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NEWS | June 2, 2023

Virginia DMA employees at SMR honored at luncheon

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

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, and retired Brig. Gen. Walt Mercer, Virginia Department of Military Affairs Chief Operations Officer, presented awards to DMA employees as part of a State Employee Recognition Day luncheon May 24, 2023, at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  

Williams, who is retiring this summer, took the opportunity to thank the DMA employees for their hard work and dedication over his nine years as Adjutant General.

“ChalleNGe, I am in awe of everything you do with these kids,” he said. “Look at the great things this organization does and if not you, then who? Who would do that? What you do is magnificent and I could never say thank you enough for the phenomenal things you do.”

He then turned his attention to the 203rd RED HORSE.

“I see a bunch of red hats over here,” Williams said, pointing. “In many ways our ability to have this event here today is in large part because of the 203rd RED HORSE here and the RED HORSE community across the United States that built these K spans we’re sitting in today. Thanks for that and all the things you do.”

“To the SMR staff, thanks for what you do,” he said. “Without what you do on a day-to-day basis, none of this would happen for sure.”

“Thanks to the DMA staff for organizing this and all you do on a day-to-day basis to fight the fight and ensure we keep people in the jobs.”

Following his remarks, several DMA employees were recognized for both agency-level accomplishments as well as for service anniversaries. 

Russell Greggs received the DMA Innovation Award and Melinda Miller received the DMA New Employee award. Meanwhile Juan Miolan was recognized for five years of state service.

Col. James C. Shaver Jr., the Maneuver Training Center commander, was traveling but spoke to the employees via video teleconference.

“Everything you do, regardless of what organization you represent, it matters every day for homeland defense, national security and emergency preparedness,” Shaver said. “I appreciate what you do. What you do matters. We need you to keep on doing what you do, the small things add up. Take care of each other, do the right thing, follow the rules, look out for each other and share that positive attitude.”

As he prepares to become AG, Brig. Gen. James W. Ring also had the opportunity to speak with SMR staff.

“Know that it is my privilege and my job to work for you, you don’t work for me,” Ring explained. “It is the job of us as the senior mission command to ensure you get the resources you need, so utilize your lines of communication. Reach out if you need anything and again thank you for what you do every single day and it will be my privilege to serve as your AG.”

The event was Williams’ last visit to SMR as the AG and, to mark the occasion, Commonwealth ChalleNGe and SMR staff each presented Williams with retirement gifts. Retired Navy Captain Mark Chicoine, director of ChalleNGe, presented Williams with several mementoes from ChalleNGe staff and cadets and Lt. Col. Emily Huffman, the SMR commander, and the SMR staff presented Williams with a framed portrait of the AG’s cottage at SMR.

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