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Q4 / 2017

Changing of the Guard Georgia Army NAtional Guard Recieves New Leadership


Hurricane Relief

Ga SDF helps Hurricane Evacuees

Plus: Welcoming New Leaders | Andrew Sullens Competition | And soq4much more / 2017 | A1


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Changing of the Guard

Colonel Randall V. Simmons Jr. assumed command of the Georgia Army National Guard from Brig. Gen. Thomas Carden Jr. during a ceremony.


columns 07| NCO notepad

Command Sgt. Maj. Stringfield says farewell.

14| The Chaplain’s Corner



The importance of Strong Bonds

18| Professional development


“Leading with Honor” by Col. Lee Ellis.

04| Andrew Sullens Competition

Members of the Army and Air National Guard along with local law enforcement and members of the Georgia State Defense Force participated in the Fifth Annual Andrew Sullens Competition.

14| Training

The 48th IBCT conducted individual and collective training at Fort Stewart.

18| From the Drop Zone to the Strike Zone

Georgia Army National Guard Spc. Corrisa B. Perry was selected as a member of the All-Armed Forces Team for the USA Softball Women’s Open National Championship.

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22| Blast From the Past

06| New Facilities for Georgia Guard

“250 Degrees in the Shade.”

26|Around the Guard

See what’s going on around the Georgia Guard.


Company K, 148th BSB commemorated their new unit headquarters at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany with a special ribbon cutting ceremony.

08| GSDF Support Hurricane Releif Efforts

The Georgia State Defense Force assists Hurricane Maria evacuees.

17| Georgia Guard Welcomes New Leaders

Georgia National Guard unit receives new leadership.

20| Pinning on a Star

Colonel Randall V. Simmons Jr., commander of the Georgia Army National Guard, was promoted to brigadier general during a ceremony before friends, fellow service members, and family at the headquarters of the Georgia National Guard.

Georgia National Guard Commander-in-Chief Gov. Nathan Deal Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Joe Jarrard State Public Affairs Director Maj. Jeff Freeman State Public Affairs Officer Capt. Charles Emmons Operations NCO 1st Sgt. Gerard Brown Editorial Staff Managing Editor Desiree Bamba Contributors Maria Balderas 1st Sgt. Gerard Brown Capt. William Carraway Tiffany Irene Coulibaly Capt. Charles Emmons Sgt. Amy King Staff Sgt. Robert Lannom Pfc. Isaiah Matthews Spc. Tori Miller Don Peek Maj. Chaplain Jon Pirtle Maj. Vadim Timchenko Sgt. Shye Wilborn Contributing DOD Organizations 124th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, 116th Air Control Wing Public Affairs Office, Army National Guard Unit Public Affairs Representatives, Air National Guard Wing Public Affairs Representatives, Georgia State Defense Force Public Affairs.

Georgia National Guard Channels

Disclaimer The Georgia Guardsman is published quarterly under the provisions of AR 360-81 and AF 6-1 by the Georgia Department of Defense Public Affairs Office. The views and opinions expressed in the Georgia Guardsman are not necessarily those of the Departments of the Army, Air Force or the Adjutant General of Georgia. The Georgia Guardsman is distributed free-of-charge to members of the Georgia Army and Air National Guard, State Defense Force and other interested persons upon request. q4 / 2017 | 3

4 | The Georgia Guardsman

Photos by: 1st Sgt. Gerard Brown | Public Affairs Office | Georgia Army National Guard

Andrew Sullens Marksmanship Competition


Story by: 1st Sgt. Gerard Brown | Public Affairs Office | Georgia Army National Guard

embers from the Army and Air National Guard along with local law enforcement and members of the Georgia State Defense Force participated in the Fifth Annual Andrew Sullens Competition conducted at Fort Stewart. Shooters performed in several events such as excellence in competition qualification, reflexive fire and antiarmor. Sniper and spotters both qualified on EIC targets and sniper targets ranging from distances of 500 to 800 meters.

Top Shooters

Top Open Class Team Trooper 1st Class Jason Bland and 1st Class Michael Garmon (GSP) Top Individual Sniper 1st Place - Sgt. Carson Cole 2nd Place - GSP Jason Bland 3rd Place - Staff Sgt. Jamie McGough Top Overall Sniper Team 1st Place - Trooper 1st Class Jason Bland and 1st Class Michael Garmon (GSP) 2nd Place - 3rd Battalion, 121 Infantry Regiment 3rd Place - 2nd Battalion, 121 Infantry Regiment Top Over all Combat Team 1st Place - Alpha Team Spc. Justin Shay Spc. Caleb Ralston Pfc. Ryan Farmer Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Hood 2nd Place - Bravo Team

1st Sgt. Steven Phoenix Sgt. James Gilmer Sgt. 1st Class Brendon Hagen Staff Sgt. Dustin Morris 3rd Place - Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Weaver Staff Sgt. Scott Johnson Senior Airman Sean Atkinson Airman 1st Class Ashton Trouten Top Individual Pistol and Governor’s 20 1st Place - PFC Ryan Farmer 2nd Place - Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Weaver 3rd Place - Spc. Caleb Ralston Top individual rifle and Governor’s 20 1st Place - Senior Airman Jeremiah Gosselin 2nd Place - Spc. Caleb Ralston 3rd Place - Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Weaver Sniper Governor’s 20 Winners Staff Sgt. Jamie McGough and Sgt. Carson Cole

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New Facilities for Georgia Guard Unit

Story by: Capt. Charlie Emmons | Public Affairs Office | Georgia Army National Guard The Georgia National Guard’s Company H, 148th Brigade Support Battalion commemorated their new unit headquarters at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany with a special ribbon cutting ceremony November 5, 2017. “We are here today to continue a very strong relationship between the Georgia Army National Guard, the Marine Corps Logistics Base, the State of Georgia, Dougherty County and the city of Albany,” said Col. Randall V. Simmons, Jr., commander of the Georgia Army National Guard. “We are thankful for the cooperation of so many for making this project a possibility.” The event is a culmination of a partnered effort between the Georgia Department of Defense, MCLB Albany, and Albany-Dougherty County leadership. The ceremony was attended by many community and business leaders and included speeches from MCLB Albany Base Commander, Col. James C. Carroll III; Dougherty County Commission Chairman, Christopher S. Cohilas; City of Albany Mayor, Dorothy B. Hubbard; and Jeff Bodine Sinyard of the Southwest Georgia Alliance for Progress. “Today is a celebration of the Georgia National Guard’s new location on Albany’s Marine Corps Logistics Base and the celebration of many years of work by many partners, whose committed vision and effort to this project helped it

6 | The Georgia Guardsman

to be realized,” said Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard. The new buildings include a 13,640 square foot, twostory barracks renovated for use as a drill hall and classrooms and another building that was extensively renovated for use as a unit headquarters and supply area. Company H has already moved into the new facilities and will be conducting their training at MCLB Albany going forward. The unit conducted training in the Monroe Street Armory facilities in Albany from 2008-2017. “Locating the Georgia National Guard aboard MCLB Albany brings an added mission on the base and provides enhanced living quarters, training facilities and, most importantly, security to the Guard,” said Jeff Bodine Sinyard of the Southwest Georgia Alliance for Progress. The new structures are among the six projects awarded by the Georgia Army National Guard’s Construction and Facilities Management office to Johnson-Laux Construction through the Gordian Group’s statewide contract at MCLB Albany in 2016. “From the 1800s through the Global War on Terror, Albany has served as a gracious host to our Guardsmen in a mutually beneficial partnership,” said Simmons. “This project is another example of the commitment of the citizens of Albany and Dougherty County to that relationship.”

Photo by: Capt. William Carraway | Public Affairs Office | Georgia Army National Guard

By Command Sgt. Major Phillip Stringfield State Command Sgt. Major Georgia Army National Guard

NCO Notepad Words of wisdom from one to another


t has been a privilege and an honor to have had the opportunity to share my thoughts with you all over the past few years. As I prepare to exit this life-changing position, I would like to take a moment to express my sincerest gratitude for the organization, and all those who support it. In order to wear this uniform, one must consistently operate with inimitable audacity, enduring perseverance, and an incomparable allegiance. During my 34 years of military service, Georgia Army National Guard Soldiers and their families have taught me the importance of effective leadership. Members of this organization symbolize the most veracious depiction of the Army values, and it is because of this reason the Georgia Army National Guard is one of the most nationally respected organizations. The holiday season is a celebratory time of year but as I have mentioned before, it is also a time of transition. The closer we are to reaching the upcoming year, the closer we come to the transformations we will experience in the organization, just as we have in prior years. A prominent distinction between the Georgia Army National Guard and other states is our ability to readjust and prevail over any challenge that presents itself. What I have admired the most in working for all of you, is your ability to continuously and rapidly progress as an organization. I know that as new leadership begins to implement their best practices to better the organization, Soldiers will continue to enhance, hone, and perfect the skills that have assisted in building outstanding leaders. I know that you all will continue to challenge yourselves through various echelons of education and training, and be the example for other organizations to follow. Most importantly, it is my hope that you continue to provide exceptional guidance and fortify the members to your left and right because having a heart is the true foundation of the Georgia Army National Guard. I know that as time moves forward, so will all of you. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch this organization advance and to be a part of such an outstanding team. Thank you for granting me the opportunity to work on your behalf. Always remember that it is not the uniform that makes the Soldier, it’s the Soldier that makes the uniform. I look forward to supporting you from the civilian sector and I sincerely, wholeheartedly wish you all the absolute best in your careers and future endeavors. Happy holidays Patriots and for the final time, Patriot 7 out. Respectfully, Phillip Stringfield Command Sergeant Major

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GSDF support Hurricane Ma Story

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Maj. Vadim Timchenko | Public Affairs

Photo by: Maj. Vadim Timchenko | Public Affairs Office | Georgia State Defense Force

aria relief efforts B


O f f i c e | G e o r g i a S tat e D e f e n s e F o r c e

etween September 22 and October 1, 2017, Georgia State Defense Force members were activated to support Hurricane Maria relief efforts. Hurricane Maria caused catastrophic damage and a major humanitarian crisis in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The hurricane severely damaged the Puerto Rico power grid, leaving all 3.4 million residents without electricity. Initial reports of the damage predicted it could take months before power is completely restored to the entire island. Hospitals are experiencing life-and-death situations while treating their patients without the benefit of electricity or with limited generator power. This created dangerous conditions for critically ill patients. As a result, FEMA and U.S. Public Health officials made the decision to transfer several patients to continental United States hospitals. The Georgia State Defense Force was tasked to help. Over 60 members, under the leadership of on-site commander, Lt. Col. Ronald Russell and onsite NCO in charge, Sgt. 1st Class Steven Stewart, tirelessly worked for 10 days and 11 nights. Evacuees from the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, flown by U.S. Air Force aircrafts and some commercial aircrafts were transported to Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Ambulatory and non-ambulatory patients were carefully taken off the aircraft, then processed and transported to metro Atlanta medical facilities for follow up care, to include life-saving dialysis treatment. State Defense Force members continually train to improve their skillset in missions such as, search and rescue, transporting simulated casualties using medevac and cargo aircraft, CPR/First Aid, patient triage, and establishing mobile field hospitals. In March 2017, GSDF members participated in the major state-wide exercise called “Vigilant Guard 2017.” This exercise involved several state and federal agencies that demonstrated collaboration during multiple emergencies. As a result, GSDF members were trained and prepared when called to assist in the Hurricane Maria relief efforts. “GSDF members did a great job during this real-world medical support mission”, said Lt. Col. Debbie Redling, commander of the 132nd Medical Battalion who served as the mission commander. The organizations involved during the Hurricane Maria relief operations included the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Georgia Department of Public Health, and Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security, several local ambulance companies, and the Georgia State Defense Force. “The GSDF troops worked shoulder-to-shoulder with other important state and federal agencies, “said Col. Eddie Williams, Commander of the 76th Support Brigade. “This is what we do. We help people who need our help.”

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New Leadership for the Georgia Army Guard

Story by: Capt. William Carraway | Public Affairs Office | Georgia Army National Guard


olonel Randall V. Simmons Jr. assumed command of t h e G e org i a A r my National Guard from Brig. Gen. Thomas Carden Jr. during a ceremony at the Clay National Guard Center September 28, 2017. Simmons is Georgia’s 15th Assistant Adjutant General-Army to ser ve since the position was created by the passage of the Georgia Military Forces Reorganization Act of 1955. “I have served with or around Simmons for more than two decades,” said Carden. “I am confident that he will lead the team to the next level.” Carden commanded the Ga. ARNG from January 2015 until his selection to serve as deputy commanding general, Multi-National Division, Southeast, headquartered in Bucharest, Romania. “As I step into my new assignment, I feel confident that the Georgia Army

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National Guard is going to run even faster as a new leadership team steps up to the challenges of tomorrow,” said Carden. To s y m b o l i z e t h e c h a n g e o f command, Maj. Gen. Joe Jarrard, Adjutant General of the Georgia Department of Defense, transferred the colors from Carden to Simmons. Simmons then placed the colors in the guardianship of Command Sergeant Major Phillip Stringfield, Command Sergeant Major of the Ga. ARNG. Jarrard praised the leadership and character of Carden and Simmons in his remarks. “ Te a m S i m m o n s n e e d s n o introduction,” said Jarrard remarking on the long ser vice of Simmons and his wife Yetive to the Ga. ARNG. “ We l o o k f o r w a r d t o (Simmons’) leadership and I am confident he will lead the Ga. ARNG to even greater accomplishments. Simmons is a 28-year veteran of the Georgia Army National Guard. Enlisting in 1989 as a private in the Statesborobased 2nd Battalion, 2 1 4 t h F i e l d A r t i l l e r y, Simmons subsequently earned his commission from the Georgia Military Institute’s Officer Candidate School. From 1992, to 2006, Simmons served in a variety of assignments

with the Savannah-based 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery Regiment, a unit whose history predates the American Revolution. Simmons deployed to Iraq

“To our Soldiers and units represented here today, our focus is simple – combat readiness is our top priority.”

Photos by: Capt. William Carraway | Public Affairs Office | Georgia Army National Guard

in 2005 as the executive officer of the 1-118th. He commanded the Calhounbased 1st Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010 and commanded the Macon-based 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team from 2013 to 2015, during which time he served as commander of Task Force Volunteer in Kabul, Afghanistan. With three combat deployments behind him, Simmons was clear on where his command emphasis would fall. “ To our Soldiers and units represented here today, our focus is simple – combat readiness is our top priority,” said Simmons addressing the assembled Soldiers, Airmen and honored guests. “We are a nation at war. It’s our job to be ready and to win when called to action. Everything we do will support building & maintaining combat readiness.” Simmons served as the chief of staff for the Ga. ARNG since 2015. Colonel Dwayne Wilson, former commander of the Marietta-based 78th Aviation Troop Command is the incoming chief of staff. Carden praised Wilson during his comments.

“As Col. Dwayne Wilson steps up to serve as the chief of staff, Simmons will have a steady teammate to help guide the organization,” noted Carden. In recognition of his nearly 32 years of service to the Ga. ARNG, Carden received the Distinctive Service Medal, the highest individual medal awarded by the Georgia Department Defense. His wife, Charlene, w a s pre s e nte d w it h t he Georgia Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of her long support of the Georgia Guard. The Cardens also received mementos and well wishes from representatives of the Ga. ARNG’s command and staff sections. In his farewell remarks, Carden expressed appreciation to his family, Maj. Gen. Jarrard, and the Soldiers of the Ga. ARNG with whom he

had served for more than three decades. “Thank you all so much for your patience and investment,” said Carden. “I will miss this organization and its great people. I wish you all the best… I step away knowing that I did my best and that the best for this organization is yet to come.”

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By: Chaplain Maj. Jon Pirtle | 78th Troop Command Chaplain | Georgia Army National Guard


s she the right one? Is he the right one? How do I know if I should pursue a relationship with her/him? These foundational questions engender other questions. What does it mean for someone to be right for you? And why do we long for meaningful relationships? What is it in us that makes us long for deep connections? What do I do if I struggle with discovering these? Why is it that we often find Soldiers who may have hundreds, or even thousands, of “Facebook friends” but few friends with whom they actually do life? Where are the relationships that go beyond superficialities? When we scratch the surface of many Soldiers’ relationships, we find clichés, like “Living the dream,” are often camouflage for men and women with few deep relationships. The military knows this and has programs designed to help equip our service members in thinking through some of these questions. One longstanding programs is Strong Bonds ( It is a key resiliency program designed to increase Soldier readiness by assisting commanders in building and strengthening the structure of Army Families (married and single Soldiers). It is a preventative skills-based relationship building program led by Army chaplains. The program includes group activities, formal instruction, and practical exercises. Training is conducted by certified instructors. Subject to funding from National Guard Bureau, these events take place several times in a typical fiscal year. A second program available to married service members (even prior service veterans of any branch of U.S. service) is Warrior2Citizen ( It is a 3.5 day program at Lake Allatoona targeting resilience, healing, and relationship skills. Over the course of several days, groups will examine issues related to moral injury and guilt, trust, forgiveness, grief, PTSD, anger, etc. Each block of instruction is led by chaplains, therapists, or counselors. The threefold mission of the chaplain corps is straightforward: nurture the living, care for the wounded, and honor the fallen. Strong Bonds ( and Warrior2Citizen ( are two more ways we in the chaplain corps fulfill our mission--equipping Soldiers and Families with skills related to those deep connections and relationships for which we are designed.

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FOLLOW US Keep up with all the action by following us on social media and be sure to @ reply us and use the following hashtags during all of your social media posting: Facebook & Twitter @GeorgiaGuard Instagram @GaNationalGuard Flickr @GaNatlGuard YouTube @Georgia National Guard Have some coverage you’d like us to share along our social media platforms? Email your photos along with a paragraph caption to:

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Photos by: Capt. William Carraway | Public Affairs Office | Georgia Army National Guard

Always Ready

48th IBCT Conduct Individual and Collective Training

Story by: Capt. William Carraway | Public Affairs Office | Georgia Army National Guard Units of the Macon-based 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conducted individual and collective training at Fort Stewart, Ga. to start the month of November. Guardsmen from five of the brigade’s seven battalions spent four days honing skills learned at June’s eXportable Combat Training Capability exercise and preparing for an upcoming rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk. Engineers of the 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion got hands-on experience building obstacles and firing positions for the howitzers of the 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery Regiment. Infantrymen of the 2nd and 3rd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment conducted team and squad battle drills and sustainers of the 148th established logistics operations in support of field operations and conducted individual and crew-served weapons qualifications.

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reviews of books that teach us about our craft By: Maj. Jeffrey Freeman | Public Affairs Office | Georgia Army National Guard True leadership stands out in difficult circumstances. You would be hard pressed to find more difficult circumstances than spending nearly five and half years in the Hoa Loa Prison most commonly known as the Hanoi Hilton. U.S. Air Force Colonel Lee Ellis discusses his time as a POW very candidly and the lessons learned in Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton. Leadership lessons learned during POW interment may be the most tested of all. This book contains much more than stories of endurance. It demonstrates how true character, honor, and integrity can prevail in the worst conditions. I expect every reader will glean different thoughts after reading this book. For me, there are two primary ideas that emerge above all others. First, your circumstances and challenges in life do not have to control you. For many individuals, a bad family situation or poor decision made during their youth, remains a stumbling block for the remainder of their life. From the group of about 300 men who were in the Hanoi Hilton with Ellis, the vast majority returned to the United States to not only survive but to excel. Ellis writes, “From our POW group came 16 generals, six admirals, two U.S. ambassadors, two college presidents, two U.S. senators, one U.S. representative, and several state legislators. At least three men returned to medical school and became doctors; quite a few became attorneys; several became CEOs of corporations; and seven became attaches in U.S. embassies abroad.” The second idea is the importance of character. Character flaws, character failures, or a simple lack of character has been the underlying cause of many failed military careers. This book covers leadership fundamentals such as communication, teamwork, innovation, and many others. However, Ellis states, “Authentic leaders intentionally guard their character. Clarify your values with specificity and total honesty. Then structure a support team to help you live

your commitments with courage and transparency.” Colonel Ellis detailed another story about character from the enemy’s standpoint. A few days following his capture, Ellis was marched partially blindfolded to his first POW prison. Along the route, civilians wanted to kill the captured American. Ellis recalls, “My young, North Vietnamese escort and the guards under his authority formed a cordon and ushered me to safety, even absorbing some of the blows. Several times during the week-long journey north, this young Soldier saved my life. In following his orders to transport me safely, he displayed a remarkable balance of toughness and kindness, not only to me, but also to his men and to the civilians we met along the way. Strong character is remarkably apparent even in your enemy.” Leaders should never stop learning leadership lessons. Leading with Honor is a tremendous reminder to those of us who wear the uniform that we can never predict what circumstances we will face during our career or lifetime. This book will benefit anyone who is interested in continuing the development of their leadership skills.

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Authentic leaders intentionally guard their character. Clarify your values with specificity and total honesty. Then structure a support team to help you live your commitments with courage and transparency.

Georgia Guard Welcomes New Leaders Story By: Capt. William Carraway | Public Affairs Office | Georgia Army National Guard It was a crowded weekend in October for ceremony in the Georgia Army National Guard with two battalions receiving new leadership and one battalion officially activating. On Saturday October 21, Brig. Gen. Thomas Blackstock, commander of the 78th Troop Command, presided over the activation ceremony for the 78th Troop Support Battalion at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta. The 78th TSB is a unique structure to the Georgia Guard and is comprised of 11 units with very different missions. From the 116th Army Band whose lineage predates the Civil War to recently constituted trial defense teams, the units range in size from three to nearly 50 Soldiers. Assuming the challenge of command of the new TSB is Lt. Col. Catherine Cherry who recently transferred to the Georgia Guard following a stint in the Inspector General’s Directorate for the National Guard Bureau in Washington D.C. First Sgt. Courtney Edwards will serve as the command sergeant major of the battalion. Following the activation ceremony for the 78th TSB, the Clay National Guard Center’s 122nd Regiment Regional Training Institute bid farewell to Lt. Col. Tiffany Sneed, outgoing commander of the 2nd Battalion, 122nd Regiment. Sneed has commanded the battalion since 2015, overseeing training courses at Fort Stewart and in Marietta and will continue to serve the 122nd in operations while serving full-time as the supply and division officer in the Georgia National Guard’s United States Property and Fiscal Office. Assuming command of 2-122 is Maj. Terence Caple who comes to the battalion from the information technology services branch at the Joint Force Headquarters. He is a 2004 graduate of the Georgia Military Institute, the 122nd’s Officer Candidate School, which is part of the battalion he now commands. In addition to OCS, the 2nd Battalion administers courses in the signal career field. Meanwhile, at Fort Stewart, another alumnus of the Georgia Military Institute assumed command of the 5th Battalion RTI. Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Worden accepted the colors of the 5th Battalion from outgoing commander Lt. Col. Kathleen Smith who has commanded the unit since 2016 and is transferring to the Maryland Army National Guard, where she will serve as the deputy logistics officer. The 5th Battalion RTI is a geographically diverse unit with ordnance training companies at Fort Bragg, Fort Dix and Fort Stewart Georgia. The Battalion teaches courses in the 91 military occupation series covering wheeled-vehicle maintenance, allied trades and tactical power generation. Georgia’s Regional Training Site-Maintenance also teaches the additional skill identifier course for vehicle recovery. The RTSM teaches up to 1,200 Soldiers per year representing National Guard Soldiers from multiple states as well as members of the Active and Reserve components. Photos by: Capt. William Carraway and Pfc. Isaiah Matthews | Public Affairs Office | Georgia Army National Guard

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From the Drop Zone t

Story by: Staff Sgt. Rob Lannom | 124t


eorgia Army National Guard Spc. Corrisa B. Perry, a food service specialist with the 165th Quartermaster Company (Aerial Delivery Support), Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. was selected as a member of the All-Armed Forces Team for the USA Softball Women’s Open National Championship, September 29 - October 1. The All-Armed Forces Team is comprised of women service-members from all the branches of the U.S. Military. Perry was selected as a member of the All-Armed Forces Team while playing for the All-Army Women’s softball team at the 2017 Armed Forces Women’s Championship at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, in September. It has been a busy 12 months for Perry. In October 2016, she graduated the U. S. Army Airborne School, at Fort Benning, Ga. The school introduces soldiers to airborne operations via parachute insertion and airborne operations.

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“Airborne School was tough, but an overall great experience and I’m looking forward to Air Assault school,” said Perry. This spring, she was selected as the Ellenwood, Ga. based 78th Troop Command Soldier of the year and represented the brigade at the Ga National Guard 2017 Best Warrior Competition in March. “I really enjoyed my experience during the best warrior competition,” said Perry. “I enjoy the physical aspect of it, and I learned so much about individual military tasks.” Shortly after the completion of the best warrior competition, preparations began for her tryout for the All-Army softball team. Perry was a four-time Georgia High School State Track and Field finalist and was part of a 4 x 100 relay team that won the state championship in 2014. She was selected for the All-Army team, after being approved to attend the organization’s softball camp at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. She stood out during the Armed Forces Tournament, batting .501 with 20 runs scored. Her Photos by: Staff Sgt. Rob Lannom | Public Affairs Office | Georgia Army National Guard

to the S trike Z one th MPAD | Georgia Army National Guard

defensive presence and speed, however, is what brought her to the attention of the All-Armed Forces team coaches. “Her speed on defense and her ability to run the base paths are what we noticed,” said Armed Forces Assistant Coach, Chief Master Sergeant Danielle Hirvela, a squadron superintendent from the North Dakota-based 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Base. “Since she has been on the team, her willingness to learn and seek consistent feedback has been amazing to work with.” Perry has learned a lot about herself over the course of this year by attending various training events and putting her skills to the test. “Patience and trust are the two traits I’ve had to develop over the course of this year going through this process,” she said. “I’ve had to trust the process and understand that not everything moves at the speed I want it to and to stay in the moment.” Perry also wants more Georgia Guardsmen to understand there are a lot more opportunities available for the traditional weekend Soldier.

“I started looking at other opportunities out there for Soldiers to get more involved,” she said. “I could not believe all of the available sports and Army training programs that National Guardsman qualify for.” She also wants to put the word out to the All-Army sports program that the Georgia Army National Guard has plenty of athletes to provide across the spectrum of the program. “I want to put the Georgia Army National Guard on the map,” smiled Perry. “I know Georgia has a lot of athletes in the organization and we can compete at this level.” The Georgia Army National Guard has numerous additional training opportunities for traditional soldiers who meet the training guidelines in addition to weekend drills and active duty training. “I’ve been extremely blessed over the last year with the opportunities provided by the National Guard to attend various training events and improve my military skills,” said Perry.

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Pinning on a Star


Story by: Sgt. Amy King | 124th MPAD | Georgia Army National Guard olonel Randall V. Simmons Jr., commander of the Georgia Army National Guard, was promoted to brigadier general during a ceremony before friends, fellow service members, and family at the headquarters of the Georgia National Guard. Simmons’ wife, Yetive, pinned Simmons with his new stars of rank, as did Maj. Gen. Joe F. Jarrard, Adjutant General, Georgia Department of Defense. “This ceremony may highlight a promotion for me, but it’s really about the 10,920 Soldiers assigned to this formation,” said Simmons.” We need to remember that’s nearly 11 thousand people that have families that count on us every day to put them in the best position possible to be successful, not only on the battlefield but in life.”

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Speaking before the pinning ceremony, Maj. Gen. Joe Jarrard, Georgia’s Adjutant General, praised Simmons’ 28 years of service of service to the Georgia Guard. “In my opinion, he’s a warrior who gets things done to the highest standard and he does so both morally and ethically,” said Jarrard. “I can’t think of anybody I’m more proud to stand next to today as they get promoted.” As commander of the Georgia Army National Guard, Brig. Gen. Simmons is responsible for the directing, coordinating, organizing and stationing the more than 11,000 Soldiers of the Georgia Army National Guard in order to ensure readiness to perform state and national missions. Brigadier General Simmons has held a number of key positions in the Georgia Army National Guard; most recently as the chief of staff and previously as the Georgia Guard deputy chief of staff for personnel.

Brigadier General Simmons commanded the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team from 2013 to 2015, during which time he deployed elements of the 48th IBCT as Task Force Volunteer. Task Force Volunteer assisted Afghan National Security Forces in establishing and maintaining security during the historic Afghan presidential elections of 2014. Previously, he served as the 48th IBCT executive officer. Simmons has also served as the commander of the 108th Cavalry Regiment, which encompassed a successful deployment to Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010. From 2005 to 2006, Simmons deployed to Iraq as the executive officer of the 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery.

Photos by: Sgt. Amy King | Public Affairs Office | Georgia Army National Guard

Brigadier General Simmons’ military decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Combat Action Badge and the Combat Infantry Badge. Brigadier General Simmons graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga. with a Bachelor of Science in Education. He later earned a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

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Blast from the past:

world war I

Story by: Capt. William Carraway | Military Historian | 161st Military History Detachment

Robert Gober Burton

Photos courtesy of Ga. Guard History Archives

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“We are having a big time now”

Within days of their return to Macon from the Mexican Border, the Georgia Guardsmen of the 2nd Georgia Infantry were on the move. Across the nation, cities were taking precautions to protect water supplies from poisoning by German agents. On March 31, 1917, At the request of the Macon Water Commission, the Albany Guards of the 2nd Georgia were dispatched to guard a waterworks plant north of Macon. Additional Soldiers were detailed to a reservoir south of Macon. Other units were on the move to secure vital infrastructure sites and Burton wrote to his family of his expectation that they would soon be detailed to South Georgia. On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked a special joint session of Congress for a declaration of war against Germany. Congress voted to approve the declaration April 6, 1917. Following the declaration, Company H, 2nd Georgia Infantry was dispatched to Jacksonville, Fla. where it would guard the railroad bridge spanning the Saint Johns River. Company H went into camp on the south bank near the present location of the Baptist Medical Center while a detail of ten Soldiers led by 2nd Lt. Dennie Launius were sent to Homestead, Fla. near Miami. Burton, writing home to his mother April 8, 1917 recalls the movement to Jacksonville.

Jacksonville, Fla. Sunday Afternoon (April 8th, 1917) My dear mama, We arrived here last night or this morning as you know by the cards I have written you. We did not know when we got on the train exactly where we were going but as I wired you, we came to Jacksonville. We are down here guarding the Florida East Coast RR bridge. I like this place all OK. We crossed the St. Johns River and are now in South Jacksonville. The people here are mighty nice to us so far. We are on the river nearly and get the sea breeze all of the time. I think that fishing will be good. That is about all we will have to do. I hope that we will stay here for some time. I had rather be here than in Macon so far. Of course, we happen to be farther away from home but this is a nice place. I think that this is about all the news that I know at this time. My address is Co. H. 2nd Ga. Inf., South Jacksonville, Fla. Write to me soon. As ever, your devoted son, Gober According to Burton’s recollections, the citizens of Jacksonville were very welcoming towards the Monroe Soldiers. Burton expressed relief to have been sent to Jacksonville, far away from Camp Harris and the discipline

and rigor of camp life. Nearly three weeks later Burton wrote of his recreational exploits. So. Jax Fla. April 27, 1917 My dear mama, Well! I have seen the ocean!! I think that it is the most wonderful thing I most ever saw. One of the superintendents of a Sunday school here came down and took four of the boys down to Atlantic Beach and Pablo Beach. We had one grand time surf bathing and fishing. We saw all kinds of sea life. (Sgt.) Tom Hensler and I caught a sack full of crabs. Then we caught a string of fish. It was a grand day for us. I am going out to a six o’clock dinner tonight. (Sgt. Augustus S.) Clay, (Pfc. Emory J.) E. J. Moore and myself. A Miss White is giving it. She is from Ga. and she has been more than nice to us since we have been here. Some class to your son eh? The people here continue to be so nice to us. The ladies of the Presbyterian Church gave a little party at one of the club houses for us the other night. We met the nicest girls and had a big time generally. I talked to a girl from Maryland most of the time. If I don’t forget it I am sending a picture of the bridge that we are guarding. It is 5/8ths of a mile long and has a draw bridge that turns around nearly in the center of it. Tell all the children my address and tell them to write me sometime. I would like very much to hear from all of them. The weather is hot as the mischief, but we get a breeze from the sea most of the time, so it is not so bad. The mosquitoes are as big as automobiles down here. They don’t worry us too much as we have mosquito nets. I had lots rather be down here under Maj. Beck than under Col. Thomas. Well Mama, write me another letter soon. I surely did appreciate the money that papa sent. Your devoted son Gober -I have been to church every Sunday that we have been here. -G Presently, camp life gave way to routine. With little to do other than daily guard mounts, the Soldiers made the best of their surroundings by visiting the beach and organizing a baseball team. Burton wrote home requesting his old baseball glove and shoes. Orders were passed down that Soldiers were not to leave camp in civilian clothes, but the Soldiers simply took civilian clothes with them and changed once outside the camp boundaries. In the weeks of idle time, Burton’s parent suggested that

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he request a discharge from the Guard and resume his studies at the University of Georgia. Burton’s response was adamant. May 15, 1917 Hotel Flagler, Jacksonville, Fla. (on Hotel Flagler Stationery) My dear mama, Your letter came today. Was indeed glad to hear from you. I think that I would drop that about getting me a discharge. There is no chance now. Would you have me desert the flag now when it is in the greatest danger when men are needed? Men who have had the experience? The flag is in danger. Do you think what the flag means to every American citizen? Guard duty droned on. Rumors swept the camp that the Guardsmen would be sent to the Florida Keys. 1st Lt. Launius Dickinson, commanding Company H, was hopeful that the unit could be thus transferred but orders were not forthcoming. In June Robert’s brother Frank visited the camp of Company H and found Gober Burton acting as company clerk, a duty he was not exceptionally pleased with. Writing home June 2, 1917, Burton described the weather as “hot as blue blazes. It feels like 250 degrees in the shade.” By June 8, Burton had been promoted to sergeant and his pay had been increased to $17.00 per month. His discharge papers had been approved and forwarded to 1st Lt. Dickinson for approval. The Soldiers of Company H visited Saint Augustine and surf bathed to pass the time. Local churches held socials for the visiting Georgia Soldiers and Burton began attending a local church. He kept his mother informed of his regular church attendance and advised her that he had been “out to see

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the preacher’s daughter several times.” In the months to come, Burton and the preacher’s daughter, Miss Mildred Richards would correspond regularly. Burton reported to his mother that after giving Mildred a picture she replied “Gober, I know you have a grand disposition. Your face tells me that.” At the end of June, Company H received orders recalling them to Camp Harris in Macon. Burton bade good bye to the Richards family and promised to write. “All Things in The Army Have to Be in The Right Form” July-August 1917 Returning to Camp Harris on June 30, 1917 the Soldiers of Company H began a rigorous schedule of training as recounted by Sgt. Robert Burton. Camp Harris, Macon, Ga. July 8, 1917 My dear mama, My application for discharge was sent back for proper military form. You know, or they are sent back. I think that when it does go thru these headquarters it will go all right and I will get my discharge. We are working nearly all day these days. Our day starts at 0530 and lasts til six in the afternoon, so I haven’t much time to get into any trouble. At night I am too tired to go to town and spend any money much. I am spending only what I have to have. Don’t you know it looks funny to see me get up at 5:00 o’clock and eat breakfast at 6:10. Had a letter from my Jaxville girl this morning. I think that after I come home I will go to see her. She asked me when I was coming back to see her. Write to me real soon and let me know what you think

about my coming home. As ever, your devoted son, Gober Burton’s discharge and hopes for leave were soon dashed. Camp Harris Saturday Morning (July 14, 1917) My dear mama, I can’t come this weekend. Lt. Dickinson took one of his crazy notions yesterday afternoon and would not let me come. I think that perhaps I can come next Friday and if I can I will stay over till about Wednesday. I hate the very air that Lt. Dickinson breathes. I am going to run him to the dogs when I get there. I surely did want to come home and be with all the children. I am getting along just as fine as can be. There is no news today. Will write to you again this week. Hoping to see you by this time next week. I am. Your devoted son, Gober Burton did get leave the following Friday and spent a joyous weekend at home in Monroe. It was the last time Burton would be home before sailing for France. Big changes awaited the regiment in the coming weeks as related by Burton. Hotel Lanier, Macon Ga. Wednesday Night (August 8, 1917) My dear mama, The regiment is being reorganized under the new law and so we have been pretty busy since the 5th of August. A machine gun battalion has been made out of one battalion of the Second. All of the best non-commissioned officers of the

regiment have been transferred to it. Out of our company, Ed Williamson, Tom Hensler, C. J. Mears and myself have been transferred as privates so after tomorrow just address my letters as Mr. R. G. Burton. It is expected that we will be sent to Mass or somewhere near New York City. The general opinion is now that we will leave about Tuesday. I suppose that by the papers you have seen about the Macon companies being reorganized into machine gun companies. Capt. (Sidney L.) Conner of B Co has been assigned to Co H since the discharge of Capt. Aycock. We all like him fine so far. I am getting along just as fine as possible I suppose. If I can’t come home will let you know by mail. Your devoted son, Gober The machine gun battalion Burton referenced was the 151st Machine Gun Battalion which was destined to serve in the 42nd Infantry Division. But for now, that information was unknown to Burton or his comrades. Days later, Burton sent the following telegraph informing his parents of his impending reassignment. Western Union Telegram Camp Harris, Macon, Ga. 1045 AM August 28, 1917 P.F. BURTON, MONROE, GA. WE LEAVE TONIGHT OR IN THE MORNING WILL WRITE GOBER Next Chapter: Camp Mills, New York Keep up with the 151st Machine Gun Battalion History Blog at

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Around the Georgia Guard J-STARS FLYOVER The 116th Air Control Wing provides an E-8C Joint STARS flyover of Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia for the University of Georgia military appreciation football game. Col. Crumbly, 116th Operations Group commander, and Lt. Col. Greer, 116th Maintenance Squadron commander, met with Purple Heart veterans in a halftime ceremony to recognize the heroism of Purple Heart recipients.

EQUIPMENT TESTING The two-day Georgia National Guard Expo kicked off at the Clay National Guard Center in November where Soldiers tested the latest state of the art military equipment by participating in a 4-mile ruck march along with an obstacle course that consisted of four various events to test the products durability during combat.

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177TH BEB CHANGE OF COMMAND Lieutenant Colonel Jean Paul Laurenceau of Grayson, Ga. receives the colors of the Georgia Army National Guard’s 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion from Col. Matt Smith, commander of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team symbolizing Laurenceau’s assumption of command of the Statesboro-based 177th BEB. Outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Kris Marshall, right, has commanded the unit since 2014.

HURRICANE RELIEF OPERATIONS In support of the Puerto Rico National Guard, the Georgia Army National Guard 1-169th General Support Aviation Battalion take to the air to transport high-voltage transmission tower parts to an assembly location in Salinas, Puerto Rico as part of hurricane relief operations.

STATE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM Rodion Korchilava, head of the Georgian Cyber Security Bureau (CSB), presents a Georgian sword to Maj. Gen. Joe Jarrard in appreciation of the Georgia National Guard’s support to the CSB through engagements with the Cyber Protection Team under the framework of the State Partnership Program during a visit in Noember q4 / 2017 | 27

Stay tuned for the Year in Review Edition of the Georgia Guardsman Magazine!

Public Affairs Office Georgia Department of Defense 1000 Halsey Ave. Bldg. 447 Marietta, Ga. 30060 28 | The Georgia Guardsman

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