Adjutant General’s 2016 Holiday Message

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams

SANDSTON, Va. — As we near the holiday season, I think it’s appropriate to reflect briefly on 2016 and the great work our force has done supporting operations both federal and state. A few of the highlights include the mobilization of more than 1,500 Soldiers and Airmen on federal active duty, initiating construction on a new state headquarters, modernization and transformation of our Army Guard forces, standing up the Virginia Air National Guard’s 185th Cyber Operations Squadron at Langley Air Force Base and integrating the Virginia Defense Force into our state active duty cyber assessments for Virginia localities. When the commonwealth was hit with heavy snow, tornadoes and floods, the Virginia National Guard was there as part of the state’s multi-agency team to get citizens to safety, transport first responders and help clear roads of fallen debris.

We could not accomplish any of these things, and so much more, without the extraordinary work of every Soldier, Airman, Virginia Defense Force trooper, and state and federal civilian in Virginia’s Department of Military Affairs. THANK YOU for all that you do, and a special thanks to our families, loved ones, and employers for the critical support they all give to our mission.

I see 2017 is an important year for the Virginia National Guard, one in which we will focus on two primary lines of effort: readiness and growing our Army and Air Guard force structure.

Readiness. We all have the responsibility to ensure that we meet all individual federal mobilization requirements, including the standards for height and weight, physical fitness and military education. The Army and the Air Force are counting on us to bring our organizations up to a level that can meet any global requirement, and it is up to each of us to reach and maintain that standard.

Force Structure Growth. I may be biased, but I truly believe that our state is blessed with the best Soldiers and Airmen in the country. With that in mind, our goal is to advance Virginia as a key player in the National Guard. Our strategic plan includes setting the conditions to grow force structure in Virginia by 2,000 Soldiers and 1,000 Airmen. Achieving this goal will take time and everyone’s hard work to remain laser-focused on meeting and exceeding all standards, effectively setting an example for the rest of the National Guard to follow.

My family and I wish each of you the very best during this season. I hope that you all have the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends while enjoying the peace and joy that this time of year brings. Please keep our 850 personnel serving on federal active duty around the world in your thoughts and prayers as they spend the holidays away from their loved ones this year.

No matter what your plans, please be safe and come back in January 2017 ready to tackle the challenges that lay ahead – and they’re many. We have the best team in the nation and the commonwealth, and I am looking forward to a great 2017!

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams
The 28th Adjutant General of Virginia