CHARLESTON, W.Va. —
It is imperative that today’s Soldiers recognize that time is our most valuable resource. Every minute we spend in uniform is irreplaceable. We must take full advantage of every opportunity to develop our team into the most lethal and responsive force possible. We get after that through comprehensive and detailed planning to ensure that we are taking advantage of every opportunity to make out Soldiers better warriors and develop them into autonomous leaders. Understand that even the best plans fail and we must have alternate training quickly available so that every gap and break is filled, and we aren’t wasting this valuable resource.
I expect the NCOs of the West Virginia Army National Guard to have “hip pocket” training available at all times and that they are prepared to execute that training anytime they identify an opportunity. There is no greater privilege in your career than to lead the great men and women of this country, so be excellent at it. Don’t just show them how to load a radio. Show them every cable and connection and explain its purpose. Identify troubleshooting techniques and ensure they know how to maintain every part of it from HUB batteries to antenna connections. Instruct them on doctrinal radio procedures and give them as many repetitions as it takes to make it muscle memory.
The battlefield of tomorrow will be far more complex and contested than any of us have experienced. Your team will have to be more self-sufficient and rely on your own expertise to keep you in the fight. Build that expertise now; we cannot depend on the trend of knowing years out when we will be deploying as part of a rotational force. The next fight will likely be a large scale, near-peer conflict. This type of mission will not afford us the training lead time that the War on Terror has typically provided.
Never forget that life and time is fleeting. Do those hard things now to get yourselves in top physical condition and mentally strong, ready to face down any challenge and overcome it with tenacity and efficiency. Every man, woman, and child of your State and Nation rely on you to be unfailing guardians that make every precious day of freedom that they spend on this earth possible. There is no greater or more honorable responsibility.
Thank you all for the sacrifices that you and your families endure and know that I am here to support you. First to Fight, Mountaineers are Free!