“Three Things” Summer 2021 – VNG Land Component Commander Update

I realize that this message is reaching you late in the season. I am sure I am not alone when I say that this summer has come and almost gone in the blink of an eye. At this point in the season, many of you have already completed or are now conducting your annual training. As we begin to close out this training year and look to the challenges ahead, I would like you to consider the following three things:

1.     Suicide Prevention Awareness. As I write this message, the Virginia Army Guard is doing well in the area of Suicide Prevention Awareness. However, as September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month, I would like to remind you all that one suicide in our Army family is one too many. We must all be aware of our teammates. If your battle buddy showed up limping to formation, I expect that you would ask if they were okay and offer your support. Likewise, you must be aware of the mental state of your team and show the same concern that you would for a physical injury. If you are worried about someone in your Army family, do not refer them to get help- take them to get help. I am counting on you. Your team is counting on you. See the following link for Suicide Prevention Awareness resources: https://va.ng.mil/R3SP.

2.     Vaccine Mandate. The Pentagon has mandated that US military service members get fully vaccinated against Covid-19 immediately, after the Food and Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. We don't have the full details for implementation or the deadline for getting everyone vaccinated, but it is now a requirement. As anyone who has participated in the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) will tell you, commanders do not approve a course of action without thoroughly analyzing and wargaming that COA and consulting with subject matter experts. The decision has been made; It’s time to vaccinate. More to follow on this as the roll out plan comes into focus.

3.     Last Days of Summer. I am sure those of you with children have been forced to notice that summer is coming to an end. Consider this a lawful order from your Land Component Commander to get outside and enjoy the last of the summer weather before the fall chill. There is no better time than now to prioritize family, friends, and loved ones.

As always, thank you, your families and your employers for all you do for our Commonwealth and Nation. I look forward to seeing you all around the Formation.

Sic Semper Tyrannis!

v/r, Warrior 6

K. Weedon Gallagher
Brig. Gen., VaARNG
Land Component Commander