By Brig. Gen. Michael J. Turley
We live in a complex and dangerous world. A world with emerging threats that span global power competitions, as well as domestic vulnerabilities. These challenges are in multiple domains—air, ground, cyber, and space. While I am proud to say the talents and ethics of the Airmen and Soldiers of the Utah National Guard are up to the challenge, we must begin to think differently and flex to new realities.
We are presented with challenges in recruiting and retention, force structure alignment and modernization, and the over-arching pivot to global power competition. We must re-align how we think about our threat picture and our current capability. We must also realize the investments we and our families have made over the past twenty years and strive to honor that commitment.
Utah is a “growth state,” meaning that National Guard Bureau has entrusted us to grow our end-strength, specifically in the Army. Though we have a patriotic state, we also have a strong economy. We will be challenged over the next year finding new Soldiers to join our ranks while retaining our most valued members. Our success will depend on “every Soldier-a-Recruiter.” Each of us, are able to share the benefits of serving in the Guard: adventure, travel, training, accomplishment, and patriotism—as well as financial benefits.
In addition to recruiting and retaining, we must be willing to look at the operating environment and align our structure to new realities. We must shift our thinking and embrace new force structures that will continue to maintain our relevance to our federal forces (Air and Army) as well as our state government.
While we adjust our force and thinking, we must maintain faith with our service members and their families. The family programs we have in place must be maintained. Our families invested in the mission of our state and nation, we must be willing to invest back in them.
I am honored to be your new adjutant general. I am excited to serve in this great organization and to work with each of you.