CSM Smith’s Foxhole Report – 4th Edition

CSM Top 5 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 and state home as much as possible! Click here for more VaARNG-specific guidance and precautions.
  2. We continue to support the state’s COVID-19 response. Currently, the Virginia Army National Guard has over 500 Soldiers Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force working across the Commonwealth in response to the pandemic.
  3. We will maintain our Mission Ready posture. The Virginia Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces to the U.S. Army in defense of our nation.
  4. I am happy to introduce Brig. Gen. K. Weedon Gallagher as the Virginia Army National Guard’s new Assistant Adjutant General – Army. Read more about him here or on VKO.
  5. As we move forward, the Virginia Army National Guard continue to focus on personal readiness, which includes our recruiting and retention efforts, making sure our Soldiers are trained in their duty MOS and meeting their military education requirements, medical readiness, deploy-ability, physical fitness, UMR management and tactical and technical proficiency.

G-1 Personnel Update

  • The Enlisted Qualitative Retention Board (EQRB) for this year is cancelled.
  • VaARNG Personnel Policy Operational Message #20-010: Exception to Policy for Promotions – COVID-19 Outbreak. BLUF: If you have been selected but the last phase of your NCOES was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may still be eligible for promotion!
  • The Personnel Readiness Workshop for June will be conducted remotely.

G-3 Operations Update

  • APFT/ACFTs are suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last record APFT a Soldier took will suffice for promotion purposes. Soldiers will not be punished or flagged for not having update height and weight during the stop movement order. More information to follow.
  • If a Soldier was enrolled inn their final phase of Professional Military Education (PME) and the course was cancelled due to the pandmic with a CV19 code, they are still authorized to be promoted and to have their PME rescheduled.
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC) is currently conducting a pilot distance learning program with limited seats for Soldiers who were enrolled in classes that were cancelled due to the pandmic with a CV19 code. Contact your unit for additional information.
  • Annual Training dates are still undetermined at this time. Virginia Army National Guard leaders are looking at potential courses of action and tentative dates. Official guidance will be published and disseminated once movement is resumed and plans are solidified.

Broadening Assignments

What are Broadening Assignment/Career Opportunities? The purposeful expansion of an NCO’s core military occupational specialty, or MOS; proficiency and leadership provided through diverse developmental positions; opportunities and assignments both within and outside their career management field.


  • SENIOR ENLISTED EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ADVISOR: JFHQ-DET, Blackstone/Richmond VA. This is an E-8 position open to M-Day Soldiers holding the rank SFC/E-7 that meet TIG/TIS eligibility requirements for promotion to E-8 and are on the current promotion list.
  • 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.

CONGRATULATIONS! Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Assignments:

  • 1SG Brizendine, selected as the 1SG A Co., Recruiting & Retention Battalion

Current Key NCO Vacancies: 

  • First Sergeant, 1173rd Transportation Company: Virginia Beach, VA (PEEAA)
  • First Sergeant, 229th MP Company: Manassas, VA (XA7AA)
  • First Sergeant, A Co 1-116th, Bedford, VA (WPHPA0)

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

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.”

– Colin Powell, 65th U.S. Secretary of State & retired four-star general

Soldier Spotlight: Master Sgt. James A. Chalmers, Jr., ASP Manager (NCOIC), Ammunition Supply Point, Blackstone, Va.


Master Sgt. James Chalmers was selected to attend the FY20 Resident Sergeant Major Course. 

Each year, the Army National Guard is awarded only 15 seats for worthy candidates competing from all fifty states and four territories. 

Please join me in congratulating MSG Chalmers for his selection for this amazing opportunity!