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    Education, commitment will get Guard through changing times

    Education, commitment will get Guard through changing times

    Photo By Johnathon Orrell | Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, speaks to...... read more read more

    WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES

    11.19.2010

    Story by Tech. Sgt. Johnathon Orrell 

    National Guard Bureau

    WASHINGTON -- Career progression, development and motivation start at the top, and the senior leadership of the National Guard considers those principles to be a priority to keep the Guard moving through an uncertain future, the chief of the National Guard Bureau said here today.

    “We are a vibrant, resilient, capable national organization,” Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley told about 2,000 attendees at the Air National Guard’s 2010 Senior Leadership Conference. “We need to take the challenges head-on, but we also need to be proud that our leadership … will support us in our times of need.

    “Let your folks know there is a way through these tough times, economic times, transition times, base re-alignment and closure times,” he said. “There is something on the other side that’s equally challenging and equally rewarding, but it will take … resources so that young people, at the mid-points of their careers, get the tools so they can succeed and compete during these challenging times.

    “It’s going to take education and commitment.”

    McKinley encouraged the Guardsmen to let their people learn, develop and be creative, so “that when you send someone to the National Guard Bureau they can get some new ideas, they can bring the field perspective to Washington and we can stay integrated.”

    The Guard’s senior leadership will have to continue to translate what we do in the National Guard into language the active component can understand, McKinley said.

    “Channels of communication mean that we translate, that we arbitrate, that we fight for, but at the end of the day, we as a nation, as a Department of Defense, have to move forward,” he said.

    Command Chief Master Sgt. Denise Jelinski-Hall, the senior enlisted advisor at the National Guard Bureau, also spoke about what the enlisted corps needs from senior leaders within the National Guard.

    “Our men and women, our soldiers and our airmen are looking to us … to lead us through these times of change,” she said. “When you hear words like re-rolling a mission, suicide, sexual assault, MPA tour changes, efficiencies, budget cuts, financial struggles, relationship challenges – what do those words all have in common - they are opportunities for leadership. Everything rises and falls on leadership.”

    When a senior leader, officer or enlisted, leads from the front and shows others that it’s okay to step out from that comfort zone, that encourages others, she said.

    “You are battle-tested, you are warriors, you are experienced leaders, committed leaders, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that you will lead our soldiers and airmen through this change,” she said. “They have a deep sense of commitment and a warrior spirit, and it’s …that warrior spirit that allows us to be so successful in what we do as a National Guard.”

    McKinley followed up Jelinski-Hall’s comments with a challenge to the leaders of the National Guard.

    “What the people back home want to hear is optimism and a fresh outlook,” he said. “It’s going to take some people in this room to motivate and to lead.”

    He added that today's threats will not go away soon. “The only thing our adversaries want us to do is grow tired, grow weary, go broke and just throw in the towel," McKinley said. “That’s not the American spirit, that’s not the American nation that you represent, and so we won’t give them that satisfaction over time.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.19.2010
    Date Posted: 11.19.2010 11:32
    Story ID: 60497
    Location: WASHINGTON, DC, US 

    Web Views: 20
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