Latest News from the Virginia National Guard
  • SANDSTON, Va. — Command Sgt. Maj. Ferris and I want to wish everyone in the Virginia National Guard, whether you are serving in uniform, as a civilian or as a family member, a wonderful holiday season. Regardless of your faith background, the central theme during this time of year is peace to all. This is the time of year to look back and give thanks for all the good in our lives and renew the strength we used to overcome any adversities. Please remember as you gather with family and friends during this holiday season that we have Soldiers and Airmen who are away from their loved ones, serving along with their brothers and sisters in other branches of the […]

    Holiday message from Adjutant General, Senior Enlisted Advisor

    SANDSTON, Va. — Command Sgt. Maj. Ferris and I want to wish everyone in the Virginia National Guard, whether you are serving in uniform, as a civilian or as a family member, a wonderful holiday season. Regardless of your faith background, the central theme during this time of year is peace to all. This is the time of year to look back and give thanks for all the good in our lives and renew the strength we used to overcome any adversities. Please remember as you gather with family and friends during this holiday season that we have Soldiers and Airmen who are away from their loved ones, serving along with their brothers and sisters in other branches of the […]

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  • SANDSTON, Va. — Social media is a great tool for staying connected and keeping in touch with friends, family and coworkers, but members of the military should be cautious about how much personal information they share. Virginia National Guard personnel and their families should take time to review the settings on their social media accounts and remember operational security in their online activities. According to a Joint Intelligence Bulelletin dated Nov. 30, 2014, “The FBI and DHS recommend that current and former members of the military review their online social media accounts for any information that might serve to attract the attention of ISIL and its supporters.” The bulletin advises current and former members of the military review their social […]

    Social media smart cards available for download along with tips for online safety

    SANDSTON, Va. — Social media is a great tool for staying connected and keeping in touch with friends, family and coworkers, but members of the military should be cautious about how much personal information they share. Virginia National Guard personnel and their families should take time to review the settings on their social media accounts and remember operational security in their online activities. According to a Joint Intelligence Bulelletin dated Nov. 30, 2014, “The FBI and DHS recommend that current and former members of the military review their online social media accounts for any information that might serve to attract the attention of ISIL and its supporters.” The bulletin advises current and former members of the military review their social […]

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  • The Holiday Season means road trips, package wraps and ribbons, a fully trimmed tree, and more challenges. Consider these few tips for planning and safety this Holiday Season: Safety Checklist before the Holidays - Put any fuel that can catch on fire in a safe container outside the home. - Test your home’s multipurpose fire extinguisher. - Test the batteries in your fire alarm. - Clear any clutter out of escape routes from your home. - If toddlers will be visiting, install safety gates at tops and bottoms of stairs. - Check your throw rugs for non-slip backings. - Put nightlights in hallways. - Test the ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), both indoors and outdoors. Holiday Decorations and Tree Trimming […]

    Army Safety Gram: Tips to Help You Safely Deck Your Halls

    The Holiday Season means road trips, package wraps and ribbons, a fully trimmed tree, and more challenges. Consider these few tips for planning and safety this Holiday Season: Safety Checklist before the Holidays - Put any fuel that can catch on fire in a safe container outside the home. - Test your home’s multipurpose fire extinguisher. - Test the batteries in your fire alarm. - Clear any clutter out of escape routes from your home. - If toddlers will be visiting, install safety gates at tops and bottoms of stairs. - Check your throw rugs for non-slip backings. - Put nightlights in hallways. - Test the ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), both indoors and outdoors. Holiday Decorations and Tree Trimming […]

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  • SANDSTON, Va – The Virginia National Guard launched its official LinkedIn company page Dec. 17, 2014, as part of ongoing efforts to bring quality content and information to all members of the Virginia National Guard community. The page, which can be found at www.linkedin.com/company/virginia-national-guard, will be used to reach Soldiers, Airmen, members of the Virginia Defense Force, civilian employees and their families where they already spend time much of their online time and to help stay in touch with the needs of the Virginia Guard community. In conjunction with the Virginia National Guard’s other social media services, like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn provides another online platform to publish media and news content to over 332 million global professionals. Initially, users can […]

    Va. Guard launches official LinkedIn page

    SANDSTON, Va – The Virginia National Guard launched its official LinkedIn company page Dec. 17, 2014, as part of ongoing efforts to bring quality content and information to all members of the Virginia National Guard community. The page, which can be found at www.linkedin.com/company/virginia-national-guard, will be used to reach Soldiers, Airmen, members of the Virginia Defense Force, civilian employees and their families where they already spend time much of their online time and to help stay in touch with the needs of the Virginia Guard community. In conjunction with the Virginia National Guard’s other social media services, like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn provides another online platform to publish media and news content to over 332 million global professionals. Initially, users can […]

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  • FORT PICKETT, Va. – Several members of the Virginia Army National Guard completed a five-day Army Communities of Excellence program self-assessment training course using the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence Dec. 5, 2014, at the Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regional Training Institute. “I felt that the self assessment course was extremely valuable in developing the methodology to take a hard, unbiased look at how the agency conducts its business processes,” said Maj. John M. Monihan, deputy director of joint operations. “The group attendees was one of the most diverse and engaged groups we’ve had attend the training in the past five years.” Sponsored by the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and overseen by the Assistant Chief of Staff for […]

    Program aims to improve performance, streamline processes of the Virginia Guard

    FORT PICKETT, Va. – Several members of the Virginia Army National Guard completed a five-day Army Communities of Excellence program self-assessment training course using the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence Dec. 5, 2014, at the Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regional Training Institute. “I felt that the self assessment course was extremely valuable in developing the methodology to take a hard, unbiased look at how the agency conducts its business processes,” said Maj. John M. Monihan, deputy director of joint operations. “The group attendees was one of the most diverse and engaged groups we’ve had attend the training in the past five years.” Sponsored by the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and overseen by the Assistant Chief of Staff for […]

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  • RICHMOND, Va.– Thirty-two Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen were remembered among 870 Virginia public safety officers who died in the line of duty at the dedication of the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial Dec. 6, 2014, at the memorial site at Capitol Square in Richmond, Va. Governor Terry McAuliffe and Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran provided remarks during the ceremony. Former Secretaries of Public Safety Marla Graff Decker and Bryan Rhode and Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, were among the group of public safety leaders who read the names on the memorial. Soldiers from the 29th Division Band provided ceremonial music and Soldiers from the Virginia National Guard Funeral Honors Program provided […]

    Va. Guard Soldiers, Airmen remembered at Public Safety Memorial

    RICHMOND, Va.– Thirty-two Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen were remembered among 870 Virginia public safety officers who died in the line of duty at the dedication of the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial Dec. 6, 2014, at the memorial site at Capitol Square in Richmond, Va. Governor Terry McAuliffe and Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran provided remarks during the ceremony. Former Secretaries of Public Safety Marla Graff Decker and Bryan Rhode and Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, were among the group of public safety leaders who read the names on the memorial. Soldiers from the 29th Division Band provided ceremonial music and Soldiers from the Virginia National Guard Funeral Honors Program provided […]

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  • FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Nearly a decade after a 2004 Iraq suicide bomb attack took the lives of Sgt. Nicholas C. Mason and Sgt. David A. Ruhren, their families, friends and fellow Virginia National Guard Soldiers joined together Dec. 6, 2014, in Fredericksburg, Va., in a ceremony held to remember their sacrifice and dedicate the Fredericksburg readiness center in their honor. Mason and Ruhren were killed in action Dec. 21, 2004, on Forward Operating Base Marez, in Mosul, Iraq, when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden vest in a mess tent, killing 22 people, including 14 U.S. troops, and injuring 70 more. Both Soldiers were assigned to Company A, 229th Engineer Battalion and were mobilized with the 276th Engineer Battalion. “We […]

    Fredericksburg readiness center dedicated in honor of Va. Guard Soldiers killed in 2004 Iraq bomb attack

    FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Nearly a decade after a 2004 Iraq suicide bomb attack took the lives of Sgt. Nicholas C. Mason and Sgt. David A. Ruhren, their families, friends and fellow Virginia National Guard Soldiers joined together Dec. 6, 2014, in Fredericksburg, Va., in a ceremony held to remember their sacrifice and dedicate the Fredericksburg readiness center in their honor. Mason and Ruhren were killed in action Dec. 21, 2004, on Forward Operating Base Marez, in Mosul, Iraq, when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden vest in a mess tent, killing 22 people, including 14 U.S. troops, and injuring 70 more. Both Soldiers were assigned to Company A, 229th Engineer Battalion and were mobilized with the 276th Engineer Battalion. “We […]

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  • SANDSTON, Va. — Chief Master Sgt. Jay N. Ellis started working in his new role as the Virginia Air National Guard State Command Chief in early October 2014 in Sandston, Va. Ellis was last assigned as the command chief master sergeant for the 192nd Fighter Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. At JBLE, Ellis worked directly for the wing commander advising him on matters impacting the enlisted force including effective use of manpower, quality of enlisted leadership, management, training, operations tempo, and quality of life concerns. “We are pleased to have Chief Ellis on the Joint Force Headquarters team,” said Brig. Gen. Zane R. Johnson, Va. Virginia National Guard Air Component Commander. “I am confident that he will do a […]

    Virginia Air National Guard welcomes new State Command Chief

    SANDSTON, Va. — Chief Master Sgt. Jay N. Ellis started working in his new role as the Virginia Air National Guard State Command Chief in early October 2014 in Sandston, Va. Ellis was last assigned as the command chief master sergeant for the 192nd Fighter Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. At JBLE, Ellis worked directly for the wing commander advising him on matters impacting the enlisted force including effective use of manpower, quality of enlisted leadership, management, training, operations tempo, and quality of life concerns. “We are pleased to have Chief Ellis on the Joint Force Headquarters team,” said Brig. Gen. Zane R. Johnson, Va. Virginia National Guard Air Component Commander. “I am confident that he will do a […]

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  • SANDSTON, Va. — Issue #24 of the 2014 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter is available online in PDF format at http://go.usa.gov/6RmJ. In this issue: Dedication ceremony planned for Public Safety Memorial Thirty-two Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will be remembered on the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial scheduled to be dedicated Dec. 6, 2014, at 1 p.m. at the memorial site at Capitol Square in Richmond, Va. “Protecting our commonwealth and nation is an inherently dangerous job and this memorial serves as a testament to that,” said Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “It is also a way for us as citizens to pay tribute to them and their families’ sacrifice while providing a permanent way to […]

    Issue #24 of the 2014 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter

    SANDSTON, Va. — Issue #24 of the 2014 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter is available online in PDF format at http://go.usa.gov/6RmJ. In this issue: Dedication ceremony planned for Public Safety Memorial Thirty-two Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will be remembered on the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial scheduled to be dedicated Dec. 6, 2014, at 1 p.m. at the memorial site at Capitol Square in Richmond, Va. “Protecting our commonwealth and nation is an inherently dangerous job and this memorial serves as a testament to that,” said Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “It is also a way for us as citizens to pay tribute to them and their families’ sacrifice while providing a permanent way to […]

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  • SANDSTON, Va. — The Virginia National Guard will host a memorial ceremony to honor at 9 a.m. Dec. 6, 2014, at the Fredericksburg Readiness Center. Mason and Ruhren were killed in action during a suicide bomb attack on Dec, 21, 2004, on Forward Operating Base Marez, in Mosul, Iraq. The attack killed 22 people, including 14 U.S. troops, and injured 70 others. “This memorial service is our way to honor and remain connected to the selfless service and sacrifice of these two Soldiers,” said Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “This also serves as a fitting way to ensure that future generations remember.” Mason and Ruhren were both combat engineers and members of the 229th Engineer Battalion, […]

    Fredericksburg ceremony to honor Soldiers killed in 2004 Iraq bomb attack

    SANDSTON, Va. — The Virginia National Guard will host a memorial ceremony to honor at 9 a.m. Dec. 6, 2014, at the Fredericksburg Readiness Center. Mason and Ruhren were killed in action during a suicide bomb attack on Dec, 21, 2004, on Forward Operating Base Marez, in Mosul, Iraq. The attack killed 22 people, including 14 U.S. troops, and injured 70 others. “This memorial service is our way to honor and remain connected to the selfless service and sacrifice of these two Soldiers,” said Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “This also serves as a fitting way to ensure that future generations remember.” Mason and Ruhren were both combat engineers and members of the 229th Engineer Battalion, […]

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  • SANDSTON, Va. — Thirty-two Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will be remembered on the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial scheduled to be dedicated Dec. 6, 2014, at 1 p.m. at the memorial site at Capitol Square in Richmond, Va. “Protecting our commonwealth and nation is an inherently dangerous job and this memorial serves as a testament to that,” said Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “It is also a way for us as citizens to pay tribute to them and their families’ sacrifice while providing a permanent way to remember.” According to the Virginia Public Safety Foundation website, the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial will honor 870 Virginians who died in public safety service to their community. […]

    Virginia Guard Soldiers, Airmen to be remembered on Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial

    SANDSTON, Va. — Thirty-two Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will be remembered on the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial scheduled to be dedicated Dec. 6, 2014, at 1 p.m. at the memorial site at Capitol Square in Richmond, Va. “Protecting our commonwealth and nation is an inherently dangerous job and this memorial serves as a testament to that,” said Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “It is also a way for us as citizens to pay tribute to them and their families’ sacrifice while providing a permanent way to remember.” According to the Virginia Public Safety Foundation website, the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial will honor 870 Virginians who died in public safety service to their community. […]

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  • FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Virginia and Maryland National Guard Soldiers from the Fort Belvoir-based 29th Infantry Division traveled to the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany in September to assist in the training and validation of more than 1,000 U.S. and international troops preparing to assume their role as Multinational Battle Group- East in Kosovo as part of Kosovo Force (KFOR) 19. They were joined in their efforts by Army National Guard Soldiers from 29th ID stakeholder units from various states. KFOR is a NATO-led, international peacekeeping force responsible for helping to maintain a safe and secure environment in Kosovo. KFOR consists of two multinational brigades which are ready to react to any threatening situation. During the KFOR mission […]

    29th ID teams up with partners from other states to help train next KFOR rotation

    FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Virginia and Maryland National Guard Soldiers from the Fort Belvoir-based 29th Infantry Division traveled to the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany in September to assist in the training and validation of more than 1,000 U.S. and international troops preparing to assume their role as Multinational Battle Group- East in Kosovo as part of Kosovo Force (KFOR) 19. They were joined in their efforts by Army National Guard Soldiers from 29th ID stakeholder units from various states. KFOR is a NATO-led, international peacekeeping force responsible for helping to maintain a safe and secure environment in Kosovo. KFOR consists of two multinational brigades which are ready to react to any threatening situation. During the KFOR mission […]

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