FEATURED STORIES

The Virginia National Guard’s Fort Pickett is officially redesignated Fort Barfoot in honor of Col. Van T. Barfoot, a World War II Medal of Honor recipient with extensive Virginia ties, during a ceremony March 24, 2023, at the Blackstone Army Airfield near Blackstone, Virginia. Barfoot’s daughter Margaret Nicholls, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen, Director of the Army National Guard, and Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, gave remarks and unveiled the Fort Barfoot sign which will mark the front entrance of the installation. The ceremony featured static displays from the installation’s tenets and ceremonial music provided by the Troutville-based 29th Infantry Division Band. To commemorate Barfoot’s Native American heritage, representatives from Choctaw Nation as well as Virginia-based Native American tribes were in attendance and performed ceremonial songs and dance for the gathered audience. Volunteers with the Virginia Defense Force and Civil Air Patrol also provided support for the ceremony. Read more about the redesignation and about Barfoot himself at https://ngpa.us/24596.
Virginia National Guard 2023 Year in Review
Dec. 18, 2023
The Virginia National Guard had another busy year in 2023 balancing the demands of both its state and federal missions.

Fifty-seven Soldiers and Airmen assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa earned the GAFPB July 4-5, 2022, at Camp Simba, Kenya. The badge is a test of physical fitness and shooting proficiency with three levels of the award that can be earned: gold, silver, and bronze. It is a decoration of the Bundeswehr, the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jeff Clements)
VNG Soldiers eligible for promotion, recruiting ribbon, $1K bonus for referrals
March 3, 2023
Helping grow the Virginia Army National Guard recently became an even more lucrative endeavor with the expansion of the ARNG’s Stripes for Buddies program and the announcement of a new Army Recruiting Ribbon. When paired with the VNG’s Referral Enlistment Program, or REP, getting a buddy to enlist could equate to a $1,000 bonus, a promotion up to the rank of specialist or promotion points for sergeants and staff sergeants, and the award of the Army Recruiting Ribbon.

VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD NEWS

Staff Sgt. Joshua Johnson, an infantrymen assigned to the East African Response Force participates in an Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise to provide security at the U.S. Embassy, Mogadishu, Somalia, April 22, 2022. The EARF deploys to support Department of State partners in fixed-site security and evacuation support to protect U.S. Government facilities and personnel and to enable U.S. Embassies to continue operations in challenging security environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alysia Blake)
From Marine to Guard, a Red Dragon sniper’s journey across continents​
Feb. 26, 2024
Staff Sgt. Joshua Johnson’s journey into the military began with a casual invitation from a friend to go “hang out” at the local U.S. Marine Corps recruiting station. His friend had just joined the Marine Corps Reserve and, at 18, Johnson didn’t even really know what a Marine was. He’d just graduated high school and said, “I wasn’t really doing anything.” When the recruiter asked if he wanted to blow stuff up, Johnson said yes, and enlisted as a combat engineer.

Warrant Officer Paul D. Kelly's mother Maria pins his silver wings on his uniform as he graduates flight school as a Black Hawk pilot at Fort Novosel, Ala., Feb. 8, 2024. He serves with the Virginia Army National Guard. (U.S. Army photo by Kelly Morris)
Army flight school grad follows in father’s footsteps
Feb. 20, 2024
When Warrant Officer Paul D. Kelly walked across the stage and graduated flight school Feb.8, 2024, his silver wings were not the only thing he took away with him. Also in his tool kit is a sense of connection he found among those who knew and flew with his late father, Col. Paul M. Kelly, a senior Army aviator who served at the National Guard Bureau and Department of the Army Staff levels, who was killed in action when the warrant officer was only nine years old.

Brig. Gen. Catherine M. Jumper, Virginia Air National Guard commander, left, presents the 2023 VaANG Overall Outstanding Airman of the Year Award to Senior Airman Alexis Kyles with the 192nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 192nd Maintenance Group, during a ceremony Feb. 3, 2024, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, in Hampton, Virginia. The VaANG recognized the 2023 Outstanding Airmen of the Year during the annual awards ceremony. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Nilsa Garcia)
VaANG top performers recognized at annual awards ceremony
Feb. 14, 2024
The Virginia Air National Guard held its annual awards ceremony to recognize the 2023 Outstanding Airmen of the Year Feb. 3, 2024, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, in Hampton, Virginia. Brig. Gen. Catherine M. Jumper, Virginia Air National Guard commander, and Col. Brock E. Lange, 192nd Wing commander, hosted the event and presented awards alongside Chief Master Sgt. Ian D. Stegherr, Virginia Air National Guard state command chief, and Chief Master Sgt. Sean J. Fretwell, 192nd Wing command chief.

Warrant Officer Candidates enrolled in the Virginia National Guard’s Warrant Officer Candidate School present their class sign and song to Lt. Col. Christina Perronie, commander of the Fort Barfoot-based 3rd Battalion, 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute, Feb. 3, 2024, at Fort Barfoot, Virginia. The class includes seven National Guard Soldiers from Virginia and Washington. (U.S. National Guard photos by Staff Sgt. Marc Heaton)
VNG WOCs hit milestones, hurtle toward graduation
Feb. 14, 2024
The seven Soldiers currently enrolled in the Virginia Army National Guard’s Warrant Officer Candidate School are nearly through with their transition from noncommissioned officers to fully-fledged warrant officers. Over their most recent drill weekend, held Feb. 2-4, 2024, the candidates tackled their community project at the Chesterfield Food Bank and Outreach Center, took their capstone academic assessment, and presented their class song and sign to their battalion commander.

Virginia National Guard Airmen assigned to the Virginia Beach-based 203rd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers, 192nd Wing conduct an engineer exchange with Republic of Tajikistan military and law enforcement personnel Jan. 22 - 26, 2024, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The exchange was conducted in support of the Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program, in which Virginia and Tajikistan have been partners since 2003.
203rd RED HORSE conducts engineer exchange in Tajikistan
Feb. 12, 2024
Virginia National Guard Airmen assigned to the Virginia Beach-based 203rd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers, 192nd Wing conducted an engineer exchange with Republic of Tajikistan military and law enforcement personnel Jan. 22 - 26, 2024, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

Sgt. Daniel Leikin
VNG NCO qualifies as Ranger Instructor, serves as RTAC cadre
Feb. 9, 2024
Sgt. Daniel Leikin joined the Virginia Army National Guard in 2020, just a few months after graduating from high school. In the less than four years since then, he’s been busy. He completed his initial training as an infantryman, then Ranger School, deployed with Task Force Red Dragon and then earned himself a stack of badges to go along with his tab, completing both Air Assault and Airborne School, and earning his Expert Infantryman Badge. It’s his most recent accomplishment though, that he’s the proudest of.

Sgt. Christopher Brown
Field artillery NCO reflects on quick-paced military journey
Feb. 6, 2024
For Sgt. Christopher Brown, the best part about serving in the field artillery is the camaraderie he’s found there. He serves in the Virginia Army National Guard’s Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Hanover, Virginia, as a 13B Cannon Crewmember. He’s been in the military for about half a decade, but has already experienced a handful of schools and both an overseas and stateside deployment.

Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assigned to the Richmond-Based 34th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package conduct a collective training exercise Jan. 6, 2024, at Fort Barfoot, Virginia. The CTE provided an opportunity for new personnel to train on the basics of incident management and emergency response. The 34th CERFP is a unique task force made up of troops from Army and Air National Guard units from Virginia and the District of Columbia and is one of 27 such units across the country. When activated, the 34th CERFP provides search and extraction, medical, decontamination, communication and fatality recovery support to first responders and civilian authorities. Read more about the 34th CERFP at https://ngpa.us/28187.
34th CERFP conducts CTE at Fort Barfoot
Jan. 31, 2024
Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assigned to the Richmond-based 34th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package, or CERFP, conducted a collective training event Jan. 5-7, 2024, at Fort Barfoot, Virginia.

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin commends the Virginia National Guard for the organization's service to commonwealth and country at a reception Jan. 17, 2024, hosted by the Virginia National Guard Association in Richmond, Virginia. Prior to the reception, Lt. Gen. J. Dan Caine, the Associate Director for Military Affairs for the Central Intelligence Agency, spoke during a leader development event hosted by Maj. Gen. James W. Ring, the Adjutant General of Virginia. Read more about the VNG’s busy year in 2023 at https://ngpa.us/28223.
Governor Youngkin commends Virginia National Guard
Jan. 31, 2024
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin commended the Virginia National Guard for the organization's service to commonwealth and country at a reception Jan. 17, 2024, hosted by the Virginia National Guard Association in Richmond, Virginia.

Approximately 70 Soldiers assigned to the Virginia National Guard’s Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion Headquarters, 329th Regional Support Group officially begin their federal active duty with a departure ceremony Jan. 28, 2024, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The troops will deploy to Poland and serve under the command of U.S. Army’s 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade to provide sustainment command and control and support to forward-stationed U.S. and allied forces in the region. Their mission is part of a scheduled rotation of forces conducting multinational training and operations with allies and regional security partners to increase military interoperability, build contingency response capabilities and deter adversaries in Europe. Members of the Virginia Defense Force provided traffic control for the ceremony, and the Troutville-based 29th Infantry Division Band provided ceremonial music. Read more about the mission at https://ngpa.us/28332 and read more about the 529th CSSB at https://ngpa.us/28333.
529th CSSB begins federal duty ahead of deployment to Poland
Jan. 30, 2024
Approximately 70 Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to Headquarters, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group marked the start of its federal active-duty mobilization with a departure ceremony Jan. 28, 2024, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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ABOUT THE VA NATIONAL GUARD

The Virginia National Guard is a unique dual-status force with a federal mission to provide a combat reserve for the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force to fight our nation’s wars and a state mission to provide a response force that answers the call of the Governor to defend the commonwealth. The VNG traces the history and tradition of Citizen-Soldier service to the founding of Jamestown in 1607, and there has been a military presence defending Virginia ever since. For more information on the Virginia National Guard click HERE.

READY AND RESILIENT RESOURCES

Readiness and Resiliency Information Resource Page provides resources and education to all Soldiers, Airmen, Virginia Defense Force personnel, family members and civilian employees to promote readiness, well-being, resilience and suicide prevention. The end state is a healthy organization that is resilient, knowledgeable regarding high risk behaviors, educated on stress reduction measures and aware of available service member, family and employee support network resources.

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