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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

A New Era for the National Guard

By Governor Pete Ricketts

November 30, 2015

The Governor’s official photo is available here.

Since 1854, the Nebraska National Guard has played a pivotal role in helping keep Nebraska safe and secure.  Through the years, members of the guard have deployed overseas, supported local law enforcement, and provided disaster relief among many other important duties.  For thousands of Nebraskans, the Nebraska National Guard has been a way to serve our state and country either full-time or while building a career in another field.

A couple of weeks ago, I joined Major General Daryl Bohac, Nebraska’s adjutant general, to announce the first major realignment of the Nebraska Army National Guard in 20 years.  These changes are the beginning of an exciting new era for the Nebraska Army National Guard, and will expand missions led by the guard in Central Nebraska and the Panhandle.  The restructuring will create new opportunities for roughly 1,100, or about one in three, Nebraska Army National Guard soldiers located in units in 16 Nebraska communities across the state.  This realignment is a part of a much larger national reorganization of the Army National Guard.

Realigning the National Guard in Nebraska is critical to ensuring that the guard’s force meets 21st-century priorities.  Over the next three years, the guard will dramatically expand opportunities for Nebraskans seeking to serve in the guard.  For example, the guard will add new military police, field maintenance, and distribution units in Central and Western Nebraska.  Previously, Nebraskans in these regions only had the option to serve in transportation companies – now, they’ll have more choices than ever before.  Expanded career opportunities are great not only for recruitment and retainment within the guard, but they will also enhance response readiness for state and national emergencies.

This realignment will affect units in Lincoln, Omaha, Beatrice, Columbus, York, Hastings, Kearney, Grand Island, Mead, O’Neill, Broken Bow, North Platte, McCook, Sidney, Scottsbluff, and Chadron.  During this realignment, existing armory and readiness centers are expected to remain open.  Maj. Gen. Bohac noted at the announcement that the force structure changes give the Nebraska Army National Guard the rare opportunity to reorganize itself to provide greater opportunities for soldiers to receive training, offer improved promotion opportunities closer to home, and better serve the citizens of our state.

As we celebrate the 161st anniversary of the Nebraska National Guard during this holiday season, let’s remember the service and continued sacrifice of the many Army and Air Guard members and veterans.  During this season, we pray for the safe return of those serving overseas.  I also encourage you to take the time to stop and thank the guard’s veterans for their service to our state.  As always, if you would like to share your thoughts or feedback on this topic or any other, you are welcome to email my office at pete.ricketts@nebraska.gov or call 402-471-2244.

 

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