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NEWS | May 18, 2016

Dept. of Military Affairs recognizes, thanks state employees

By Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, Brig. Gen. Paul F. Griffin, Virginia National Guard Director of the Joint Staff, and Walter L. Mercer, Director of Personnel and Administration for the Virginia Department of Military Affairs, recognized and thanked Virginia Department of Military Affairs state employees at luncheons and awards ceremonies May 10, 2016, at Fort Pickett and May 12, 2016, at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach.

“This annual recognition program is a way for our directors and department heads to specifically recognize and thank those state employees within their organization who have gone the extra mile and exceeded expectations,” Mercer said.

“This was an opportunity for us to thank our employees for their hard work,” explained Michelle Claiborne, human resource manager for DMA. “These employees are always willing and able to support the mission of DMA.”

Employees first attended briefings and mandatory training for state workers in the morning. Classes covered topics including health benefits, workers compensation, policy, safety and ethics. Then, following a catered lunch, senior leaders recognized individuals who have reached five, 10, 15 and 20 years of service with DMA.

The senior leaders also presented awards to DMA employees for customer service, workplace safety and health, career achievement, innovation, new employees, teamwork, community service and volunteerism.

“You guys are absolutely critical to the mission that we do here at Fort Pickett and for the overall Virginia National Guard mission,” Griffin said to the employees at Fort Pickett. “We couldn’t do it without you.”

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what each and every one of you does,” said Williams at Camp Pendleton. “Thank you all very much for what you do.”

State employees play a significant role across DMA in sustaining the full spectrum of functions, explained Mercer.

“Their great work directly impacts the Virginia National Guard’s readiness, training, finance and logistics, facilities, communications, safety, and Soldier care functions among others,” he said.

The Virginia Defense Force has several staff serving Virginia as part of the DMA team, and the Commonwealth ChalleNGe and STARBASE programs, with their focus being on education and the overall development of young people, are managed and staffed by state employees, Mercer explained.

“Everything our state personnel do across DMA matters because, in the end, we are all here to support our Air and Army National Guard members and their families and the cadets in our ChalleNGe program,” Mercer said.

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