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NEWS | Jan. 9, 2023

DMA training prepares ChalleNGe staff for cadets return

By Staff Reports |

Virginia Department of Military Affairs staff conducted a two-day, in-service training session for staff from Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy Jan. 3-4, 2023, at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The focus of the training was on policy reviews, various safety and human resource topics and resiliency. The training also featured teambuilding and group activities.  

The group activities produced skits and interaction between the groups in order to demonstrate how polices are interrupted and perceived at different levels with recommendations provided on how some policies can be rewritten to provide clarification, according to retired Command Sgt. Maj. Tim White, the DMA trainer.

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, visited the training and spoke to the ChalleNGe personnel. Williams and Maj. Brett Johnson, the Virginia National Guard Joint Force Headquarters full-time support chaplain, provided command guidance, words of encouragement and resiliency methods to the ChalleNGe staff as they prepared for the cadets to return from winter break.

“We wanted to get the staff refreshed, focused, and ready as the current class of cadets returns from winter pass this week,” said retired Brig. Gen. Walt Mercer, the Virginia Department of Military Affairs Chief Operations Officer. “It was a busy but effective time for the entire team and was well received by the staff.”

“This type of ‘refresher training’ is what retired Brig. Gen. Mercer and I would use with units to keep training fresh and current as they prepare for an event, in this case cadets returning from winter break,” White said.

“The overall consensus was that the training was on point and relevant,” said retired Navy Capt. Mark Chicoine, director of Commonwealth ChalleNGe. “The ChalleNGe team left training very motivated to receive our cadets back from break.”

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