Latest News from the Virginia National Guard
  • CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – The 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, a Virginia Army National Guard unit from Virginia Beach, Va., took the reins from the 751st CSSB, a South Carolina Army National Guard unit from Columbia, S. C., in a transfer of authority ceremony Aug. 11, 2014, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. “We are excited to take over the mission,” said Lt. Col. Michael Waterman, commander of the 529th CSSB. “The 751st has been a great partner of ours and very good at getting us the information we need to hit the ground running.” The 529th CSSB will be operating with the task of planning and coordinating combat sustainment support for U.S. and coalition forces in Kuwait and the surrounding region. […]

    529th CSSB unfurls colors, begins mission in Kuwait

    CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – The 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, a Virginia Army National Guard unit from Virginia Beach, Va., took the reins from the 751st CSSB, a South Carolina Army National Guard unit from Columbia, S. C., in a transfer of authority ceremony Aug. 11, 2014, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. “We are excited to take over the mission,” said Lt. Col. Michael Waterman, commander of the 529th CSSB. “The 751st has been a great partner of ours and very good at getting us the information we need to hit the ground running.” The 529th CSSB will be operating with the task of planning and coordinating combat sustainment support for U.S. and coalition forces in Kuwait and the surrounding region. […]

    Continue Reading...

  • FORT PICKETT, Va. – After three decades of service, Virginia Army National Guard Chaplain (Lt. Col.) James D. Moore, an Amelia, Va., resident, has been selected to serve as the top military chaplain for the Virginia National Guard. An Iraq veteran, and an advocate for troops and their families, Moore takes the reins from Chaplain (Col.) Todd W. Combee, who retired earlier this year. A native of Dundalk, Md., Moore started his military career on rocky terms. Having been a troubled teenager, Moore soon found himself in front of a adjudicator who gave him the option of military service. Moore enlisted as an Airman in the U.S. Air Force military police, now referred to as security forces, Aug. 4, 1976. He spent 12 […]

    Va. Guard welcomes new state chaplain

    FORT PICKETT, Va. – After three decades of service, Virginia Army National Guard Chaplain (Lt. Col.) James D. Moore, an Amelia, Va., resident, has been selected to serve as the top military chaplain for the Virginia National Guard. An Iraq veteran, and an advocate for troops and their families, Moore takes the reins from Chaplain (Col.) Todd W. Combee, who retired earlier this year. A native of Dundalk, Md., Moore started his military career on rocky terms. Having been a troubled teenager, Moore soon found himself in front of a adjudicator who gave him the option of military service. Moore enlisted as an Airman in the U.S. Air Force military police, now referred to as security forces, Aug. 4, 1976. He spent 12 […]

    Continue Reading...

  • SANDSTON, Va. — This weekend brings the observation of Columbus Day and a long holiday weekend for most of our personnel. Columbus Day commemorates the discovery of the New World as well as the spirit of exploration, and the holiday weekend is the first of the fall season. We must always keep safety as a primary consideration in everything we do, especially during long holiday weekends.Changes in temperatures and less daylight are just two of the seasonal changes that everyone should factor in as they make their plans. Please be sure to get plenty of rest before you get behind the wheel of a car for a long trip and have scheduled breaks along the route. Consider using the Travel […]

    Adjutant General’s Columbus Day Holiday Safety Message

    SANDSTON, Va. — This weekend brings the observation of Columbus Day and a long holiday weekend for most of our personnel. Columbus Day commemorates the discovery of the New World as well as the spirit of exploration, and the holiday weekend is the first of the fall season. We must always keep safety as a primary consideration in everything we do, especially during long holiday weekends.Changes in temperatures and less daylight are just two of the seasonal changes that everyone should factor in as they make their plans. Please be sure to get plenty of rest before you get behind the wheel of a car for a long trip and have scheduled breaks along the route. Consider using the Travel […]

    Continue Reading...

  • STAUNTON, Va. — Soldiers of the Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and their deputy commander, Lt. Col. David Jones, presided over memorial ceremonies during Battle Days, Oct. 4-5, 2014, at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park in Point Pleasant, W. Va. The memorial celebrations served as remembrance of the Battle of Point Pleasant that took place at the site Oct. 10, 1774. “Although time has changed our nation and the world around us, today’s citizen Soldiers have remained true to the identity of the Soldiers who fought at Point Pleasant,” said Jones. “Events such as this remember the patriotism, courage and sacrifice of the men who fought for the independence and freedom of this country.” The battle was fought by Soldiers of […]

    116th IBCT takes part in remembrance of the Battle of Point Pleasant

    STAUNTON, Va. — Soldiers of the Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and their deputy commander, Lt. Col. David Jones, presided over memorial ceremonies during Battle Days, Oct. 4-5, 2014, at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park in Point Pleasant, W. Va. The memorial celebrations served as remembrance of the Battle of Point Pleasant that took place at the site Oct. 10, 1774. “Although time has changed our nation and the world around us, today’s citizen Soldiers have remained true to the identity of the Soldiers who fought at Point Pleasant,” said Jones. “Events such as this remember the patriotism, courage and sacrifice of the men who fought for the independence and freedom of this country.” The battle was fought by Soldiers of […]

    Continue Reading...

  • September 22, 2014 is the beginning of the fall season. Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year. But along with the changing leaves comes changing driving conditions. Driving can be unpredictable because of weather changes and the end of daylight saving time. To be safe and aware on the roads this fall, adapt to the change of the season and follow these guidelines: Watch out for leaves: Once leaves become wet, they can present slippery and dangerous driving conditions. Be sure to watch for patches of wet leaves on the road or on road lines. Dry leaves can also present a problem to your vehicle. Avoid parking your vehicle near leaf piles to prevent fires that could […]

    Safety Gram: Fall Driving Safety Tips

    September 22, 2014 is the beginning of the fall season. Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year. But along with the changing leaves comes changing driving conditions. Driving can be unpredictable because of weather changes and the end of daylight saving time. To be safe and aware on the roads this fall, adapt to the change of the season and follow these guidelines: Watch out for leaves: Once leaves become wet, they can present slippery and dangerous driving conditions. Be sure to watch for patches of wet leaves on the road or on road lines. Dry leaves can also present a problem to your vehicle. Avoid parking your vehicle near leaf piles to prevent fires that could […]

    Continue Reading...

  • FORT PICKETT, Va. — Col. Walter L. Mercer was promoted to brigadier general in a ceremony hosted by Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, Oct. 5, 2014, at Fort Pickett, Va. With the promotion, Mercer takes command of the Virginia Army National Guard from Brig. Gen. Blake C. Ortner and will serve as the Assistant Adjutant General – Army. Ortner is now assigned as deputy commanding general of the Fort Belvoir-based 29th Infantry Division. Mercer most recently served as the training and operations officer for the 29th Infantry Division. “This promotion is really about all of you,” Mercer told the audience at the promotion ceremony. “I wouldn’t be here without the support, the service and the […]

    Mercer promoted, takes command of Virginia Army National Guard

    FORT PICKETT, Va. — Col. Walter L. Mercer was promoted to brigadier general in a ceremony hosted by Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, Oct. 5, 2014, at Fort Pickett, Va. With the promotion, Mercer takes command of the Virginia Army National Guard from Brig. Gen. Blake C. Ortner and will serve as the Assistant Adjutant General – Army. Ortner is now assigned as deputy commanding general of the Fort Belvoir-based 29th Infantry Division. Mercer most recently served as the training and operations officer for the 29th Infantry Division. “This promotion is really about all of you,” Mercer told the audience at the promotion ceremony. “I wouldn’t be here without the support, the service and the […]

    Continue Reading...

  • FORT A. P. HILL, Va. — Soldiers assigned to the Bowling Green-based Detachment 1, Company B, 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conducted their first flight of the RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aerial system in Virginia Oct. 4, 2014, at Fort A. P. Hill, Va. Virginia Guard Airmen from the Camp Pendleton-based 203rd RED HORSE Squadron reconstructed the runway at Fort A. P. Hill’s Finnegan Airfield unmanned aircraft system training site in July 2014, and the improved runway allowed the Shadow crews to begin flight training in Virginia. Previously they conducted their flight training at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and having a runway closer to home station improves readiness and increases their ability to meet […]

    116th BSTB Shadow UAS detachment conducts first flight in Virginia

    FORT A. P. HILL, Va. — Soldiers assigned to the Bowling Green-based Detachment 1, Company B, 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conducted their first flight of the RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aerial system in Virginia Oct. 4, 2014, at Fort A. P. Hill, Va. Virginia Guard Airmen from the Camp Pendleton-based 203rd RED HORSE Squadron reconstructed the runway at Fort A. P. Hill’s Finnegan Airfield unmanned aircraft system training site in July 2014, and the improved runway allowed the Shadow crews to begin flight training in Virginia. Previously they conducted their flight training at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and having a runway closer to home station improves readiness and increases their ability to meet […]

    Continue Reading...

  • FORT PICKETT, Va. — Brig. Gen. (Va.) Justin P. Carlitti, Sr., took command of the Virginia Defense Force from Maj. Gen. (Va.) John Taylor in a ceremony Sept. 28, 2014, at Fort Pickett. Va. Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, conducted the exchange of unit colors that signified the transfer of command. Carlitti was promoted Sept. 27 and previously served as the chief of staff for the VDF. Taylor is retiring after leading the VDF for eight years and serving in the Virginia National Guard for more than 33 years. “I appreciate each and every one of you for what you have done while I have been the commanding general,” Taylor told the members of the […]

    Va. Defense Force welcomes new commander

    FORT PICKETT, Va. — Brig. Gen. (Va.) Justin P. Carlitti, Sr., took command of the Virginia Defense Force from Maj. Gen. (Va.) John Taylor in a ceremony Sept. 28, 2014, at Fort Pickett. Va. Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, conducted the exchange of unit colors that signified the transfer of command. Carlitti was promoted Sept. 27 and previously served as the chief of staff for the VDF. Taylor is retiring after leading the VDF for eight years and serving in the Virginia National Guard for more than 33 years. “I appreciate each and every one of you for what you have done while I have been the commanding general,” Taylor told the members of the […]

    Continue Reading...

  • FORT PICKETT, Va. — In a ceremony held Sept. 27, 2014, seven officer candidates enrolled in the Virginia National Guard’s Officer Candidate School Class 57B earned their commissions at Fort Pickett’s 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute in front of family, friends and Virginia National Guard leaders and Soldiers. The candidates started the 56-day summer accelerated program in July and completed the course in early September. “You will do well, and I consider it a privilege to serve with you as fellow officers,” said Col. Thomas Morgan, commander of the 183rd RTI. The accelerated OCS program is held primarily at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., and also includes a two-week training period in Niantic, Conn. Brig. Gen. William R. Phillips, II, the […]

    Virginia Guard OCS graduates 7 new officers

    FORT PICKETT, Va. — In a ceremony held Sept. 27, 2014, seven officer candidates enrolled in the Virginia National Guard’s Officer Candidate School Class 57B earned their commissions at Fort Pickett’s 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute in front of family, friends and Virginia National Guard leaders and Soldiers. The candidates started the 56-day summer accelerated program in July and completed the course in early September. “You will do well, and I consider it a privilege to serve with you as fellow officers,” said Col. Thomas Morgan, commander of the 183rd RTI. The accelerated OCS program is held primarily at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., and also includes a two-week training period in Niantic, Conn. Brig. Gen. William R. Phillips, II, the […]

    Continue Reading...

  • SANDSTON, Va. — Members of Virginia National Guard Joint Staff conducted a communications exercise Sept. 22, 2014, at the Joint Forces Headquarters in Sandston, Va., in conjunction with Capital Shield 2015, an emergency preparedness exercise hosted by Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region from Sept. 22-24. Capital Shield is an exercise designed to ensure government agencies at every level are prepared to coordinate action to protect the public in the event of an actual disaster in the NCR. This event exercised the Virginia National Guard’s response to a simulated explosion at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C., and subsequent explosions at the Washington Navy Yard and Arlington Courthouse. In previous years, the Virginia National Guard has participated in exercises […]

    Virginia Guard participates in Capital Shield exercise

    SANDSTON, Va. — Members of Virginia National Guard Joint Staff conducted a communications exercise Sept. 22, 2014, at the Joint Forces Headquarters in Sandston, Va., in conjunction with Capital Shield 2015, an emergency preparedness exercise hosted by Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region from Sept. 22-24. Capital Shield is an exercise designed to ensure government agencies at every level are prepared to coordinate action to protect the public in the event of an actual disaster in the NCR. This event exercised the Virginia National Guard’s response to a simulated explosion at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C., and subsequent explosions at the Washington Navy Yard and Arlington Courthouse. In previous years, the Virginia National Guard has participated in exercises […]

    Continue Reading...

  • ARLINGTON, Va. — David LaGassa, vice president and head of the Capital One Military Network, accepted an award for Capital One Sept. 26, 2014, during the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony at the Pentagon Auditorium in Arlington, Va. Capital One was nominated by Lt. Col. Christopher S. Doss, chief of plans, assigned to the Fort Belvoir-based Headquarters, 29th Infantry Division, Virginia Army National Guard. Brig. Gen. Blake C. Ortner, the Land Component Commander, Virginia Army National Guard also attended the ceremony. “ESGR is a critical asset for the Soldiers of Virginia, and for all National Guard and Reserve Soldiers,” Ortner said. “It is a conduit to both building understanding of the […]

    Employer of Va. Guard officer receives ESGR award

    ARLINGTON, Va. — David LaGassa, vice president and head of the Capital One Military Network, accepted an award for Capital One Sept. 26, 2014, during the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony at the Pentagon Auditorium in Arlington, Va. Capital One was nominated by Lt. Col. Christopher S. Doss, chief of plans, assigned to the Fort Belvoir-based Headquarters, 29th Infantry Division, Virginia Army National Guard. Brig. Gen. Blake C. Ortner, the Land Component Commander, Virginia Army National Guard also attended the ceremony. “ESGR is a critical asset for the Soldiers of Virginia, and for all National Guard and Reserve Soldiers,” Ortner said. “It is a conduit to both building understanding of the […]

    Continue Reading...

  • CAMP PENDLETON, Va. — Several events of the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads State Competition will be held at the Virginia National Guard’s Camp Pendleton Collective Training Center, and members of the news media are invited to cover the Vehicle Extrication Competition featuring Emergency Medical Technician teams and Advanced Life Support teams Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. Members of the news media should arrive at Camp Pendleton no later than 10:30 a.m. for the 11 a.m. competition. Please RSVP to Cotton Puryear at 804-539-1451 or cotton.puryear@us.army.mil by 9 a.m. on Sept. 26 if you plan to attend and to coordinate for access to Camp Pendleton. The competition is part of the 80th Anniversary VAVRS conference being held at various locations […]

    Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads State Competition events to be held at Camp Pendleton

    CAMP PENDLETON, Va. — Several events of the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads State Competition will be held at the Virginia National Guard’s Camp Pendleton Collective Training Center, and members of the news media are invited to cover the Vehicle Extrication Competition featuring Emergency Medical Technician teams and Advanced Life Support teams Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. Members of the news media should arrive at Camp Pendleton no later than 10:30 a.m. for the 11 a.m. competition. Please RSVP to Cotton Puryear at 804-539-1451 or cotton.puryear@us.army.mil by 9 a.m. on Sept. 26 if you plan to attend and to coordinate for access to Camp Pendleton. The competition is part of the 80th Anniversary VAVRS conference being held at various locations […]

    Continue Reading...