7,500 National Guard Soldiers Serve at Presidential Inauguration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 7,500 National Guard members from 44 States, Territories, and the District of Columbia were on hand to support the 58th Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20.

“This is the Super Bowl event for the District of Columbia National Guard,” said LTC Nicole L. Brugato, a personnel officer at the National Guard Bureau who was part of the joint task force supporting the event. “Everybody from a private first class to [our] chief of staff is energized, and this is our opportunity to truly be the President’s Guard.”

Soldiers provided security, crowd control, traffic management, and logistics and communications capabilities while working with the Secret Service, United States Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, among other agencies.

SPC Shaleek Blackman, left, with the Delaware Army National Guard's 153rd Military Police Company, and SSG Eric Stunkard, with the Delaware Army Guard's 262nd Component Repair Company, keep an eye out as crowds make their way to the National Mall for the 58th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2017. (Photo by Tech. SGT Erich B. Smith).

“[The inaugural event] took so many integral parts, so many pieces for it to come out smoothly,” said PFC Michael Arthur, a military police officer with the Louisiana Army National Guard’s 239th Military Police Company, who worked with officers from the Transportation Security Administration at a checkpoint along the inaugural parade route.

While boots on the ground played a key role in ensuring safety and security, Guard members could be found underground as well. SGT John Garnett of the Tennessee National Guard’s 251st Military Police Company worked with officers from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Police in providing added security in subway stations near the Capitol building.

For Garnett, the day was an exercise in being “vigilant and resilient, and dedicated to keeping everyone as safe as possible.”

In addition to providing support to local authorities, about 100 Guard members provided traditional ceremonial support, including marching in the inaugural parade.

The National Guard’s presence in the Presidential Inauguration dates to 1789, when local militia units and members of the regular Army took part in George Washington’s inaugural events in New York City.

CSM Wayne L. Bowser, the senior enlisted advisor of the District of Columbia National Guard, said he hoped young Soldiers left with a sense of fulfillment and pride from taking part in the inauguration.

“There is a small percentage of folks who wear the uniform,” he said. “There is a smaller [percentage] who will get a chance to be a part of this type of event.”

As part of its dual mission to serve the Nation and the community, the Army National Guard can be called up for other stateside events, too, like natural disasters. So, if you’re dependable and looking to make a difference in your community, check out the Guard as a career option. Service is typically part-time and close to home. You’ll train in one of 150 career fields and be eligible for fantastic benefits like money for college.

Visit our job board where you can search by job category, like medical or logistics. You can also search by keyword or location. And for personalized attention, contact a recruiter.

From an original article by Technical  SGT Erich B. Smith, which appeared in January 2017 in the news section of NationalGuard.mil.

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Guard Spotlight: Stateside Missions

Army National Guard Works to Secure the Homeland

Joining the Army National Guard appealed to Specialist (SPC) Alan Wainright because he could stay close to where he grew up in North Carolina, and not move from place to place every few years like full-time military service members do. 

The National Guard is unique in that 84 percent of its members serve in a part-time status close to where they live, and because this branch of the military fulfills a dual mission of serving the country and serving the community. A governor or the president can call up the Guard at a moment’s notice to help with homeland emergencies.

While SPC Wainright has not deployed overseas in his five years with the Guard, he is fresh off two back-to-back stateside missions in North Carolina this fall, working riot control in Charlotte in late September, and then helping out during Hurricane Matthew and the residual flooding it caused further inland earlier this month.

SPC Wainright, like all Guard members, goes where he is called, but because of his training in security and law enforcement as a 31B- Military Policeman, his role during the flooding was less about rescuing stranded residents, providing them with necessities like food and water, or storm cleanup.

“Our mission up there was more to protect buildings from looting. We did help out fire and rescue because we had thermals and night vision, but that wasn’t our main mission.”

Looting turned out not to be a problem in the Lumberton, N.C., area during the flooding. That was also the case when SPC Wainright was called up to help with riot control in Charlotte for about a week. By that time, local police had back-up from state police and the Guard.

“It’s amazing when you’ve got a lot more eyes and hands on deck, stuff like [looting] doesn’t go down.”

Demonstrators in Charlotte were protesting the death of Keith Lamont Scott, an African American man who was shot by a city policeman. Police said Scott was armed with a gun and did not comply with their orders. Scott’s family said he was unarmed.

SPC Wainright said most of the resentment protestors expressed was directed at local law enforcement rather than Guard Soldiers.

“They were mostly friendly,” he says. “You had a few that got a little mouthy and wanted to talk junk, but for the most part they respected us and left us alone.”

Some of the other Guard work SPC Wainright has done in his home State is to provide traffic control for races and security when the Democratic National Convention came to Charlotte in 2012.

Unlike most of his fellow Soldiers, SPC Wainright works full-time for the Guard. He is part of a mobile recruiting team out of Raleigh, N.C. That means he gets lot of questions about joining the Guard and what he likes best about it, which is:

“The benefits and also just traveling. I’ve seen a lot of different States and a lot of different things that I wouldn’t have seen if I wasn’t with them.”

So, if you’d like to learn more about the Guard’s benefits or one of the careers you can pursue, check our job board or contact your local recruiter.

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Always Ready, Always There Reflects Guard’s Ability to Change with Times

An organization that is actually older than the country it serves could not have survived for nearly 380 years without being able to change with the times.

The Army National Guard, which will celebrate this milestone birthday on Dec. 13, continues to live up to its motto of “Always Ready, Always There” by adding new areas of focus and new career opportunities that reflect national trends. We at On Your Guard thought we’d take a look back at new initiatives and changes that got under way over the course of the past year.

Because cybersecurity is a top concern for anyone who uses technology, the Guard began focusing on standing up 10 Cyber Protection Teams in an effort to help the Nation better defend against cyber attacks. When we spoke with LTC Matt Chytka last fall, he anticipated Guard careers in technology and intelligence would continue to grow, just as they have in the private sector. 

National Guard Soldiers.LTC Chytka said the Guard was uniquely qualified to improve the country’s “cyber posture,” due to the fact that service is part-time, which allows a Citizen-Soldier® to attend school or work full- time in a private sector career.

“We have a very strong ability versus our active duty brethren to attract, and, particularly, to retain, highly skilled cyber military professionals that the Nation requires in order to maintain a keen cyber edge and superiority in the cyberspace realm,” he said.

While the Guard expands its career opportunities in STEM, it is also opening up more jobs to women.

The Guard, along with every other branch of the U.S. military, started seeing new faces in different roles last year as the Department of Defense (DoD) loosened restrictions regarding women serving in combat roles. Ultimately, the DoD announced in late 2015 that all military combat jobs, without exception, would be open to women who met the qualifications, like 2LT Tracci Dorgan-Bandy, who became the first female artillery officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard.

For her, a combat-oriented job was just one more area where she could prove herself and excel. Her previous Guard military occupational specialties (MOSs) included 25P Microwave Systems Operator/Maintainer and photojournalist.

“The Guard has opened so many doors for me, so many opportunities. I’ve never had anybody shut a door in my face in the Guard,” she said.

With more than 150 career fields to choose from, many of the Citizen-Soldiers we’ve interviewed say they appreciate the chance to move into career fields that might be completely different than their previous MOS, like SFC William Bart, who went into marketing and recruiting for the Alaska Guard after serving for years as 31B Military Police, which is one of the most searched for careers on our job board.

“You set your own destiny as far as your career goes,” SFC Bart said.

Of course, the best place to start thinking about your career destiny is to take a look at our job board, where you can search by keyword or location. You can also search by category, broadly defined as Administrative, Armor and Field Artillery, Aviation, Engineer, Infantry, Logistics Support, Mechanic and Maintenance, Medical, Military Police, Signal and Military Intelligence, and Transportation.

And for one-on-one advice, or answers to any questions you might have, contact a recruiter.

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