By Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Anderson
George Washington said, “Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak and esteem to all.”
A well-disciplined military unit with high morale, confidence and drive is truly a force to be reckoned with. The Utah National Guard has some of the highest performing units in our nation and demonstrates this in every engagement.
One of our biggest challenges right now is recruiting into our formations. When our state experiences a good economy, potential recruits have many options. Pay and benefits, while enticing, generally aren’t the most significant incentives to join. The Utah Army and Air National Guard are family affairs, with multi-generations often joining. I strongly believe the largest incentives to join is the sense of purpose you get while serving our country; the good feeling you get when you have sacrificed through sweat, blood, and tears; the feeling of accomplishment when you do something hard and overcome adversity.
I encourage you to get out and tell your story, talk to potential recruits about your experiences, why you joined, what you do, and why you are still servicing. While I initially joined for the benefits, I stayed because I love the free state of Utah. What a great place to raise a family and live. More even than this great state, I love this country. I love the history of our country. I love the fact that we are not afraid of anything….that we step up repeatedly in the face of adversity to deal with difficult issues. I love our form of government. A constitutional republic is hard to beat. I love the fact that the Constitution protects our individual rights, and that the people elect our officials from the executive and legislative branches. I thoroughly enjoy being a member of the oldest military branch in our nation’s history.
The National Guard’s dual state and federal mission is amazing. It is a great honor for me to serve in this organization. For those of you on the fence about staying in, we need you; our nation needs you; we value your sacrifice and service. I am always available and look forward to seeing you around. Thanks for all you do!