Illinois National Guard

Command Information

 
<p>A part of the National Guard mantra that we should all take
to heart, “Always Ready,” is an integral aspect of the Illinois National Guard
Strategic Master Plan.  ILNG goal number one
is all about enhancing unit readiness. Our individual actions can greatly
determine whether or not we meet the personnel and training readiness
objectives for the state.  Your individual
readiness actions should encompass being physically fit, medically ready,
trained and properly equipped. <o:p></o:p></p>

<p>Being physically fit will not only help us pass our fitness
testing requirements but will lead to a healthier life and what we should all
be concerned with - mission success. 
Whether you stay in a hotel room or a tent we all know the deployed
environment will offer physically challenging jobs with long hours and little
sleep, not to mention the increased stress levels.  Studies have proven that we are less likely
to be injured while performing manual labor tasks if we maintain a routine
physical fitness schedule.  Regular
fitness training will also improve your mental health and mood, contributing to
stress reduction.  Good physical fitness
also means less illness, which leads into our next topic, medical readiness.<o:p></o:p></p>

<p>We are required to report our medical readiness by informing
the military medical professionals about any serious health conditions we have
been diagnosed with or medications we are currently prescribed.  That information enables our leadership to
properly code us for mission readiness. 
Don’t forget your dental appointments. 
Dental fitness classifications are used to help commanders estimate how
many Soldiers or Airmen are likely to require dental treatment before or during
a deployment.  We also need one of my
least favorite medical requirements, immunizations.  The most important thing to remember about
shots is that you can get credit for the immunizations you receive through your
primary care physician or at the local Walgreens.  Just bring the documentation to your next
scheduled duty period.<o:p></o:p></p>

<p>As busy as our social lives can be, it really is important
to follow the yearly drill schedule.  Attending
the Regularly Scheduled Drill (RSD), formerly known as Unit Training Assembly,
will help your unit leadership provide you the much needed mission training
skills you require.  Range times and
training flights can be incredibly difficult to schedule and missing one can be
very difficult to make up.  Annual
training periods also allow the units to schedule mass training events and
exercises that are not easy to duplicate if you reschedule your training
dates.  While most of the training we
receive deals with our duty related skills, other professional development
courses can improve our leadership abilities.  So don’t forget to sign up for those
Professional Military Education courses.<o:p></o:p></p>

<p>One of the last areas that you can contribute to is being
properly equipped.  I’m not suggesting to
purchase your own Howitzer or C-130 aircraft. 
What I am talking about are your uniforms and other personal duty
related items that are issued to you.  Proper
care and maintenance of these items will ensure that you are ready for duty
whenever the call goes out.<o:p></o:p></p>

<p>If we all do our part, we can increase overall readiness
throughout the state and help meet or even exceed our strategic goals.  It takes every Soldier and Airman to be
“Always Ready” so that we can live up to the second part of our mantra, “Always
There.”<o:p></o:p></p> Always Ready
A part of the National Guard mantra that we should all take to heart, “Always Ready,” is an integral aspect of the Illinois National Guard Strategic Master Plan.  ILNG goal number one is all about enhancing unit readiness. Our individual actions can greatly determine whether or not we meet the personnel and training readiness objectives for the state.  Your individual readiness actions should encompass being physically fit, medically ready, trained and properly equipped.

 
<FONT face=Calibri>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>At a different time in my life, I was facing my first ETS date and had to consider reenlisting. I served 4 years on active duty in Germany as an armor crewman. I was a young E5 but still decided to leave so I could start school. Start another life. I did. Two years later I was back in as an armor instructor in the Reserves. Why did I come back? I missed it. I was comfortable with those around me. I was serving my country and my community. It was a part time job with real benefits that was helping me reach my goals. The last few months I have had the opportunity to talk to Soldiers that were leaving our formations as they were completing their contracts. Most of the reasons were positive, we provided what they needed to reach their personal goals and they are moving on. That’s fine; I respect that. They did exactly what they said they would when they first enlisted; they served with honor. But, if you are fully qualified for the position you are in now, we need you to stay in the Illinois Army National Guard. Simple as that.</FONT><?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></P><o:p></o:p></FONT>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Hear me out: during this retention event we spoke about benefits, benefits you have now for being in the Illinois Army National Guard and what you receive if you stay until retirement. You have to realize what you will lose if you leave. We are all busy, balancing our family, schools, and civilian jobs as we serve. Most of us are not tracking what we are eligible for right now. That’s our fault because we don’t work hard enough to let you know what you have already earned.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Now is the time to continue what you started. Our retention team can help you navigate through reenlistment, incentives, education, MOS changes. That’s right, not happy with your MOS? We need you to do something else where you will be. Let’s get you back to school. Live to far from where your unit is? Going to school in a different part of the State and its hours away from your unit? If there is an open slot you are qualified for in a unit closer to where you are, we can transfer you. Didn’t know that either? Now you do.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN></B><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 16pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 107%">Reenlistment Bonuses</SPAN></B>, they exist. If you are an E7 or below with less than 13 years of service.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Six years: $12,000 if you reenlist 365 days to 1 day before you ETS.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>2 years: $4,000 if you reenlist 365 days to 1 day before you ETS.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 16pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 107%"><FONT face=Calibri>Education Benefits<o:p></o:p></FONT></SPAN></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>Illinois National Guard Grant<o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">100% </B>free tuition for up to 4 years at any Illinois state funded university or community college of your choice.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Work on your post graduate degree. Receive an additional 2 years with 10 years of service.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><A href="http://www.isac.org/"><FONT color=#0563c1 face=Calibri>www.isac.org</FONT></A><o:p></o:p></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)<o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>You can receive up to $50,000 in student loan repayments.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>15% of disbursed loans or $500, whichever is greater.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Less than 16 years of service at time of ETS.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Must enlist for 6 more years of service.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Only applicable to qualifying existing loans at contract time.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>Other Education Benefits<o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>Illinois Veterans Grant<o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>Federal Tuition Assistance<o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>Post 911 GI Bill<o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Transferability of post 911 GI Bill. </B>You can help your Spouse or you Children with their education. I did.<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><o:p></o:p></B></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>Montgomery GI Bill<o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>Montgomery GI Bill Kicker<o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>DANTES Testing Program<o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>Certification Program<o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>Free CLEP tests for the Soldier and your Spouse<o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><A href="mailto:ng.il.ilarng.list.g1-incentives@mail.mil"><FONT color=#0563c1 face=Calibri>ng.il.ilarng.list.g1-incentives@mail.mil</FONT></A><U><SPAN style="COLOR: #0563c1; mso-themecolor: hyperlink"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></U></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT color=#0563c1><FONT face=Calibri><SPAN style="mso-no-proof: yes"><?xml:namespace prefix = "v" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"><v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><v:path o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"></v:path><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock></v:shapetype><v:shape style="HEIGHT: 309.75pt; WIDTH: 467.25pt; VISIBILITY: visible; mso-wrap-style: square" type="#_x0000_t75" o:spid="_x0000_i1025"><v:imagedata o:title="11084024_1059586767403946_6214924543518621877_o" src="file:///D:\Users\BRYAN~1.SPR\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\02\clip_image001.jpg"></v:imagedata></v:shape></SPAN><o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><o:p><FONT face=Calibri> </FONT></o:p></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 16pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 107%">Health Insurance.</SPAN> </B>Ask this simple question. What are you paying now for yourself and your Families Health Care? Is that cost going down? Probably not.<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><o:p></o:p></B></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>By being a drilling member of the Illinois Army National Guard, you are eligible for <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Tri Care</B>.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Member only $47.90 per month current rate.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Member and family 210.83 per month current rate.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>This is Affordable Health Care Act compliant. I challenge you to find a better deal. <o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>Dental Insurance. <o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Member only $11.68 per month.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Member and family $99.27 per month.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><A href="http://www.tricare.mil/"><FONT color=#0563c1 face=Calibri>www.tricare.mil</FONT></A><o:p></o:p></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 16pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 107%">Life Insurance.</SPAN></B> I know we don’t want to think something bad may happen to us. We have to be able to help our families if it does.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Coverage up to $400,000 for $28.00 a month<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Family SGLI Spouse coverage up to $100,000 not to exceed your coverage and is age dependent. <o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Children up to $10,000 coverage included at no cost if you by buy spouse insurance.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><A href="http://www.benefits.va.gov/insurance"><FONT color=#0563c1 face=Calibri>www.benefits.va.gov/insurance</FONT></A><o:p></o:p></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 16pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 107%">Retirement</SPAN></B><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 16pt; LINE-HEIGHT: 107%">.</SPAN> <SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>Seems like the idea of retirement is so far away when you are a young Soldier. Life happens, every little bit helps. <o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Qualification: Attain 20 years of service with at least 50 retirement points during each year. That means showing up for drill and going to annual training. You receive retirement points for each drill period, each active duty day, for every three hours of correspondence courses, each Funeral and Honor duty day, and reserve component membership points.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>The more years of service, more points, and higher rank means you receive a Bigger Retirement.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri><SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>We need you to stay and help us grow this organization. Everybody has great potential. What other part time job lets you serve your community and gives access to these kinds of benefits plus a retirement at the end of service? Just be aware of what you have already earned and take full advantage. If you have questions, ask. We are all adults, start being responsible for your careers. See you in the field.<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><FONT face=Calibri>CSM Mark Bowman<o:p></o:p></FONT></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>Additional links<o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>Illinois National Guard Job Openings<o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><A href="http://www.il.ngb.army.mil/jobs/jobPostings/jobPostings.aspx"><FONT color=#0563c1 face=Calibri>www.il.ngb.army.mil/jobs/jobPostings/jobPostings.aspx</FONT></A><o:p></o:p></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>ILNG Family Programs and Support Assistance<o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><A href="http://www.il.ngb.army.mil/family"><FONT color=#0563c1 face=Calibri>www.il.ngb.army.mil/family</FONT></A><o:p></o:p></P>
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 8pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><FONT face=Calibri>VA Benefits<o:p></o:p></FONT></B></P><SPAN><A href="https://benefits.va.gov/"><FONT color=#0563c1>https://benefits.va.gov</FONT></A></SPAN> CSM Bowman Talks Retention

At a different time in my life, I was facing my first ETS date and had to consider reenlisting. I served 4 years on active duty in Germany as an armor crewman. I was a young E5 but still decided to leave so I could start school. Start another life. I did. Two years later I was back in as an armor instructor in the Reserves. Why did I come back? I missed it. I was comfortable with those around me. I was serving my country and my community. It was a part time job with real benefits that was helping me reach my goals. The last few months I have had the opportunity to talk to Soldiers that were leaving our formations as they were completing their contracts. Most of the reasons were positive, we provided what they needed to reach their personal goals and they are moving on. That’s fine; I respect that. They did exactly what they said they would when they first enlisted; they served with honor. But, if you are fully qualified for the position you are in now, we need you to stay in the Illinois Army National Guard. Simple as that.


 
<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.

 
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