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HEADS UP The Official Newsletter of the Georgia State Defense Force PARATI SERVIRE • READY TO SERVE




G.S.D.F. LOSES A GREAT ONE Motorcycle accident takes the life of 1SG Ray Hamilton leaving a void in First Brigade By MAJ Jim Moore MEDDET Commanding Officer 1SG Ray Hamilton was…well…“one of a kind”. Rude, crude, socially unacceptable, there was not an ounce of couth in him. Well…perhaps a half ounce…but only when absolutely necessary. He smoked like a fiend, could make a drunken sailor blush, all while doing the work of ten men. You may not have wanted him around polite society, but then those folks are rarely found where needed most. Then there was his infamous…barely operating…pickup, the back of which was surely the breeding ground of new and gnarly, ever evolving, life forms. He was never in any danger of a vehicle inspection at a gate or checkpoint, for no

guard would want the risk of turning his post into a HAZMAT site! He suffered no fool gladly, And his voice, something akin to two gravel piles in a wrestling match, could be gruff and curt to the point of disrespect... and sometimes beyond it. But few cared more for their unit, or had a bigger heart. And where that heart opened most was to “his” troops. Born 04 FEB 1933, he had already served his country well, both in the Navy (1952-1956)


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and the Army Guard (1976-1983) when fate chose to guide him our way. He joined the SDF in 1998, and rose steadily to the rank of 1SG, serving with 2BN before holding various posts at 1BDE HQ. There were few missions that were without his presence…or his coffee, donuts, and other assorted snacks, much of which was financed from his not so ample pockets. Few soldiers could complain of hunger or thirst when he was around.

The troops, especially the “young” ones (whatever their age) received his attention in other ways. Uniforms, haircuts, salutes…all things pertaining to soldiering…caught his eye. He was a walking encyclopedia of customs and courtesies, and worked tirelessly to ensure that all soldiers “did it right.” An “old school” NCO, his passion was to see that all of us, no matter the rank, were at our best. There is an overused and by now somewhat trite quote that has been applied to many men, not all of them deserving of it. 1SG Hamilton however reflects it to its fullest. “He was a man, take him for all in all. I shall not look upon his like again.” Soldier on, 1SG, you will be missed!


I remember the first day of IET like it was yesterday. We all piled in, signed in, and stored our gear. As we were waiting for instructions, I saw this very thin white haired gentleman coming down the hall. I did not notice his rank, so I snapped to attention. It was 1SG Hamilton. He gave me this look and said in his voice (which is unique to him) “Don’t snap to, I work for a living! Come to parade rest.”, but then he shook my hand and talked to me for a little while. He asked the usual questions of why I joined, and all that good stuff, and said that he was here if anyone ever needed him. Land Navigation was my hardest task. I


am visually impaired and read with a magnifying glass, and thought I would

“He wanted us all to do everything right and be the best.” have trouble with the map work. I felt self-conscious about reading with a magnifying glass in front of the other


troops. So, I chatted with 1SG Hamilton. He looked me straight in the eye and said to do whatever I had to, and that if anyone said anything about it in a negative way, I should strongly tell them to stick it up...well you can fill in the rest. He added advice of telling them to come see him. Now, he said that if it was an officer that had the problem, I should start the abovementioned statement with “Sir” or “Ma’am”, with all due respect. We both had a good laugh over that, and I am still working on building my confidence with reading with the magnifying glass in front of other troops. I will never forget what 1SG Hamilton said, and the meaning behind it. We can all overcome our problems and find ways of doing things,


and we should never give up. He wanted us all to do everything right and be the best, and represent the GSDF and our Nation with pride and honor. At every mission he always stopped by the MED/1 TOC to say hello, or to have us look at something or other, but he was always there and we knew he always had our welfare in mind. I know we will all miss him, but we will also remember him and keep his memory alive by being the best soldiers we can, and by always helping our new soldiers along their path. There are so many stories one can relate about this truly great man, but they







would fill a book. Hooah!!!!! 1SG Hamilton, you are the best

and tell me how happy he was I had decided to join. Since then, I have been a Platoon Sergeant many times in the 1st Brigade IET Course and strive to train H E A D S U P • S E P T E M Bnew E Rsoldiers 200 8 the same dedication and with SGT MICHAEL NOLAN professionalism that 1SG Hamilton When I first joined the GSDF I had to go to Confederate Avenue to get my ID. approached everything in his life. It was 1SG Hamilton that brought me back to the While waiting for it I was pulled into a military family - who guided me back group of other new recruits and 1SG home. And for that, I will always be Hamilton began pointing out everything wrong with my uniform. When I got to grateful. 4 IET he noticed I had corrected everything and was impressed that I took the time to SGT NORMAN HOSCH listen to what he had to say. Every mission My first encounter with 1SG Hamilton we were on together, he was always came during a training seminar conducted looking out for others. He made sure they by the Department of Homeland Security. had water, snacks or even coffee. He will An instructor handed 1SG Hamilton a be thought of and truly missed at these chemical agent detector, which resembled missions. laser H E A D S U P • S E P T E M BaEpolice R 20 0 8speed detector, and told Hamilton to walk over to the chair with the napkin in the seat and point the SGT WILLIAM HALE I had heard of the Georgia State detector at it and see if he gets a reading. Defense Force from an associate in the Hamilton, holding a styrofoam cup with a Civil Air Patrol, and was given the phone small amount of coffee left in it, took the number of MSG Ray Hamilton as a detector, leaned over the chair and pointed it at the napkin. A few drops of his coffee contact. This was, of course, prior to his promotion to First Sergeant. As a former 6 Field Artillery soldier in the U.S. Army, I was eager to learn more about the organization and it’s mission. The next day, during lunch, I decided to give MSG Hamilton a call to discuss the GSDF,

1SG Ray Hamilton and his infamous pickup truck. thinking that the conversation would last ten minutes or so and that I would come away with the information necessary to make a decision, either way, as to enlisting in the GSDF. Three hours later, I finally got off the phone with this most unique man and found myself armed with far more information than I had bargained for. With MSG Hamilton’s flare for the most colorful language and graphic metaphors, coupled with his bold and forthright patriotism, I learned the intimate details of all that was good, bad and ugly in the GSDF, as well as the particulars of every Officer, NCO and Soldier he knew. He reminded me of all that was decent, noble and virtuous with the military and made me realize how much I had missed the Army family. Two days later, I was sworn in at Initial Entry Training and graduated from IET Class 07-01. MSG Hamilton made it a point to come to my graduation, shake my hand,

“Oh goddamnit! This thing is leaking. Oh, never mind... that was my coffee.” spilled onto the chair and Hamilton leaped back and said, “Oh goddamnit! This thing is leaking! Oh, never mind...that was my coffee.” The instructor got a horrified look on his face and asked, “Who’s in charge of this bunch?” COL Hightower lowered his head, hid his eyes with his hand and said, “He ain’t here!”


When I told Ray that I was too old to join the SDF, he said to me, “How old do you think I am. Well I’m 75, so if you think you can keep up with me, drag your butt over the the NG Armory and let the Colonel decide that.” At drill he always found time to spend with me. One day after drill, when I got home, my wife asked how things went. I told her fine, except this is is first time in 50 years that I have been told I needed a haircut. SGT Hamiliton at work. Usually at drill, if I ran into Ray and we began having a conversion, he would suddenly begin to walk behind me to check my haircut. The last time he did that, I walked behind him and told him “SGT Hamilton the lady that cuts my hair is named Sybal. When I get home I will

make an appointment for both of us.” Ray just grinned big. The last drill I saw him at, PFC Tim Richardson and I were talking and he walked up and started to check out our hair and dress. After some criticism (Tim and I worked in Recruiting for Ray but we always gave out cards with his name and email address on them.) Tim and I told him that if he didn’t let up on us, we would put our names onHthe E cards A D Sinstead UP

“Ray was my friend. My mentor. My First Sergeant.”

loud chatter from everyone else in the room. 1SG saw an Officer looking over the desserts placed at our end of building, and yelled in his best command voice: 3 “HEY”. The room came to a complete halt to see what what was happening. Even the Officer looked up. “THOSE ARE ENLISTED!!!” Everyone roared with laughter and the Officer went about choosing his dessert but with a sheepish grin, knowing that he had been busted. • SEPTEMBER 2008 1SG loved to stick up for us every chance he got.


One of my fondest memories of 1SG Hamilton is the time that I brought my daughter to the last Katrina mission. She 5 was in the Navy and wearing her cammies. The lower ranks in the Navy wear what they call the crow on their soft cover. This is of course, the Navy eagle. 1SG was in the Navy. He knew what the emblem was. Nobody else did. She must of his. He just grinned. have gotten saluted 2-3 dozen times. 1SG At FTX there was a rule against just stood there and laughed. smoking inside the camp grounds. was HE A D SI U P • SEPTEMBER 2008 working as a road guard and when Ray drove up I informed him of the No MAJ DAVE HAWKINS Smoking policy within the camp grounds. I have been thinking about a few Bible Well since this is a tribute to a great verses lately in regard to our friend and soldier and will go into print, I cannot mentor, 1SG Ray Hamilton. disclose the response I got from Ray. I 1) John 2: 13-16 (ahhh, which would decided that I should help him unload his be about the money changers) time truck. Well I guess I was the only one in this happens (and it will), the Lord may the SDF who didn’t know about “his call upon 1SG Hamilton in a loud voice truck”. I let down the tailgate and a little proclaiming: “1SGT, CLEAR THIS bit of everything began to fall out. Ray TEMPLE OF MONEY CHANGERS!” hollered, “Sullivan what are you doing, Problem solved. nobody is allowed to let the tailgate 2) Matthew 14:17, Mark 6:38, and down.” Luke 9:13 (if those are not correct, read Some people felt that they should have the whole books, they are good for to apologize for Ray. I never felt that way. you) time this happens (and it will), When he criticized, he was usually right. the Lord may call upon 1SGT Hamilton in He just wanted soldiers to be squared a loud voice proclaiming: “1SGT, get the away and to be proud of the uniform they coffee pots, and donuts from last mission had the honor of wearing. I always felt it out of the back of that truck. We have was an honor for him to criticize me, thousands of people to feed here!” because when he did that I knew he cared Problem solved. for me. Ray was my friend. My mentor. My First Sergeant. I always felt if I had the PFC DAVID FIELDS choice to put one face forward that best When I first clicked on the contact link represents the GSDF it would have been of the GASDF homepage, I never 1SG Ray Hamiliton’s. imagined that I would be working with the Whether you have been in the SDF one week, one month or 5 years, most everybody knew who 1SG Hamilton was. At times they feared him, but at the same time they loved him. I’m sure you know this but when there was a mission, God willing, Ray was always there and the hardest working soldier on that mission. Without a doubt,1SG Ray Hamilton was Mr. GSDF


A couple of years ago we were at AT, Fort Stewart GA. The mess hall is divided so that one wing is for Officers to eat and the other is for everyone else. I was seated not far from 1SG Hamilton as we ate chow. There was all the normal

“I salute you 1SG Hamilton. You can kick my butt for it when I see you again.”

likes of 1SG Ray Hamilton. I received a call within a few hours of filling in that form. Because of my vision, I was never


able to serve in the “regular” military. I about meeting him. He cruised in on his was afraid this would limit my ability to motorcycle and grilled the soldier serve my state as well. Well, 1SG assigned to the post with me while I was busy with another vehicle. I managed not Hamilton made short work of my fears. I to have to face his scrutiny. Shortly explained (in his usual colorful way) that 4 afterward I attended my first AT at FT there were several ways to serve. Even in the “regular” service, there are jobs that Stewart. MEDDET carpooled down and arrived after dark. When I got out of the would not require perfect vision if the regs didn’t demand it. He was “old school”. He car and put on my field jacket, one snap didn’t catch. As I walked toward the TOC, was outspoken. He was independent. He here came 1SG Hamilton. How in the was opinionated. He was obstinate. He world did this man see that unfastened was committed. He was honest. He was snap in the dark from about 15 meters? I loyal. He was a HERO. None would deny H Ethe AD S were U P down, E P want T E M Bthought E R 2surely 0 0 8my time had come and • S they that when chips him in their corner. If ever an enlisted man prepared to be chewed out. Instead, he were deserving of salute, it was 1SGT Ray came up to me and said, “Sweetheart, make sure you snap that field jacket all the Hamilton. I salute you, 1SG Hamilton. way. I know you didn’t mean to miss that You can kick my butt for it when I see you one.” Every time I passed him the rest of again. that AT, he was asking if I was warm enough and how things were going. Every time I crossed paths with him since then PFC BILL AUGER 6 As a new recruit last year, I quickly he had a kind word for me. Underneath that crusty exterior was a kindhearted joined the ranks of many grown men, who man. He’ll definitely be missed. have been scared like a boy by 1SG Hamilton’s demand for correctness in my uniform and courtesies, while cringing at his own glaring lack of political correctness! But those memories are not how I think of him in his passing. At the


I first met the 1SG at trade days in Kennesaw, I was just 15. I was with my Dad SGT Farmer. 1SG Hamilton asked me how old I was. I think he was trying to recruit me. He said “come see me, boy, when you turn eighteen.” He remembered me every time I saw him after that. My dad will miss him and so will I.


Moving Vietman Memorial Wall, I had the privilege of sitting and talking with the good 1SG for a couple hours at our MEDDET tent. I don’t remember all the stories, opinions and advice, but I do remember the sheer fascination and enjoyment of knowing the man beneath the surface. I found him to be one of the most interesting people I’ve known. A leader who respected and cared deeply for his fellow soldiers, and a patriot who inspires my own allegiance. I am proud that he would count me as a friend, and I will miss finishing the conversation we started at the Wall. I proudly render him a proper salute in his promotion.


Like many of you, my first real experience with 1SG Hamilton came during IET. I received a friendly word of advice from someone who knew him well, to make sure I knew my stuff before I was assigned guard duty. They said he loved to pick at new PFC’s, so I was pretty nervous


before he got here because of that Harley never lived. Clarence said. “Strange, isn’t that he loved so much. He would come it? Each man’s life touches so many other back to our canopy out back and we would lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an chat about potential recruits, problems as awful hole, doesn’t he?” I can only hope he saw them, etc. I will never forget those when IM pass H E A D S U P •that SE PTE B Eaway R 2I0would 0 8 have visits - he was always 1SG Hamilton - my touched half as many lives as 1SG Ray rank meant nothing to him when we were Hamilton touched. Oddly enough one discussing difficult situations. I will miss thing I remember him saying was about the man! him dying. He would say “When I die I don’t know where I’ll go because heaven doesn’t want me and the devil is scared CPL JEFFREY STONE I’ll take over.” Pure 1SG Hamilton. I was honored to have known 1SG 5 Hamilton and every “run-in” that I had with him is memorable. One that comes to mind happened at Annual Training 2007. I

“When I die I don’t know where I’ll go ’cause heaven doesn’t want me and the devil is scared I’ll take over.”


was in the Chow Hall when a fellow NCO called me to his table. He was sitting with 1SG Hamilton. As I stood there talking to the other NCO, this hand (like the hand of God) reached out and fixed the zipper pull hanging out of the top of my ACU blouse.


I would tell everyone who asked how I was recruited to the SDF, that 1SG Hamilton talked me into it over the phone. Most of the people (half jokingly) responded with, “And you still joined?” My answer was always a quick, “HELL YES!” I thought everybody in the GSDF was like 1SG Hamilton, only to find out he was one of a kind. It was an honor and privilege to serve along side an American Hero, God speed 1SG Hamilton.

1SG Hamilton became my friend almost immediately when I came to the family picnic last summer. When I told him I was interested in being a chaplain he jumped up and quickly called our Commanding Officer COL E. Hightower. Then as fast as he could, making my head swim, he had me standing before COL Hightower raising my hand to be sworn in as I had done in 1965 when I went to war. I had no time to think...but I was NOT going to disobey then MSG Hamilton’s lawful order. I shutter to think what he might have said had I done so. I love him still. He is a man of a good heart and concern for all people. We will MSG Ray Hamilton salutes COL Hightower after his promotion to 1SG at last April’s FTX . miss him terribly.


1SG Hamilton lived just a bit over one mile from my house. He would come over and discuss a few things. That was a red flag for me, because I never knew exactly what he wanted to discuss and of course I told him to come on over. I could hear him

To this day when I put on my uniform and zip up my blouse, I always makes sure it is tucked in properly and I always think of 1SG Hamilton. My favorite movie is It’s a Wonderful Life. One of my favorite lines is spoken by the Angel Clarence after George Bailey sees how life would have been had he


1SG Hamilton was one of a kind. He always brought a smile to your face when he pulled up. He reminded me somewhat of my grandfather, and older generation that no matter what had a love for country that few today understand. If everyone could have spent some time talking to him they would walk away a better person. It was honor having him around. I would always say to him when he pulled up on the Harley ( nice Honda) and that would get him going. Obviously I would do it on purpose just to get him going. He eventually caught on and we both would laugh. He will truly be missed.




demonstrated he was very proud of his CPL JAMES DEMPSEY country and the men and women who Like many of us, when I first joined the GSDF, I was a little nervous of what I serve. In the course of our lives we meet many would find and what kind of people I might encounter. I remember meeting people along the way. Some are just acquaintances, others become friends. But 1SG Hamilton on one of my first missions there EAD S U PAt •first SE P T EIM Balways ER 2 0 0are 8 a very few that make a at the HGreek Festival. glance, decided it might be better to stear clear of lasting impression on us. 1SG Ray this guy. When the mission was wrapping Hamilton was one of those special ones that I will never forget. Inside that crusty up and everyone was startring to pack exterior beat a true heart of gold. In things up and leave, I drew the short straw memoria nostra semper - In our memory as the newbie and had to stay behind and forever. clean the mens and womens bathrooms. As I was carrying the mops and buckets down to get going, I noticed 1SG 6 Hamilton coming along behind me. I was thinking, “Oh great, I successfully avoided this guy all day and here he

“In that crusty interior beat a true heart of gold.” PFC JOEL NABORS

comes.” I figured he needed to make a quick pit stop before he headed out. Instead, he came up asked me who I was, what unit I was with and how long I’d been with the GSDF. He then grabbed the mop out of my hand and said okay let’s get these rooms cleaned up. After spending most of the day trying to steer clear of 1SG Hamilton, I laughed to myself as we cleaned and talked that this was a truely genuine and nice guy. With his seniority he could have left early but instead he stayed late and helped a lowly Private clean toilets. From that day forward, whenever I was out at a mission, I would always find 1SG Hamilton and ask him if he needed help getting the refreshments setup or put away. I’ll always remember his dedication to the GSDF and the kindness he showed in making sure the troops were taken care of. I will miss seeing his face at each mission.


In this day and age of “political correctness”, 1SG Hamilton was a breath of fresh air. You never had to read between the lines and try to decipher what he was saying. Yes, his language was somewhat colorful at times, but he sure made his point loud and clear! And while his emails were no doubt offensive to some, I found that overwhelmingly they

My first encounter with 1SG Hamilton was at last year's SWAH (Shop with a Hero) mission. I had been a member of GSDF for about a month and hadn’t even attended IET yet. As a recruit, I had no rank on my ACU or field cap. 1SG Hamilton was having none of that. He produced a set of “Angel Wings” as he called them and promoted me to PVT right then and there. He said having them would keep the $%!# officers from giving me %#$@ about my uniform. He then told 1LT Bright that he and I were going behind Kohl’s for some introductory close order drill. After about thirty minutes, he told me to make sure I went home and *%26% practiced so I wouldn’t look like a bag of #%26% when I got to IET. I made it through IET and I still have those

“Angel Wings” that 1SG Hamilton gave me. They will always serve as a reminder of him and everything he stood for. He will never be replaced and I hope his memory never fades. I only wish I could have been at the pearly gates when he arrived. I have no doubt that as St. Peter welcomed him, 1SGT Hamilton took one look at him and said, “Thanks, but you need to straighten your #@$! halo.”

Hamilton in the last 10 years, if even for a LTC HOWARD E. BRANDON Never met him before my first day with brief encounter, comes away with a the SDF while participating in the Hamilton story. So long my friend, I pray McDonough mission July 4, 2008. I have the honor to form up again with you Serving in the Marines for six and ARNG one day. May God rest your soul 1SG for 26 years, I am not new to military Hamilton! HOOAH!! 5 courtesy nor am I new to proper uniform presentation. I came to my first mission decked in a nice ACU uniform, ACU sling pack and pre-approved wear of USMC desert storm boots. I had not been on ground for more than ten minutes until a 1SG was in my face about improper wear of boots, a string on my US flag and a lapel that was not lying properly. H E A DThat S was UP • SEPTEMBER 2008 the first encounter. He jumped me five times about the boots before the day was over. I purchased me proper Army boots the following Monday! After that 1SG Hamilton and I spoke and talked about old times often. He was a sincere and honorable man with high ideals. He was dedicated to the old ways of soldiering...tried and proven to work. After all, with those old ways and 1SG MAJ JACK NORRIS Hamilton we now live in the greatest Although I only knew him for about 6 country in the world. God bless the USA. months, I really treasured his friendship, May God bless 1SG Hamilton. and will surely miss him and his Politically Incorrect e-mails. He was not afraid of speaking his mind! He would SGT MIKE QUINN dress down any soldier, no matter what Since 1998 when most non-prior rank they were. He was a piece of work,a military troops started in the GSDF as PVT’s, many barely knew the differences unique character, a great soldier and a true American Patriot. We will miss him! between a field cap and a beret, right face from left face. Thanks to 1SG Hamilton’s perserverance, dedication and passion for 1LT RONALD SIMMONS 1SG Hamilton was first and foremost my friend. He also was one of my instructors in IET. When I completed Officer Candidate School and became a butter bar, Ray told me he would be goddamned if he would salute me, but he

“So long my friend. I pray I have the honor to form up with you again some day”

things looking and functioning the correct way. Today that group is largely comprised of SGT’s and above. 1SG Hamilton had a way of motivating those around him to get things done. When he was done talking there was no question as to what he needed or how he felt about something. There were many times when he felt he needed to improve a soldier’s appearance or form. Through his direct approach, there was a sharp contrast between the soldier’s green uniform and red face by the time the “correction” was through. That was 1SG Hamilton. Often times though, 1SG Hamilton later that day could be over heard talking about that soldier’s potential and he or she should be considered for a training school in order to be promoted. There will be stories about 1SG Hamilton for years to come. Any troop that had the occassion to meet 1SG

“I will truly miss you, you crusty old bastard.” did. Ray was always there when you needed him, he was at all the 1BDE missions with coffee, donuts, and such. Never asked for payment. Ray always said my job as an officer was to get the mission done and TAKE CARE OF YOUR TROOPS! He was a shining example of putting his money where his mouth was. I will truly miss you, you crusty old bastard!


Thank you for being a great friend, an awesome NCO, a “daddy” figure to my wife and a royal pain in the butt to those who needed it. When you see us messing up, give us a swift kick in the butt. (Hint, hint CPT Collins.)




Georgia National Guard move to Dobbins NAS progressing 911th Support assists moving 78th Aviation Troop, gets big thanks from Commander base. “But it’s my intention for the base name to have a Cobb County tie,” Nesbitt said. Nesbitt said the location in Marietta would allow the Guard “to concentrate MARIETTA, GA - It’s been almost a quick-reaction type units here because year since the Georgia National Guard they’ll be readily available by air or road.” The transfer will also bring home a piece began moving its headquarters to the of Marietta’s history - the Georgia Naval Air Station base off Atlanta Road. Military Institute. Although the signs still say NASGMI was chartered as the state’s first Atlanta and the Navy presence remains military institute. It was established in strong, the new occupants at the base are Marietta in 1851 on Powder Springs quickly making themselves at home. The Georgia National Guard - which Road, at the site of the Marietta Conference Center. includes the Army During the Civil National Guard, the War, Union Gen. Air National Guard William T. Sherman and the Georgia and his troops State Defense burned 13 of the Force - began 14 institute’s relocating to NAS buildings during his in September 2007, march to the sea. after the property Brumby Hall is the was transferred only remaining from the Navy to structure of the the Army. original GMI, The Georgia which is now National Guard commonly known leases the property as the Regional from the Army, said Training Institute. MAJ GEN William “It was a T. Nesbitt, adjutant premiere military general of Georgia. school, and for the “Cobb County last several years and the north metro it’s been in Macon,” MAJ GEN Terry Nesbitt, Georgia Adjutant General area are rich Nesbitt said. “But recruiting ground we’ve moved it home.” for us,” he said. “We’ve long had potential When NAS-Atlanta appeared on the for growth and new facilities in this area.” Leaders of the National Guard, which 2005 BRAC list, local leaders viewed it as was based on Confederate Avenue in a big blow. “I was originally very disappointed and Atlanta, had been planning to build a new concerned about the overall impact that headquarters close to Dobbins for years, the closure would have on the Marietta Nesbitt said. In 2005, NAS-Atlanta was and greater Cobb County communities,” included on the federal Base Realignment U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) and Closure list, and the National Guard said. “The Naval Air Station had been saw an opportunity. “We all wanted the Navy to stay,” such a great complement to Dobbins and Nesbitt said. “But it’s good for the whole Lockheed, and I fought very hard to have it removed from the BRAC list. area for the National Guard to assume this property. We wanted to keep a great The properties are literally interwoven, institution that was built as a military and each installation relies on the other for different functions.” institution, as a military institution.” Cobb Chairman Sam Olens said About 20 of the command staff adjutant general, Army Guard commander questions quickly arose over what and Air Guard commander - and support would become of the NAS, built in staff such as the office of public affairs 1959. The property neighbors Dobbins Air Reserve Base. already call the Marietta base home. “From a security perspective, it was not Another 50 to 75 Guard personnel in an option,” Olens said. “It would not be operations and training have moved to appropriate or an easy process,” Olens Dobbins. said. As the Navy moves out of one portion Olens said the county worked with of the base, the Guard is moving units in, Gov. Sonny Perdue and Lt. Gen. David Nesbitt said. Across the state, the National Guard has 14,400 soldiers. Ultimately, Poythress, who was adjutant general at the time, to help the National Guard come to 1,500 Guard personnel will be based in Cobb. Marietta. Nesbitt said the Guard would “We’re very proud to have the National occupy all of NAS by 2011. Guard in Georgia move their headquarters Georgia National Guard officials are still discussing the future name of the to Cobb,” he said. “It’s like having the

By Ashley Hungerford 6 Marietta Daily Journal Staff Writer Reprinted from

headquarters of Home Depot and the and those of the commanders of the Air A D S U P •and S Army E P T National E M B EGuards R 2 0and 08 Weather Channel based H in E Cobb.” the state “Clearly we wanted NAS-Atlanta to Defense Force. stay, with the synergy among NAS, “Being able to build a state-of-the-art Dobbins and Lockheed,” Olens said. “But building here is a big advantage,” Nesbitt we’ve got to move forward.” said. U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-east “I think it is wonderful that something Cobb) said he’s pleased with the progress. that will prove to be such a vital asset to “This has been a great example of our nation will simultaneously benefit our government and local community local economy,” said Gingrey, who helped working together to ensure the best secure federal financing for the possible use of this land,” he said. “Our headquarters building. nation depends on our military Reserves Nesbitt is quick to point out that the and National Guard like never before in Georgia National Guard isn’t new to waging the war on terror, and these Cobb. The 781st CERFP Battalion is facilities will help ensure the continued based in Kennesaw. CERFP stands for strength of the Georgia National Guard.” chemical, biological, radiological/nuclear The leaders all and high explosive Response Force Package. The Marietta armory,

BG McGuinn, Your GSDF ca me to the resc ue this weekend the 78th Aviatio in moving n Troop Comm and HQ’s (in to the runway into tal) across our new home on the NAS sid Officers, NCO e. All of my ’s, and soldiers were impresse GSDF professio d with the nalism and w illingness to “b backs” to get re ak their everything mov ed. Thanks to moved out of th em, we our old buildin g and into our Hangar 1 (NA new home in S) in about a da ys time. Hoo-a h! Respectfully, COL Brent E. Bracewell Commander 78th Aviation Tr oop Command State Aviation Officer

tout the economic impact for the county. “With Dobbins, the Georgia National Guard headquarters and all of the great work being done by Lockheed on building the F-22A Raptor and the C-130J. Cobb County is now metro Atlanta’s military hub,” Gingrey said. In early 2009, the Guard expects to begin construction on a $45 million headquarters for the joint forces, Nesbitt said. The building will house his offices,

off the North Loop, is also a Guard unit. “We’re trying to stay as engaged as we can in the community,” Nesbitt said. “Cobb County is a great, patriotic community to begin with. You see flags flying on all the patriotic holidays. “We couldn’t ask for a better reception by the local community. What could have been a contentious relationship has turned into something great.”




“Persevere. Always have a battle buddy”

GSDF personnel attend EANGUS

U.S. Army gets the Blues

Georgia welcomes attendees from across the country

Army makes transition to new service uniform

By PFC Jim Zeger Staff Writer • Heads Up SAVANNAH, GA - The annual EANGUS (Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States) Conference took place in Savannah during the week of August 18th. Attendees from all over the country traveled to our great state for a week of caucuses, meetings and fellowship. Nineteen members of the GSDF volunteered their time and talents over the week to share some “Southern Hospitality” to the convention visitors. CSM Garrett executed a seamless

coordination of information and hospitality. GSDF personnel worked side by side with members of the Army and Air Force to provide transportation assistance for incoming and outgoing conventioneers and manning information check points at the host hotels and convention center. This mission helped the GSDF stand out to the visiting EANGUS members. GSDF soldiers were often asked about the Georgia over their hearts, which left a very positive impression to the curious. Many left wanting to find out more about state defense forces in their home state. The GSDF motto “Ready to Serve” proved accurate again in Savannah.

Left to Right: 1SG Ron Simmons (1BDE), SGT Guerry Watson (4BDE), 1SG Eddie Dumas (2BDE), SFC Marc Morris (HHC), CPL Matt Nelligan (3BDE), 1SG Ron Schmid (3BDE), PVT Marilyn Mercado (3BDE)

By C. Todd Lopez Reprinted from WASHINGTON - (Army News Service, Aug. 25, 2008) -- Out with the old, in with the blue. The Army has made it official; the green service uniform, which has defined the service since the mid-1950s, is on the outs. In place of the green uniform will be a variation of the blue uniform, something many Soldiers already own. Official word on the new Army Service Uniform, or ASU, was released Aug. 20 in a message to all Army activities. The message defines the wear policy and the “bridging” strategy for transition to the new uniform. The new ASU coat, similar to the existing blue coat, will be made of a wrinkle-resistant material and will have a more “athletic” cut. Other changes to the uniform include authorization of a combat service identification badge to recognize combat service, overseas service bars authorized on the jacket sleeve for both enlisted Soldiers and officers, the wear of distinctive unit insignia on the shoulder

loops of the blue coat for enlisted Soldiers, authorizing paratroopers to wear the black jump boots with the blue ASU, and the decision to transition to a new short sleeve and long sleeve white shirt with shoulder loops. It is also permissible for enlisted Soldiers to wear both overseas service bars and service stripes on the new blue ASU coat. Officers and Soldiers in the grade of corporal and above will additionally wear a gold braid on their slacks to indicate leadership roles. “That is kind of a right of passage as you transition from being a (junior) enlisted soldier to a noncommissioned officer,” Preston said of the gold braid. New items for the ASU will be available in military clothing sales after July 2009. Soldiers will be expected to possess the entire uniform by July 2014. The two key components of the uniform, the coat and slacks, are expected to cost around $140, with modifications bringing the total cost to $200. Enlisted Soldiers will receive an increase in their annual uniform allowance to help offset the cost of the uniform.



G.S.D.F. units assist G.B.I. and D.N.R. with search for missing woman 8

things that may indicate a fall. From the TOC we set up a small team to maintain our activities and send out spot reports as well as CLOUDLAND CANYON STATE PARK Called for assistance from the Walker planning for the next day. S-1, S-3 and S-4 County DNR officials who received a report of were represented on site while S-2 and 1st a missing person. The missing person is Judy BN communications with the rest of the E A Dwhite S U 46 P year EPT MB 2 was 0 0set 8 up at Rome. At the Request of • S old, BDE PayneHfemale 5E feet 2 ER DNR one soldier remained at the inches tall, 141 pounds from Rock Springs, Georgia. This subject was last seen by her Command post as a direct liaison between husband Monday morning, July 20, 2008 in operations and Ground Teams. The Ground Teams were dispatched at or about Rock Springs as she left for work in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The subject's vehicle 0800 and on a rotation basis returned from the Search Area, refitted and then was located in Cloudland Canyon State Park dispatched again mixing the teams. The by10 Park Rangers the same day after she was final team returned in the late afternoon reported as missing by her husband. The hours and all members were accounted subject was last seen wearing blue jeans and a blue T-shirt. The search area was Cloudland for prior to site exit. The details of the Canyon State Park in Walker/Dade Counties, find are somewhat limited due to the Georgia. This area is mountainous with steep nature of the case. However the High Angle Team which is a rock climbing drops and is in the extreme Northwest corner team by nature had the task of of the state and as such is subject to change extraction at or about 1600 hours. with little warning. Operational hours are The mission went off without a 0500 to 1900. High and low teams were problem and the coordination between utilized. four BNs was outstanding. Troops arrived to Safety was a main concern due to rugged the mission prepared and ready to go. There terrain and steep canyon walls. Safety briefs were held by team and the Ground Team was no wait time teams were dispatched Leaders conducted equipment checks and within 30 minutes of arrival. Operations Command maintained an extremely good reviewed Safety. line of communication and information The unit was assembled from all of 1st BDE troopers who met the qualifications for flow. This included sensitive material as well as open material. SAR Team were SAR as presented by DNR. Our unit kept busy the entire day. TOC assembled and checked in between 0600 and 0730 on the 24th of July. We were asked to operations were active all day planning for the next day and sending spot assemble with the other search teams in the reports as well as Intel reports. I DNR Command post. Each member of the DNR team for GROUND TEAMS was would like to thank everyone on this mission. The spirit of “Lets Be assigned GASDF troopers to augment and About It” is clear in the Actions and provide strength to the search teams. One Examples of the operation from team was GASDF only who's specific the top to the bottom. responsibility was to line the canyon walls and tie off. Then using binoculars canvas the Well Done. canyon walls for any sign of damaged trees or

Condensed from After Action Report

To: GeorgHiaEStA D S U P • S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 8 ate Defense Fo rce From: Cloudlan d Canyon State Park Staff To all: We thank you very much for giving us aid re search for Judy cently with the Payne. All of the soldiers in true professiona volved were ls and acted to the highest cred military servic it of state e. While we do not wish to al under such circ ways meet umstances, we know in a very dedication and real way your reliability, and look to the futu ally in all ende re with a new avors good and true.


Sincerely, Ryan Hilton HEADS UP • SEPTEMBER 2008 Ranger Cloudland Cany on State Park

Commander’s Award HEED THE ADVICE FROM ends in October YOUR GSDF SAFETY OFFICER Competition 1BDE and 911th Support all tied up at 249 Make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip to Annual Training. Don’t take shortcuts when it comes to vehicle maintenance!

By MAJ Dirk Daube Safety Officer • GSDF Each year prior to Annual Training the Safety Officer conducts a Risk Assessment of the activity. This is to ensure that we have a safe and mishap free training event. This year is a bit different because of the increased gas costs of travel to and from AT. Because of that extra money we are putting in the tank it means less money for that set of

tires you should have gotten a month ago. What about stretching that oil change another couple of months? Are you guilty of taking shortcuts because your spending habits have changed? There is a saying, “If you take care of the little things the big things will take care of themselves.” Being safe daily is one of those little things. Look through your vehicles manual and make sure the routine maintenance has been completed. Being safe is an attitude, you have to adopt safe practices into everything that you do.

A point based Unit

competition intended

to improve Unit morale and increase Unit

recruitment & retention. Awarded each year at Annual Training (AT).

10 October is the cutoff date for all reports for the contest.



249 249 192 188 179 140 71 68



Civilian Aide to Secretary of Army meets with GSDF General Staff Duke Doubleday praises service of each GSDF member with “volunteer” service and praised the Eddie By MAJ HE A D Williams S UP • SEPTEMBER 2008 service of each member of the GSDF. He Public Affairs Officer • GSDF is very familiar and was very ATLANTA, GA - At the invitation of GSDF Commander BG Michael McGuinn, GSDF had a visitor/speaker at the General Staff Meeting on August 3, 10 Mr. Duke Doubleday is an 2008. Assistant to the Secretary of the Army for the State of Georgia. For those not familiar with the position, Army Regulation 1-15 (dated 11 April 2008), outlines the details of the

complimentary of the GSDF’s numerous missions, activities, and support provided to the GA Dept of Defense. His appointment is for 2 years, with the possibility of serving a maximum of five terms for a total of 10 years. Mr Doubleday provides the Secretary of the Army with advice from working closely with Army and installation commanders, State Adjutants General, Army National Guard Commander, Army Reserve

Mr. Duke Doubleday, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for state of Georgia “Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army”. There is at least one individual in each State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, Guam and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands. The person(s) serve as representative of the Secretary of the Army without salary, wages, or related benefits. They are authorized to receive a Common Access Card (CAC), and are reimbursed for travel and transportation expenses for official travel and per diem for their temporary duty (TDY). Clearly, Mr. Doubleday is familiar

Commanders, ROTC regions and area commander, and others within their area of responsibility. Mr. Doubleday will disseminate information about the Army’s objectives, roles, requirements, and major programs to the public through public speeches, personal contact and other means. He provides advice concerning the development of programs and methods to attain maximum understanding and cooperation between the civilian community and the Army.

NEW 1BDE S1 ASSIGNED Spruel J. (Jack) Norris, Jr. CPT - Regular Army; MAJ S1 GSDF Resides in Loganville, GA; Married, 4 children, 6 grandchildren. Years on active duty: 1968-1970; Vietnam: JAN1969 - JAN1970; 196th Light Infantry BDE, Americal Division Reserves: 1970-1988; MI Branch; GSDF: 1991-1992 and rejoined March 2008 present, sworn in at Confederate Ave., 1 BDE HQ; Significant awards prior service: Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart with OLC, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry

Two 1LT’s tie the knot Pages’ met at GSDF Officer Candidate School and make their July wedding an all GSDF affair wedding. 9 Approximately 120 people were in attendance. The photography was done by CANTON, GA - 1LT Michael Page and 1LT Catherine Bates were married on Julie Paulk, singing done by Tim and 4 July, 2008 at their home in Canton, Ga. Reed Christian, and officiated by Chaplain CPT Johnny Ashburn. The saber at 1600. The wedding was catered by Williams arch was organized and led by 1LT Ron Simmons. Brothers, Gondoliers and friends helped HEADS UP SEPTEMBER 2008 by making pies. W01 Dana Brooker • This Military wedding was the first known in the GSDF to be comprised of cooked the hotdogs and hamburgers. Kerrie Anderson and Robin Kinsky two fellow officers being married, a GSDF chaplain officiating the service, prepared the fruit and veggie trays. and a saber arch completely comprised of All the spouses and friends helped with all GSDF personnel. preparation the evening before and day of

By 1LT Catherine Page

SABER ARCH: MAJ Jim Moore, 1LT Tim Buhman, 1LT Ron Simmons, 1LT Mario Cesar, 1LT Anthony Bagdonis, 2LT Tim McNeil, 2LT Kamara Kay and W01 Alvin Moses.

GSDF Honors Fallen Soldier U.S. Army CPL Matthew Phillips killed in Afghanistan By Portia Bruner Edited from CUMMING, GA - A Georgia soldier who was one of nine killed in a July 13 attack while fighting in Afghanistan, was laid to rest at a Cumming church Saturday. Army Corporal Matthew Phillips was 27-years-old. In August, he was supposed to return to Cumming for good and start a family with his new wife. A gun battle in Afghanistan cut those plans short. As the hearse bearing the remains of CPL Matthew Phillips moved along Dahlonega Highway, hundreds of Forsyth County residents, the local V.F.W and members of the Georgia State Defense Force offered a silent moment of respect.

The Army said Phillips was one of nine soldiers killed during a three hour gun battle with Taliban fighters July 13. The 27-year-old was just a few weeks away from completing his 15 month tour in Afghanistan when he became Forsyth County’s first war casualty since the Vietnam War. Phillips’ parents and his wife of two years were counting down the days to his return.







SGT Edward Faron On June 18, 2008, Kimmie Rennee 10 H E A D S U P •911th S ESUPCOM PTEMBER 2008 From an email was born to GSDF 1BN Soldier’s PFC Christopher Jones and PVT Jana NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE GSDF Sir, I just wanted to tell you about Partain Iso. She was 7lbs 8 oz. and is something that happened this past STATE DEFENSE FORCE NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS currently growing like a weed. Saturday at the Vietnam Wall mission Congratulations! that I thought was very special. A woman and her son came to the front gate to go to the wall. I asked her if maybe I could help her with locating any names that might be on the wall. She said no, she was going to take a few pictures and look around and find some information for her husband who The Officer Refresher Course is was back in the van. designed to provide Commissioned I asked if he wanted to come because they had a computer setup and Warrant Officers with the tools that would help locate anyone on the necessary to become a successful Top Row, L to R: WO1 Roberts, WO1 Smith, 2LT Plouff, wall. She said he could not get around 2LT O'Neill, 2LT Kilburn, and WO1 Clark. Next Row, L to R : line or staff officer in the Georgia State good because he was confined to a 2LT Kay, 2LT Moses, 2LT O'Dwyer, and WO1 Brooker. Defense Force. The goal of the course wheelchair. He was a retired and Bottom Row, L to R : 2LT Bryant (Honor Grad), 2LT Doyle, is to standardize the skills abilities and WO1 O'Rear, and WO1 Long disabled CSM who had been knowledge of serving GSDF Officers wounded 5 times and had brain The GSDF Officer Candidate either as a refresher or as new damage from his injuries and she and School is a 6 month course, one her son could not manage getting him information, and to institutionalize the weekend each month. Each weekend in and out by themselves. leadership and staff functions to starts on Friday and goes thru I mentioned this to LT Branham and maximize interoperability within the MAJ Dirk Daube (GSDF Safety Sunday. The course consists of class without one bit of hesitation he and work, lectures, morning PT, Drill and force. Training focuses on leadership, Officer), MAJ Maureen Jurgelas PVT Lau had the woman drive the van (GSDF, HHC Commander), and CPT ceremony, projects, exams, billeting operations, and training. This course close to the gate and the two of them counts as Basic Officers Course and David White (GSDF Signal BN CDR) inspection, in ranks inspection, got that veteran out of the van so he presentations by students, team meets requirements for Basic Course could see the wall. They both stayed were recognized by GSDF building activities, a field training with him and his wife pushing him Completion for Direct Commissioned Commander, BG Mike McGuinn on exercise and much more. around that field so he could be close Officers. This course will transition in August 3rd, for completing the US to the wall. Sir, I saw the man as he the future to become the Professional Army Command & General Staff came in. His face was expressionless Officers Basic Course for Direct (C&GS) course. and he was gazing off into space. I Commission officers. watched as he was pointing to the wall







Robert Landin, 2BDE LTC Commander, was recently promoted to COL. Congratulations COL Landin.

Dear CPT Siniard, On behalf of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen and our entire city staff, I extend a sincere thank you to the Georgia State Defense Force for a job well done! The troops exhibited the highest degree of dedication and professionalism through a long, hot and grueling July day to assist our citizens in enjoying a spectacular Independence Day celebration. Over sixty of your troops dedicated the holiday to serving their fellow citizens. Many of them were on duty for twelve to eighteen hours straight. With crowds estimated at 15,000 your troops provided many man-hours of service in crowd control, traffic control and medical support over a large area. The men and women of the Georgia State Defense Force are true “Citizen Soldiers” voluntarily serving their fellow Georgians and we are most appreciative of their efforts. Sincerely, Tim Richardson, Mayor pro tem City of Acworth

and as he ran into veterans he had served with and knew so it turned into one big reunion. They stayed about an hour and left when it started to rain. What I found so touching was this man, who earlier had a blank look on his face, was smiling and gave me a thumbs up on his way out. This really made his day. LT Branham and PVT Lau spent about 30 minutes getting him back into the van and strapping him in, which was no easy task even with the wheelchair lift. The family could not thank or hug them enough for the joy they gave that war hero. I feel this was above and beyond the call of duty. They did not have to do this but they jumped right in and made a small difference to a man who gave so much for us. I just felt I had to say something.






1BN/1BDE FLIES HIGH AT ROME AIR SHOW Rusty, When I went to work for Transportation Expo to help set up the Rome Air Show, I had never heard of the Georgia State Defense Force. I was doubtful when the Air Show promoter mentioned that he wanted to use the SDF as much as possible because they are organized, mission oriented and selfcontained volunteers. In my quarter of a century in uniform, I’d never before worked with a state militia and had a low

deal of professionalism, but they responded to pop-up crises equally well. For example, when we sorely needed expertise on the ground to move military aircraft around the static display ramp, SFC Kelly provided the benefit of his previous ground-handling experience, turning what could have been chaos into a safe and well-executed evolution. Additionally, I am not aware of a single complaint against any member of the SDF by a visitor, spectator or staff member.

opinion of them, imagining them to be a bunch of wannabees playing army or worse. Then I met your guys and my opinions quickly changed. After meeting with Ben Terry, George Geiger and Mike Baxter, I recognized that there is much more to the SDF than I ever imagined. As our planning and coordination for the Air Show progressed, it became more and more apparent that the SDF is an experienced, well-oiled and well-led organization. It didn’t take long for me to realize that all I needed to do was outline what I needed and leave leadership alone to do it. When I made my way to the TOC early Saturday morning, I found CPL Baxter and his people already squared away and ready to go. No job proved to be too mundane or too difficult for the SDF personnel working the Air Show. Not only did they man their posts with a great

This alone speaks to the quality of your people. Please extend my personal thanks and those of Transportation Expo for a job well done to the personnel who did such a good job for us throughout the Air Show weekend: MAJ Geiger, CPT Collins, WO1 Brooker, CSM Harrell, 1SG Tucker, MSG Grizzle, SFC Kelley, SSG Fleming, SGT King, SGT Verheeck, SGT Hopkins, SGT Bailey, CPL Stone, CPL Baxter, CPL Vaughn, CPL White, CPL Scruggs, CPL Geiger, CPL Lentz, CPL Hudgins, PFC Blackstock, PFC Wise, PFC Jones, PFC Mitchell, PVT Vaughn, PVT Vaughn, PVT Collins, PVT Howell, PVT Partain Thanks again for your help. If there is anyone else to whom I should commend the SDF personnel who worked this event, please let me know.


Rob Coffman


HEADS UP is the official newsletter of The Georgia State Defense Force



MAJ Eddie Williams DEPUTY PAO


CPT Clark Howard

SFC Marc Morris


CPL Jeffrey Stone MAJ Rich Elwell CPT Bill Pamplin 1LT Sandra Kinney 2LT Dianna Clarkson WO2 Arni Katz WO1 Mario de Carvalho CPL Natalie West CPL Leonard Goodelman PFC Nancy Stolz PFC Jim Zegers

HEADS UP CONTENT SUBMISSION Submit articles & photos to Major Williams at Articles are intended for publicizing unit missions, activities and events and to highlight GSDF members. Provide details: date, time, location and a brief description. Photos are encouraged. Photos with GSDF personnel should include the rank and full name of the person(s). Provide a point-of-contact and phone number or email address with any submissions.

Heads Up September 2008  

Heads Up! is the electronic publication of the Georgia State Defense Force, produced by the GaSDF's Public Affairs Office for State Defense...

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