CSM Smith’s Foxhole Report – 5th Edition

CSM Top 3 Topics:


  1. You! The Virginia Army National Guard is committed to the safety of all our members, partners, communities as well as the state and our nation during this COVID-19 pandemic. It is paramount that everyone follow the basic rules: Wash your hands, maintain a safe distance of at least six feet, wear a mask when you can’t socially distance, don’t come to work if you feel sick! Click here guidance and precautions related to COVID-19.
  2. Creating a work environment of fairness, inclusion and understanding the beliefs, background and history of all our Soldiers. Stay informed, learn more about what we are doing here.
  3. Learning how to train in the age of COVID-19:  The VaARNG will continue to focus on Personnel Readiness: Recruiting & Retention, DMOSQ/PME, Medical Readiness, Deploy-ability, UMR management, Physical Fitness and Tactical/Technical Proficiency.      

Training Slide Presentations

The following are intended for leaders at all levels and are an excellent resource for the virtual training environment we currently find ourselves in. (Note: clicking the below links will result in a .PPT download of the selected presentation)

What Every Soldier & Leader Needs to Know:

  • Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT): On Oct. 1, 2020, the ACFT will become the U.S. Army’s only physical fitness test of record. All Soldiers are challenged to pass the ACFT 2.0 at the Gold Standard or above. Click here for the latest ACFT guidance.
  • Class seats will be cut by 50% in FY21. Only send Soldiers who can meet course requirements and meet or exceed course standards required to pass the course. All no-shows and non-completes will require a memo from the Soldier’s unit to the state command sergeant major.
  • A Promotion List Standby Board will be conducted Aug. 19-20, 2020. All Soldiers who will become eligible for promotion after Dec. 31, 2020, will be added to the list until the FY21 board is conducted in Feb. 2021.

Current Career Opportunities:

  • AGR JOB # 38-20 AR  NBC SURVEY TEAM MEMBER (FORT PICKETT VA) — Grade: E5/SGT; MOS: 74D; Unit: 34th Civil Support Team (S: 31 AUG. 2020)
  • AGR JOB # 37-20 AR TRAINING NCO — Grade: SSG/E6; MOS: 11C           Unit: 1st BN 183rd RTI; Location:  Fort Pickett, Blackstone, VA (S: 31 AUG. 2020)
  • AGR JOB # 01-20 AR  — SUPPLY SERGEANT (VARIOUS LOCATIONS)    
  • AGR JOB # 02-20 AR   — ADMIN NCO (VARIOUS LOCATIONS)
  • AGR JOB # 03-20 AR  — RECRUITING & RETENTION NCO (VARIOUS LOCATIONS) Contact the POC for more information: Mrs. Jennyfer Davis at (804) 236-7833 or jennyfer.a.davis.mil@mail.mil or D’ Juana Goodwin at (804) 236-7823 or djuana.l.goodwin.mil@mail.mil.

Warrant Officer Opportunities

Join the small, elite group of highly specialized warrant officers. For consideration, Soldiers will need three years of NCOERs, a GT score of 110 or above, a security clearance and will be required to attend a  Pre-WOCS course. More information is available here, or contact CW4 Sexton at 540-810-4044 or wayne.s.sexton.mil@mail.mil.

New Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Assignments:

  • CSM Shelton, DA select to the position of CSM 429th BSB, Danville, VA
  • MSG Darius Evans, selected as the 1SG JFHQ-DET, Blackstone/Richmond VA
  • MSG Joyce Vinson, selected as the JFHQ Senior Enlisted Equal Opportunity Advisor

CONGRATULATIONS!  To our FY20 Sergeant Major Course Graduates:

  • CSM Gerald E Gardner: 229th BEB Command Sergeant Major  
  • SGM Latane Gilliam:  116th IBCT OPS Sergeant Major
  • SGM Lee C Russell: 29th ID Chief Signal Noncommissioned Officer
  • MSG Joseph R Viera:  Assistant Inspector General NGB-IG, Selected 224th AVN Command Sergeant Major
  • SGM Laronda S Williams:  HQ 29th ID, Chief Personnel Sergeant Major
  • 1SG Jerry T Witcher: A Co 429th BSB First Sergeant

Current Key NCO Vacancies: 

  • Command Sergeant Major, 529th CSSB, VA Beach, VA (S: 21 July 2020)
  • Inspector General NCO, (HSC) 29TH ID (Fort Belvoir, VA). (MSG)/ E-8 (S: 1 Sept 2020) POC: is SGM Laronda Williams, DIV G1 SGM at 703 805-4846 or laronda.s.williams.mil@mail.mil.

Additional Soldier Resources and Guidance

  • DoD Policy for the Wearing of Masks and Cloth Face Coverings
  • Financial Assistance is available from EANGUS/USAA for those impacted by COVID-19. Learn more here.
  • Military OneSource is available 24/7/365 to help navigate the stress and challenges related to COVID-19 and to provide non-medical counseling and support. Call 800-342-9647 or visit www.MilitaryOneSource.mil to start a live chat via the speech bubble at the top right of the home page. For additional information regarding Military OneSource, contact Ms. Kaye Larson, the Virginia Military OneSource State Consultant at kaye.larson@militaryonesource.com or 804-926-7604.

Quote of the Month

But having a plan counts for nothing unless those above you are made confident that you can execute. As the leader, you maintain communications connectivity up, not just down.”

“If you can’t talk freely with the most junior members of your organization, then you’ve lost touch.”

— James N. Mattis, former U.S. Secretary of Defense

Soldier Spotlight: SPC Brittany Engels, JFHQ Religious Affairs Specialist, Blackstone, VA.

SPC Brittany Engels mobilized with the 134th Chaplain Detachment where she was assigned as a Religious Affairs Specialist under 1st TSC. She was later reassigned to CJTF-OIR for ninety days to coordinate and provide Catholic religious support and force protection to the CJTF-OIR Catholic Priest. SPC Engels and her assigned Chaplain did battlefield circulation between five FOBs within the southern Iraq AO, provided religious support during two MASCAL events, totaling 21 casualties and 3 KIAs, and assisted with two memorial ceremonies/services. Upon her return, she was attached to the ARCENT (FWD) Command Chaplain Team to close out her nine month tour.  Please join me in congratulating SPC Engels on her amazing accomplishments.  Welcome home, job well done.  


View previous editions of CSM Smith’s Foxhole Report: