Latest News from the Virginia National Guard
  • SANDSTON, Va. — Retired Marine Corps Col. Justin P. Carlitti, Sr., will succeed Maj. Gen. (Va.) John Taylor as the commander of the Virginia Defense Force, according to an announcement made Aug. 11, 2014, by Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. Carlitti currently serves as the chief of staff for the VDF, and Taylor is retiring after leading the VDF for eight years and serving in the Virginia National Guard for more than 33 years. “Col. Carlitti’s wealth of military and civilian experience make him the ideal candidate to lead the Virginia Defense Force and build on the dramatic improvements made to organization under Maj. Gen. Taylor,” Williams said. “He knows the organization well, and I […]

    Carlitti named new commander of Virginia Defense Force

    SANDSTON, Va. — Retired Marine Corps Col. Justin P. Carlitti, Sr., will succeed Maj. Gen. (Va.) John Taylor as the commander of the Virginia Defense Force, according to an announcement made Aug. 11, 2014, by Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. Carlitti currently serves as the chief of staff for the VDF, and Taylor is retiring after leading the VDF for eight years and serving in the Virginia National Guard for more than 33 years. “Col. Carlitti’s wealth of military and civilian experience make him the ideal candidate to lead the Virginia Defense Force and build on the dramatic improvements made to organization under Maj. Gen. Taylor,” Williams said. “He knows the organization well, and I […]

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  • VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Twenty-seven cadets from Class 41 of the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated during a commencement ceremony Aug. 9, 2014, at Corporate Landing Middle School in Virginia Beach, Va. Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, Brig. Gen. Wayne A. Wright, the Director of the Joint Staff, and Col. Paul Griffin, the Chief of the Joint Staff, represented the Virginia National Guard and the Clifton Forge-based 29th Division Band performed ceremonial music for the event. Staff Sgt. Jay Campbell of the United States Marine Corps, a member of Commonwealth ChalleNGe Class 16, was the guest speaker. “We all had our different reasons for coming to ChalleNGe but one thing we all had in common was that we […]

    Commonwealth ChalleNGe graduates 27 cadets in Va. Beach ceremony

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Twenty-seven cadets from Class 41 of the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy graduated during a commencement ceremony Aug. 9, 2014, at Corporate Landing Middle School in Virginia Beach, Va. Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, Brig. Gen. Wayne A. Wright, the Director of the Joint Staff, and Col. Paul Griffin, the Chief of the Joint Staff, represented the Virginia National Guard and the Clifton Forge-based 29th Division Band performed ceremonial music for the event. Staff Sgt. Jay Campbell of the United States Marine Corps, a member of Commonwealth ChalleNGe Class 16, was the guest speaker. “We all had our different reasons for coming to ChalleNGe but one thing we all had in common was that we […]

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  • VIRGINIA BEACH — Ten Virginia National Guard Airmen and Soldiers from Virginia Beach-based units were recognized at the 21st Virginia Beach Armed Forces Awards Luncheon July 31, 2014, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce sponsored the luncheon, which recognized outstanding service members in Virginia Beach, including personnel from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Oceana Naval Air Station and Camp Pendleton. Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, Lt. Col. Elena Scarbrough, the commander of Camp Pendleton, and Lt. Col. Stock Dinsmore, commander of the 203d RED HORSE Squadron, were also in attendance. “Virginia Beach places great value on our long and proud connection to the armed forces and their members […]

    Va. Guard Airmen, Soldiers honored at Virginia Beach Armed Forces Awards Luncheon

    VIRGINIA BEACH — Ten Virginia National Guard Airmen and Soldiers from Virginia Beach-based units were recognized at the 21st Virginia Beach Armed Forces Awards Luncheon July 31, 2014, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce sponsored the luncheon, which recognized outstanding service members in Virginia Beach, including personnel from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Oceana Naval Air Station and Camp Pendleton. Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, Lt. Col. Elena Scarbrough, the commander of Camp Pendleton, and Lt. Col. Stock Dinsmore, commander of the 203d RED HORSE Squadron, were also in attendance. “Virginia Beach places great value on our long and proud connection to the armed forces and their members […]

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  • FORT PICKETT, Va. – The Fort Pickett-based Virginia Marksmanship Training Unit, 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute announced the approval of the Governor’s Twenty Tab July 21, 2014. The Governor’s Twenty Tab is a state-level marksmanship award, originally created in 1968 by the Missouri National Guard and has been adopted by 13 other states. The tab is awarded to the top 20 pistol and rifle marksmen in the Virginia National Guard. “With this new award we are able to better advertise our program and reward our Soldiers for their marksmanship excellence,” said Sgt. 1st Class Sammy E. Jones, state marksmanship coordinator, 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute. The tab is worn on the upper-left sleeve of the Army Combat Uniform, below individual […]

    Earning the Governor’s Twenty Tab

    FORT PICKETT, Va. – The Fort Pickett-based Virginia Marksmanship Training Unit, 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute announced the approval of the Governor’s Twenty Tab July 21, 2014. The Governor’s Twenty Tab is a state-level marksmanship award, originally created in 1968 by the Missouri National Guard and has been adopted by 13 other states. The tab is awarded to the top 20 pistol and rifle marksmen in the Virginia National Guard. “With this new award we are able to better advertise our program and reward our Soldiers for their marksmanship excellence,” said Sgt. 1st Class Sammy E. Jones, state marksmanship coordinator, 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute. The tab is worn on the upper-left sleeve of the Army Combat Uniform, below individual […]

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  • SANDSTON, Va. — Airmen from the Virginia Air National Guard’s Camp Pendleton-based 203rd RED HORSE Squadron conducted engineer projects to construct a pavilion at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va. and reconstruct a runway at Fort A. P. Hill, Va., July 7 to Aug. 1, 2014. The projects provided opportunities for the Air Guard engineers to conduct real-world training that benefited both communities. Approximately 48 Airmen from the 203rd constructed the pavilion as part of an Innovative Readiness Training project during their annual training for VMI at McKethan Park in Lexington, Va. Building on the concrete pads they laid during the first phase of the project last year, the Airmen worked with local contractors and several VMI students to […]

    203rd RED HORSE engineer projects aide VMI, Fort A. P. Hill

    SANDSTON, Va. — Airmen from the Virginia Air National Guard’s Camp Pendleton-based 203rd RED HORSE Squadron conducted engineer projects to construct a pavilion at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va. and reconstruct a runway at Fort A. P. Hill, Va., July 7 to Aug. 1, 2014. The projects provided opportunities for the Air Guard engineers to conduct real-world training that benefited both communities. Approximately 48 Airmen from the 203rd constructed the pavilion as part of an Innovative Readiness Training project during their annual training for VMI at McKethan Park in Lexington, Va. Building on the concrete pads they laid during the first phase of the project last year, the Airmen worked with local contractors and several VMI students to […]

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  • WINCHESTER, Va. – Current and former members of the Virginia National Guard’s Winchester-based 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team joined family and friends of Staff Sgt. Craig Cherry and Sgt. Bobby Beasley for a memorial ceremony to commemorate their loss and honor their memory Aug. 1, 2014, at the Winchester readiness center that was named in their honor. Beasley and Cherry, both infantrymen assigned to 3rd Battalion’s Headquarters Company, were killed when an improvised explosive device destroyed their vehicle Aug. 7, 2004, during a patrol near Ghazikel in eastern Afghanistan. “Staff Sgt. Craig Cherry and Sgt. Bobby Beasley were examples of the finest products created by America: dedicated, loyal and good natured,” said Brig. Gen. Blake […]

    Memorial service honors Va. Guard Soldiers killed in action 10 years ago

    WINCHESTER, Va. – Current and former members of the Virginia National Guard’s Winchester-based 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team joined family and friends of Staff Sgt. Craig Cherry and Sgt. Bobby Beasley for a memorial ceremony to commemorate their loss and honor their memory Aug. 1, 2014, at the Winchester readiness center that was named in their honor. Beasley and Cherry, both infantrymen assigned to 3rd Battalion’s Headquarters Company, were killed when an improvised explosive device destroyed their vehicle Aug. 7, 2004, during a patrol near Ghazikel in eastern Afghanistan. “Staff Sgt. Craig Cherry and Sgt. Bobby Beasley were examples of the finest products created by America: dedicated, loyal and good natured,” said Brig. Gen. Blake […]

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  • FORT A. P. HILL, Va. — Col. William J. Coffin took command of the Virginia National Guard’s Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team from Col. John M. Epperly, the 116th’s commander since June 2012, at a change of command ceremony Aug. 2, 2014, at Fort A. P. Hill, Va. Brig. Gen. Blake C. Ortner, the Virginia National Guard Land Component Commander, was the senior officer in the ceremony and passed the 116th’s unit colors from Epperly to Coffin to signify the change of command of the unit. “Col. Epperly, you have honed this brigade into a significant fighting force, combat ready as well as disaster ready,” Ortner said. He commended the brigade for their significant role in emergency response operations in […]

    Coffin takes command of Va. Guard’s Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

    FORT A. P. HILL, Va. — Col. William J. Coffin took command of the Virginia National Guard’s Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team from Col. John M. Epperly, the 116th’s commander since June 2012, at a change of command ceremony Aug. 2, 2014, at Fort A. P. Hill, Va. Brig. Gen. Blake C. Ortner, the Virginia National Guard Land Component Commander, was the senior officer in the ceremony and passed the 116th’s unit colors from Epperly to Coffin to signify the change of command of the unit. “Col. Epperly, you have honed this brigade into a significant fighting force, combat ready as well as disaster ready,” Ortner said. He commended the brigade for their significant role in emergency response operations in […]

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  • SANDSTON, Va. — The Virginia National Guard’s Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will conduct a change of command ceremony at 10 a.m. Aug. 2, 2014, at Romenick Field on Fort A. P. Hill, Va. Col. William J. Coffin will take command of the brigade from Col. John M. Epperly, the 116th’s commander since June 2012. Epperly, a resident of Fredericksburg who is employed by Digital Management Inc., will become the Virginia Army National Guard operations and training officer. Coffin, a native of Malden, Mass. who currently resides in Staunton and works full time for the Virginia National Guard, most recently served as the deputy commander for the 116th and the 29th Infantry Division chief of staff. The 116th IBCT, […]

    116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team to conduct change of command ceremony at Fort A. P. Hill

    SANDSTON, Va. — The Virginia National Guard’s Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will conduct a change of command ceremony at 10 a.m. Aug. 2, 2014, at Romenick Field on Fort A. P. Hill, Va. Col. William J. Coffin will take command of the brigade from Col. John M. Epperly, the 116th’s commander since June 2012. Epperly, a resident of Fredericksburg who is employed by Digital Management Inc., will become the Virginia Army National Guard operations and training officer. Coffin, a native of Malden, Mass. who currently resides in Staunton and works full time for the Virginia National Guard, most recently served as the deputy commander for the 116th and the 29th Infantry Division chief of staff. The 116th IBCT, […]

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  • SANDSTON, Va. – A memorial ceremony to commemorate the loss and honor the memory of Staff Sgt. Craig Cherry and Sgt. Bobby Beasley of the Virginia National Guard’s 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will be held at 8 p.m. Aug. 1, 2014, at the Winchester, Va., readiness center that was named in their honor. Beasley and Cherry, both infantrymen assigned to 3rd Battalion’s Headquarters Company, were killed when an improvised explosive device destroyed their vehicle Aug. 7, 2004, during a patrol near Ghazikel in eastern Afghanistan. Current and former members of 3rd Battalion will be on hand for the ceremony that is scheduled to include a wreath laying, candle lighting and remarks from Soldiers who […]

    Memorial service planned in Winchester for Va. Guard Soldiers killed in action 10 years ago

    SANDSTON, Va. – A memorial ceremony to commemorate the loss and honor the memory of Staff Sgt. Craig Cherry and Sgt. Bobby Beasley of the Virginia National Guard’s 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will be held at 8 p.m. Aug. 1, 2014, at the Winchester, Va., readiness center that was named in their honor. Beasley and Cherry, both infantrymen assigned to 3rd Battalion’s Headquarters Company, were killed when an improvised explosive device destroyed their vehicle Aug. 7, 2004, during a patrol near Ghazikel in eastern Afghanistan. Current and former members of 3rd Battalion will be on hand for the ceremony that is scheduled to include a wreath laying, candle lighting and remarks from Soldiers who […]

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  • CAMP PENDLETON, Va. — More than 60 children of Virginia service members attended the ninth annual Virginia National Guard Youth Camp July 20- 25, 2014, at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach. During the weeklong camp, the campers enjoyed activities both at Camp Pendleton and in the surrounding area. “It was a great week,” said Drew Davis, lead child and youth coordinator with Virginia National Guard Family Programs. “The kids look forward to it all year and can’t wait to come back and see their friends the next year.” Each day began with a flag ceremony, exercise and breakfast before a variety of fun activities. Campers spent time playing in the water at the Camp Pendleton beach, fishing on the lake, […]

    Va. Guard hosts 9th annual youth camp at Camp Pendleton

    CAMP PENDLETON, Va. — More than 60 children of Virginia service members attended the ninth annual Virginia National Guard Youth Camp July 20- 25, 2014, at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach. During the weeklong camp, the campers enjoyed activities both at Camp Pendleton and in the surrounding area. “It was a great week,” said Drew Davis, lead child and youth coordinator with Virginia National Guard Family Programs. “The kids look forward to it all year and can’t wait to come back and see their friends the next year.” Each day began with a flag ceremony, exercise and breakfast before a variety of fun activities. Campers spent time playing in the water at the Camp Pendleton beach, fishing on the lake, […]

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  • FORT PICKETT, Va. – Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers from across the country joined together July 6-20, 2014, at the Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute for Phase 1 of the 31B Basic Military Police Course. The 17 students in the class focused on garrison law and order during the two-week course, learning patrolling techniques, unarmed self-defense and crime scene management, among other assorted military police skills. “The goal of Phase 1 is for them to learn what the job of an MP is in a garrison environment,” explained Sgt. 1st Class Sammy Jones, course manager for the MP course. An added bonus for the students of this course, was a police dog demonstration conducted by Staff […]

    183rd RTI trains military police officers, demonstrates police dog skills

    FORT PICKETT, Va. – Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers from across the country joined together July 6-20, 2014, at the Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute for Phase 1 of the 31B Basic Military Police Course. The 17 students in the class focused on garrison law and order during the two-week course, learning patrolling techniques, unarmed self-defense and crime scene management, among other assorted military police skills. “The goal of Phase 1 is for them to learn what the job of an MP is in a garrison environment,” explained Sgt. 1st Class Sammy Jones, course manager for the MP course. An added bonus for the students of this course, was a police dog demonstration conducted by Staff […]

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  • LEXINGTON, Va. — The Interstate 81 bridges over Buffalo Creek and Maury River in Rockbridge County were officially named in the honor of Virginia State Police Master Trooper Jerry Hines during a ceremony July 14, 2014, at the Hines Memorial Armory in Lexington, Va. Hines, who also served as the first sergeant of the Virginia Army National Guard’s Lexington-based Company A, 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, was killed in the line of duty Feb. 20, 1989, and the armory in Lexington was named in his honor. Virginia Sen. Creigh Deeds and Del. Ben Cline sponsored the legislation, Senate Bill No. 612 and House Bill No. 986, to officially designate the bridges in his name and were present for the dedication […]

    Bridges dedicated to fallen VSP trooper, Va. Guard 1SG

    LEXINGTON, Va. — The Interstate 81 bridges over Buffalo Creek and Maury River in Rockbridge County were officially named in the honor of Virginia State Police Master Trooper Jerry Hines during a ceremony July 14, 2014, at the Hines Memorial Armory in Lexington, Va. Hines, who also served as the first sergeant of the Virginia Army National Guard’s Lexington-based Company A, 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, was killed in the line of duty Feb. 20, 1989, and the armory in Lexington was named in his honor. Virginia Sen. Creigh Deeds and Del. Ben Cline sponsored the legislation, Senate Bill No. 612 and House Bill No. 986, to officially designate the bridges in his name and were present for the dedication […]

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