Illinois National Guard

Command Information

 
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Since becoming the Assistant Adjutant General - Army in October of 2015, I have verbalized my priorities for the Illinois Army National Guard several times to various audiences.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>However, I have not put them on paper and pushed them out to the widest audience possible.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>Here are my thoughts on priorities:<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN><SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Priorities are what give us direction and focus.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>An organization without priorities is like a rudderless ship.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>Priorities tell leaders where to expend their energy and where to place their resources.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>Priorities are the difference between being a good organization and being the best organization.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN><?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Readiness:</B> P is key.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>Personnel readiness is the key to our future success.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>If we can’t deploy our Soldiers into a combat theater or to assist the citizens of Illinois, we have not been doing our job.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>We have a no fail contract that states our Soldiers must be ready to deploy and accomplish every mission; leaders at all levels must strive to increase our P ratings.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>General Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army, has a saying that readiness is number one and there is no other number one; words for us to live by!<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Retention:</B> Keeping qualified Soldiers is a must for the ILARNG.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>Keeping qualified, trained Soldiers allows for our units to be ready for any mission or deployment.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>It allows the ILARNG to build teams of Soldiers that are cohesive because they have shared and scarified together.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>When qualified, trained Soldiers that have sacrificed with their unit exits the formation, a portion of that unit’s foundation crumbles.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>We must keep Soldiers that are integral to our success and future in our formations.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">   </SPAN><SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">   </SPAN><SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN><o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Leader Development and Training:</B> Illinois must have the best trained leaders and the best trained Soldiers in all of the Army National Guard. <SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>This priority feeds into the first two.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>By having the best led and trained force, we will be ready and we will retain Soldiers.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>We must manage our talent to ensure the best are being promoted into leadership positions.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>We must ensure Soldiers and leaders attend all relevant training whether it be for career progression or for a tab or badge.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN><SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN><o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Accountability:</B> We need accountability at all levels and it should include personal, fiscal and equipment accountability.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN><SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Personal accountability means that you as a Soldier are ready to meet the mission; all of your Soldier readiness goals are met and you are ready to deploy.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>It also means taking responsibility for your actions.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>All leaders and soldiers must understand and be ready to accept this responsibility.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>Fiscal accountability means fiscal stewardship.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>We are in a resource and fiscally constrained environment now and must be audit ready at all times.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>Finally, equipment accountability means just that, keep control and account for you equipment.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">   </SPAN><o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Welfare of Soldiers and Family:</B> Soldiers and their Families are our number one resource and we need to treat them as such.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>We must get this right, the consequences are disastrous if we do not.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>Remember at the end of the day, it is all about the Soldiers and their Families. <o:p></o:p></FONT></P><SPAN style="A">These five priorities should be your primary focus for the future.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>However, all leaders must remember that there are always little “flash” priorities that come up from higher headquarters; but the aforementioned five priorities are where you need to spend the majority of your time and resources.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>These are no longer my priorities, they are now OUR priorities!</SPAN> My Priorities: Focusing on the Future

Since becoming the Assistant Adjutant General - Army in October of 2015, I have verbalized my priorities for the Illinois Army National Guard several times to various audiences.  However, I have not put them on paper and pushed them out to the widest audience possible.  Here are my thoughts on priorities:   Priorities are what give us direction and focus.  An organization without priorities is like a rudderless ship.  Priorities tell leaders where to expend their energy and where to place their resources.  Priorities are the difference between being a good organization and being the best organization. 


 
<p>

One only has to look at past media events to see that our
organization accomplished many significant actions, whether it was a response
for immediate assistance to civil authorities or a deliberate call up to deploy
Illinois National Guard units to theater level combat operations. </p><p>Our participation in these actions as an organization is
dependent on our unique ability to muster ready and trained soldiers to respond
to any call at a moment’s notice. Every
one of us carries an inherent amount of responsibility for the overall success
of our organization by maintaining our individual personal readiness; we must
have soldiers who are ready now.  Accountability of these most basic principles
and maintaining personal readiness is a requirement of all professional soldiers. </p><p>We have the ability to shape our future readiness posture
and remain relevant through a shared understanding of priorities between
Officers, Warrant Officers, NCOs, and Soldiers. Our success at individual
readiness will cause other processes to fall into place for our organization in
the form of additional training events and opportunities. </p><p>We will share the load to meet our objectives with people
that have the tenacity, innovation, and business efficiencies to continue
moving the organization forward in our current conditions to meet our common
goal; a ready and relevant Army National Guard meeting the challenges of today,
tomorrow, and for years to come.
</p> A Common Goal
As we continue moving forward in our current environment of limited time and resources, you will notice our efforts becoming more and more focused on a common goal. Within our strategic plan, individual and unit readiness is a product of deliberate actions with specific lines of effort in support of this common goal.

 
<p>

One only has to look at past media events to see that our
organization accomplished many significant actions, whether it was a response
for immediate assistance to civil authorities or a deliberate call up to deploy
Illinois National Guard units to theater level combat operations. </p><p>Our participation in these actions as an organization is
dependent on our unique ability to muster ready and trained soldiers to respond
to any call at a moment’s notice. Every
one of us carries an inherent amount of responsibility for the overall success
of our organization by maintaining our individual personal readiness; we must
have soldiers who are ready now.  Accountability of these most basic principles
and maintaining personal readiness is a requirement of all professional soldiers. </p><p>We have the ability to shape our future readiness posture
and remain relevant through a shared understanding of priorities between
Officers, Warrant Officers, NCOs, and Soldiers. Our success at individual
readiness will cause other processes to fall into place for our organization in
the form of additional training events and opportunities. </p><p>We will share the load to meet our objectives with people
that have the tenacity, innovation, and business efficiencies to continue
moving the organization forward in our current conditions to meet our common
goal; a ready and relevant Army National Guard meeting the challenges of today,
tomorrow, and for years to come.
</p> A Common Goal
As we continue moving forward in our current environment of limited time and resources, you will notice our efforts becoming more and more focused on a common goal. Within our strategic plan, individual and unit readiness is a product of deliberate actions with specific lines of effort in support of this common goal.

 
<p>

 A recent survey of
National Guard members revealed the top four issues distracting members causing
increased stress and accidents were: </p><p>1.
Balancing Civilian and Guard Lifemes </p><p>2.
Additional Duties </p><p>3.
Family/Home Issues</p><p>4.
The volume of Ancillary Training    </p><p>Over the years, to
minimize the risk of these issues and many more that cause accidents, the Air
Force developed an annual safety campaign called “The 101 Critical Days of
Summer Campaign.” This year it will kick
off May 25 and run through Sept. 4.  The
goal of the campaign is to reduce or eliminate preventable mishaps through
safety education. The Air Force 101 Critical Days of Summer Campaign calls
attention to the tragic loss and or injury of Airmen during summertime and makes
them realize safety is personal for their families, friends, coworkers and
themselves. The Air Force’s vision ensures all of our Airmen have zero
preventable mishaps with an injury-free summer.    </p><p>In addition, the Air
National Guard has developed a theme for our 2015 ANG Safety campaign: “ Don’t Let Your Guard Down”   </p><p>Is there an “app for that?”
 Well, almost. Imagine an Airman, a Soldier or a family
member is in an accident.  With the new
Fearless Five mobile app, help is only one button away. The new ANG iPhone app allows
users to enter names and numbers of five trusted agents. A user in distress (sexual assault, accident,
suicidal ideation, or any other non-911 emergency) can push one button and send
the equivalent of an Amber Alert to the Fearless Five contacts. Geo-coordinates and driving directions guide
the five to the person needing the help. The Fearless Five app can be used by anyone (military & civilian)
including children. The Apple iTunes
link is https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ready-airman/id638309886?mt=8     </p><p>Pay attention to the
safety briefs, safety articles, checklists, hazards and wear proper protective
equipment this summer.</p><p>Maj. Gen. William Cobetto</p> A Warm Weather Safety Message
After a long and cold winter, spring finally arrived on March 20! I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to the warmer weather and summer-time activities. With the arrival of spring, many of us become more active outside. We play sports, go boating, ride bikes or motorcycles, and work outside. Spring and Summer are also times of increased annual training periods, deployments, and exercises. With all these activities in the spring and summer, we must remind ourselves to think “Safety.”

 
<p>      Our goal is to eliminate sexual assault in
the National Guard. To accomplish this
we NCOs need to step up to the plate to educate and inform our Soldiers on the
importance of respecting each other. We
all need to focus on our Army values. NCOs need to take an active lead in supporting the SHARP program. Every
Soldier in the Illinois National Guard must understand sexual assault is the
complete violation of integrity, dignity, respect and honor.</p><p>    The number of
reported cases has increased. This tells us our efforts are moving in the right
direction. Soldiers are beginning to tell us what is going on in their units. They
are coming forward and letting us know of things that have happened to them
years ago. Why is that? They are beginning to trust their leadership will act
to fix the problem. Leaders have to look
their Soldiers in the eyes and tell them the abuse of their fellow Soldiers is
not tolerated. As NCOs, we have to follow through and remember the NCO Creed.
We are responsible for the welfare of ALL of our Soldiers and we will take care
of our fallen comrades.</p><p>    What breaks my heart and infuriates me at the
same time is that I have seen cases where NCOs are the predators who have
abused our Soldiers. These individuals have used our profession and culture to
gain the trust of others and turned that trust into a weapon to victimize those
we are supposed to protect. We must hold
them accountable and they must goAs
NCOs, we must lead the way here as well. You want to be a leader? Then lead. Nothing happens in our units that
we as NCOs do not know about. When Soldiers
are abused, it usually means others have looked the other way. Any trust that
existed in that unit is now lost.  Be
aware of what is going on and show the fortitude I know you all have. Step up
and help us fix the problem.</p><p><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  </span>I have watched
so many of you do incredibly brave things over the last decade; watched you all
sacrifice everything to take care of your Soldiers in dangerous situations. Do
it now as well. We have to take it
personal; we are Family.</p><p>    You and your
Soldiers at the section and squad levels are the solution. Culture begins to
change with you. You have to own this. NCOs are the backbone of this
organization. Know the resources available to you to be successful: </p><p>SGM Diane Rogers, SARC/Sexual Assault Response
Coordinator</p><p>CPT Alanna Wood,VAC, Victim Advocate Coordinator </p><p>Sharp Cell: 217.299.9407</p><p>Army SHARP Website: <a href="http://www.army.mil/sharp">http://www.army.mil/sharp</a></p><p>Some of the best tools can be found here. Center for the
Army Profession and Ethic (CAPE): <a href="http://cape.army.mil">http://cape.army.mil</a></p><p>CSM Mark Bowman</p><p>CSM, Illinois Army National Guard
</p> A Question of TRUST
   What can I, as a Soldier and NCO do to prevent Sexual Harassment and Assault of a fellow Soldiers? After we have all had annual SHARP training and listened to all the speeches, Soldiers are still victimized by people they have been TRAINED to trust the most. Most of our victims are young and still within their first two years of service. Most of our Soldiers may not have been victimized by these crimes, but they know somebody who has. They know we are dedicated to address and fix the problem, to find the predators, and to prosecute them for the crimes they have done. Many do not feel we are doing enough, fast enough.

 
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