Adjutant General of Virginia 2021 Holiday Message

It is that time of year that we gather with family and friends to celebrate and reflect upon all we’ve done and accomplished in 2021. So much has occurred these past twelve months and everyone on this team continues to do a superb job.

Our Nation continues to rely on the National Guard for important missions and this year has seen an especially high operational tempo (OPTEMPO). Many of you participated in COVID response efforts, many more quickly responded to help secure our nation’s capital in January 2021 and support civilian law enforcement for the presidential inauguration, others deployed overseas, and still others returned from stateside mobilizations.

This coming year will see new challenges. By January 2022, more than 2,000 VNG personnel will be mobilized, the most since the Iraq surge in 2007. When you add in National Guard Soldiers from Maryland and Kentucky serving in the 29th Infantry Division, it is the most Soldiers the division has mobilized since 1942. Please keep our deployed troops and their loved ones in your thoughts and prayers as they spend the holidays separated from each other.

I recently visited Normandy, France where I had the opportunity to share time with the mayors of Saint-Lo and St Mere-Eglise. They spoke of gratitude and respect for the liberating force that freed the European continent from tyranny some 77 years ago. Those were Virginia National Guards Soldiers landing on the beaches of Normandy. This is a reminder that our organization has always been and will continue to be a force for good in the world. You should hold your head high and know that your contributions matter here and abroad. Thanks for what you do.

I am always in awe of the professionalism and commitment of our Soldiers, Airmen, Virginia Defense Force members and state and federal civilians who have made all these things happen, and as always, we owe a special thanks to the families and employers who support everything we do. Our people make our organization special and I give thanks for the patriotism and professionalism of every member of our team.

As we go into the holiday season I want to give our leaders the flexibility to use leave if possible and to give every member of the team the ability to remote work if OPTEMPO permits. The Virginia National Guard does not slow down, but we must take the time to spend with family and loved ones.

Cheryl and I wish everyone a peaceful and joyous holiday and wish you all the best in the coming year.

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