TAG's Message - year in review
By Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth, The Adjutant General - New
Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth (second from
left) poses with (l-r) Col. Michael Shute, Lt. Col. William Heineman
and Maj. Thomas McGhee - members of Joint Task Force Phoenix, which
provides embedded trainers for the Afghan National Army and Command
Sgt. Maj. David Kenna. Photo courtesy Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth
Looking back on 2006 there were two events that mark either a new era
or completed a chapter in the history of the New Jersey Army and Air National
Even before his inauguration Governor Jon S. Corzine was standing in our
corner working to ensure that every Soldier and Airmen is properly trained
and equipped to handle the variety of missions now tasked to the New Jersey
Since taking the oath of office, the Commander-in-Chief has attended Welcome
Home or Freedom Salute events; visited with Guard members in Iraq and
Afghanistan; and opened the doors of the official residence, Drumthwacket,
for a Super Bowl party along with a holiday party for the families of
deployed Soldiers and Airmen.
As a former Marine Corps Reserve member, the Governor most importantly
understands the sacrifices that you and your families make every day to
defend this great state and nation.
This unprecedented level of support from the Governor has benefited every
Soldier and Airmen, our families, the employees of the Department of Military
and Veterans Affairs and of course all the veterans from across the state.
The Governor’s actions on behalf of all members of our armed services
or those who had worn a uniform are just a starting point for the coming
Even though most of the more than 1,600 Citizen-Soldiers of the 42nd Infantry
Division had returned home before 2005 closed out, we officially Welcomed
Home those units and our newest veterans in the spring of last year.
This historic mobilization, the largest since World War II, confirmed
there is no turning back to the days when the National Guard was considered
a Strategic Reserve. We are now an Operational Force that the nation depends
on today and tomorrow.
We laid the groundwork in 2006 for this shift of roles, as we prepare
for the changes that lie ahead. The Guard’s transformation will
literally affect everyone in our organization whether it is a change in
equipment, jobs or drilling location.
One example is how the Field Artillery Soldiers trained to be military
police for their deployment to Europe. As these MPs came off their mobilization
last year, they will now assume many of the military police positions
that will be part of 50th Brigade Combat Team.
We asked to be in the forefront of the transformation process and I want
to thank everyone in the organization for stepping up and supporting our
vision to be the leaders nationally. Being trail blazers means there are
no lessons learned to help guide you. You have worked to get past those
obstacles and because of our efforts we will be receiving new missions
for the Army and Air Guard.
We want to stay in front and that is why New Jersey accepted one of the
first rotations to the southwest border as part of Operation Jump Start.
Our Soldiers and Airmen did outstanding job in a joint environment, setting
the standard for other states to follow.
I reflect back on the tremendous support both the Army and Air Guard have
given to the country of Albania with the “Partnership for Peace”
program in 2006. Your efforts have gone a long way to prepare Albania
to reach the goal of becoming a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Another highlight from 2006 was the performance of the 108th Air Refueling
Wing on their Operational Readiness Inspection. The inspectors praised
the New Jersey Airmen after the inspection that happens every five years.
The ORI was culmination of countless hours of dedicated preparation that
made the 108th shine.
Lastly, I want to mention how well we did with my first priority, which
is recruiting. Due to the outstanding efforts of our Army Guard recruiting
team we closed out 2006 with the second highest total in our history with
1,494 new members. Our recruiters would not have succeeded without each
Soldier and Airman showing personal pride in wearing the uniform, doing
a good job and representing all the values that makes America great.
I look forward to another year of great challenges and even greater achievements.