February 20, 2020 –
Soldiers and Airman of the Utah National Guard,
It is an honor to be your adjutant general. I emphasize the fact that I am YOUR adjutant general because it is the bedrock of this organization; that our “Guardsmen” (men and women) are what make this organization!
My intent is to continue building capability by amplifying your talents, reinforcing your training, and strengthening your resiliency. We can do that together by understanding the current world as it is, and building strategies for that reality.
As I have mentioned earlier, we live in a complex and dangerous time. While we have been fighting insurgencies over the past 19 years, our global competitors have been building large-scale combat power. While the bravery, warfighting skills, and professionalism we have gained over these years are indispensable, we must shift our efforts to a large scale combat operations. This will require a new mindset of strategic and tactical training. We must think differently about our training and our tempo of operations while in combat.
It is the ability to deter our competitors and hold their units at “risk” while we build long-term strategic over-match that will ensure our way of life for our children and grandchildren. This means counter-insurgency operations become less emphasized in our training and maneuver warfare with “deep/strategic,” “medium,” and “close/tactical” air operations become our training focus. Our force structure, equipment, and training will reflect that reality in the near future and we can see our national command authority currently working toward that end.
This requires a look at all domains (air, land, maritime, space, cyber, information) as spheres of conflict and strategy. It goes without saying that our service takes its toll on resiliency. I am concerned that as we shift our efforts to large-scale combat operations, you and your families will be able to handle the stress. I see Soldiers and Airman every day struggling with financial and interpersonal stress that cause despair. We must draw together as teams (large and small) to help each other, support each other, progress together, and become stronger!
I ask all of you to engage your fellow Soldiers and Airman, to directly counsel your subordinates and to build resiliency across our formations. Every person in this organization has value.
Again, thank you for your service and support. I am encouraged by what you do and how you do it. Don’t wait until tomorrow to amplify your talent, to train at the highest level both individually as well as collectively, and to become stronger and more resilient personally.