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Taking care of business - everyday
By Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth, The Adjutant General - New Jersey

As we begin a new year, I reflect and marvel at our accomplishments. This past year, the team has accomplished more than most could achieve in a lifetime. From preparing the 50th IBCT for its monumental deployment to the establishment of the Air Guard’s 108th Contingency Response Group and the 177th Quick Reaction Force to the long-awaited World War II Memorial Dedication to our State Family Readiness Program and supporting FRGs, we have proven without a doubt that the New Jersey National Guard understands our Servicemembers and their families’ needs and knows how to take care of business at home and abroad. None of these achievements would have been possible without everyone’s steadfast support and dedication. For these commitments, I am truly and humbly grateful.

Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth (right) explains the relevance of the McGuire Air Force Base super base to Lt. Gen. Craig R. McKinley (left), Director of the Air National Guard. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, 177FW/PA.

As events of the war on terror continue to unfold, our operational tempo has been fast-paced as our brave men and women travel abroad to fight and preserve our nation’s freedoms and way of life. Supporting units, personnel, and volunteers worked diligently to ensure our troops were prepared for their wartime mission. These efforts exemplify our strengths and demonstrate that we, the New Jersey National Guard, can accomplish any given task with professionalism, efficiency and care.

During my recent visit to Iraq, I witnessed firsthand how the collective efforts of our team prepared the 50th IBCT for their ongoing successful mission. With regard to preparation and successful mission completion, I place equal emphasis on demobilization. In an effort to care for our returning warriors, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with New Jersey Supreme Court, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, who proposed developing a Veterans Assistance Program to aid veterans who find themselves in trouble with the criminal courts. Justice Rabner recognizes the importance of military service and the health and mental health challenges associated with it. As part of the program, any veteran facing the courts may elect to enter the Veterans Assistance Program and will be assigned a mentor from the NJNG or the veterans' community. The mentor will guide and assist the veteran through the various processes. In a nutshell, we’re taking care of our brothers and sisters in arms. The program launched this month in Atlantic County and later will become a statewide program. This program, coupled with existing programs, will ensure our veterans receive the proper care that they deserve.

At home, we are taking care of business by constantly maintaining our domestic operational readiness. Since 2001, members of the Army and Air have joined forces to ensure the safety of our citizens by protecting the two nuclear power plants located in the state. Soon, this mission will cease. Supplementing our domestic readiness is the 177th Quick Reaction Force, which stands ready to respond to any Military Support to Civilian Authorities event.

With so many demands placed on our Servicemembers, let’s never forget the spouses, children and family members that support us. Our families are our anchor and form the foundation of our armed forces. We would not be successful without their care and unwavering support.

In a continuing effort to take care of business with our families, we are fortunate to have the strong support of our SFRP, ESGR and other organizations, to include private supporters and businesses. Collectively, these great Americans tirelessly and unselfishly devote their time, manpower and resources to resolve the issues resulting from deployments. In our last issue of Guardlife, there was a list of the various services available to our Servicemembers and their families. Again we list these resources on page 23 of this issue. If you or your families are experiencing any hardships and need a helping hand, I encourage you to contact these people. They are there for you and want to help.

In November, we mourned the loss of Chief Warrant Officer 5 Randy Niedt, State Command Chief Warrant Officer and the director of SFRP. Chief Niedt had a genuine affection for our men and women in uniform, was a true professional and a staunch advocate of our families. To provide for the families of deployed members during the holiday season, Chief Niedt and the SFRP worked closely with a nonprofit organization Holiday Express. Through their kindness, Holiday Express performed a phenomenal Christmas show dedicated strictly to families of deployed members. At the show, there was singing, dancing, food, childrens’ activities and more. But most importantly, there was friendship. Every man, woman and child who attended walked away with warmth in their hearts, revitalized hope and an extra spring in their step. This show was a genuine act of kindness and a reminder that there is strong support for our efforts and our families. The event was a direct reflection of Chief Niedt’s care and devotion for our deployed members’ families.

Our current and past achievements have proven our worth and have paved the path for our future. As I look forward, the horizon is clear and I see continued success. Again, thank you for your contributions to our great team. With our combined strength and efforts, we can accomplish anything.

Table of Contents
Volume 34 Number 3 Staff / Information
(c) 2008 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs