RICHMOND, Va. — As we look back on 2019, we can see it was another incredibly busy year for everyone in the Virginia National Guard and the Virginia Defense Force. Our Soldiers, Airmen, VDF members and the federal and state civilians who support them have all been working incredibly hard to build and maintain readiness that is essential to mission success; I thank each and every one of you for the outstanding effort!
Looking ahead to 2020, we know that we have challenges with a continued fast pace schedule that includes preparations for JRTC and overseas training exercises. Suffice it to say, we are extremely busy and leadership across the force understands the pressure on families and employers; we – leadership – have to do better to protect these critical elements of our force. As we go forward, we will refocus on the basics at every level and training for only those essential combat tasks.
I hope everyone takes time during the holidays to enjoy the company of family and friends. We are so fortunate for the tremendous support we receive from those closest to us, and it is greatly appreciated. We couldn’t do what we do without them. Use the holiday season as a chance to take a knee, catch your breath and reflect on the great successes of the year. You have earned it.
We also owe a special thanks to our employers and everything they do to accommodate our busy training schedules. They are true patriots, and their continued support is critical to our mission.
While this time of year should be a chance to relax, it is also important that we remain vigilant and remember to focus on force protection and safety. We need every member of the team back to work in the new year and ready to go.
As we celebrate the holiday season, keep in mind that we have Soldiers and Airmen serving all over the world with their fellow members of the Armed Forces. They are doing the tough work of keeping us safe and defending the ideals of freedom far away from home. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their loved ones, and we look forward to their return in the coming year.
Best wishes to everyone hoping that you have a joyful Holiday season and a prosperous new year.