s degree or a first master’s level degree.

    “Retaining our soldiers is critical to the success of our mission, and we are proud to have achieved this level of success this far into the fiscal year,” said Brig. Gen. James Pabis, Assistant Adjutant General – Army, Vermont Army National Guard. “Our soldiers are the backbone of our organization, and we are committed to providing them with the best possible environment to serve and grow.”

    The Vermont Army National Guard’s retention success is not only a victory for the unit, but it also benefits the state of Vermont as a whole. The Guard plays a vital role in supporting state and national emergency response efforts, as well as providing critical services to local communities.

    As the largest Army unit in the state, the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain) provides many of those services in times of emergency. This includes both their 572nd Brigade Engineer Battalion based in Rutland as well as the 186th Brigade Support Battalion in Northfield. For example, medical units from the 186th BSB collected over 34,000 COVID-19 testing samples and administered more than 74,000 COVID-19 vaccinations between the start of the pandemic and March 2022.

    “I think soldiers take pride in the unique capabilities our Mountain Brigade can provide to the state and nation,” said Col. Leonard Poirier, commander, 86th IBCT (MTN). “Not only are we the premier Mountain Brigade in the United States Army, but we can and have provided real support to Vermonters in times of emergency.”

    Vermont National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Greg Knight, enjoys using the phrase, ‘Put the Vermonters ahead!’; a slogan coined from the civil war. On July 1, 1863, General John Sedgwick said, “Put the Vermonters ahead and keep the column well closed up” as he marched his troops to Gettysburg.

    It seems Vermont Army National Guard soldiers have heard the call.



    Date Taken: 05.07.2023
    Date Posted: 05.07.2023 13:09
    Story ID: 444188
    Location: JERICHO, VT, US

    Web Views: 181
    Downloads: 1