Professional military associations: the voice of our service

Professional military associations: the voice of our service

We take care of our own in the Missouri National Guard, and sometimes that requires gathering our voices to speak on behalf of those who are not strong enough to speak for themselves.

Professional military associations such as the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), and Missouri National Guard Association (MONGA), represent our collective voice. These associations are led and fed by current and retired National Guard members. These are service members who know what it’s like to wear the uniform and proudly serve our communities and  nation. Additionally, they also know the sacrifice that is required of military service and the issues that are potentially a consequence of it, including suicide, unemployment, and lack of health care.

These association leaders and members also know how important it is to provide information and services to our National Guard members. They work hard to bring attention to these issues on Capitol Hill in Washington and in Missouri’s statehouse, and providing much-needed assistance that our service members deserve.

Professional military associations also host and conduct valuable leadership and career development events, seminars, and conferences. The intent of these efforts is to provide a full spectrum of resources to service members which mirror the experiences, challenges, and successes that military service presents to service members and their Families.

It is imperative that every effort is made to ensure that our Missouri National Guard Soldiers, Airmen, and Families benefit from their military service.

Celebrating Diversity

In order for an organization to be effective it must be diverse, not only in the traditional sense of race, gender, and religion but in generational knowledge and experience. The Missouri National Guard cannot be an effective organization if it does not completely reflect the diverse population that resides within the communities we serve. Just as every leader knows they cannot lead every Soldier or Airmen the same way, we as an organization know that we cannot flourish without diversifying our ranks.

Each Soldier, Airmen, and civilian employee within the Missouri National Guard bring a level of knowledge and experience with them into this organization, and ensuring that they feel completely empowered to utilize their diverse set of skills is what makes us such a tremendous force multiplier. When Missouri National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are deployed overseas or activated to perform state emergency duty they bring additional civilian skill sets with them that reflect in our superior mission accomplishment.

Celebrating diversity within our organization demonstrates that we are proud of the knowledge and experience that comes from each and every member.

~Brig. Gen. Stephen L. Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard

The Missouri National Guard Command Message on Diversity:

The Missouri National Guard is deeply committed to the State, Nation, and the citizens who serve in our organization. There is no resource more important to the National Guard than our Soldiers, Airmen, their Families and the civilian workforce. The men and women who comprise the Missouri National Guard reflect our culture and our values as an organization. We, as an organization also value our diversity.

The term diversity encompasses not only the traditional categories of race, religion, color, gender, age and national origin, but also all of the individual characteristics that enhance our strength of the organization.

The Missouri National Guard affirms the commitment to inclusion and affirmative action as strategic imperatives in today’s global environment.

We believe a diverse Force enriches our National Guard and leads to greater accomplishments, improved leadership effectiveness, and a more fulfilling experience for Soldiers, Airmen, Civilian Employees and their families.
Our commitment to diversity also extends beyond our organization and reaches into the communities we serve. That commitment is reflected in all public sector activities such as military support to civil authorities as well as supporting events in our communities.

Managing diversity is more than simply acknowledging differences in people.
Also, managing diversity goes far beyond the limits of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. Leaders must be willing to work towards changing the organization in order to create a culture of diversity and inclusion. Diversity education is a key element of culture change.

However, the leadership’s support of the change cannot be understated. In our organization the dynamics of generational diversity, and the important functions of Recruiting and Retention must be properly managed to enable us to retain top quality Soldiers and Airmen.

Our generational diversity is a great strength of the Guard. We possess the best leadership that we have ever had, honed from years of experience and education. But we also derive tremendous strength from our new Soldiers and Airmen, our future leaders, bringing new skills, ideas and attitudes that will carry the organization into the future.

My goal is to capitalize on our diverse strengths and abilities by mentoring our young members especially those in underrepresented groups so that they may get the support and guidance they need in order to further
enhance their career progression. By mentoring our young Soldiers and
Airmen we ensure that they are prepared to compete for future assignments and leadership and education opportunities.

My goal is to ensure that Recruiting Staff has an accurate source of demographic information for the communities in which it recruits. Recruiters can maximize efforts to reach underrepresented groups and decrease barriers for recruiting these diverse populations that are increasing in our communities. I encourage ALL Senior Leaders to take a more active role in their communities by seeking out opportunities to develop community outreach and partnerships with the Missouri National Guard.

Our Retention Managers also have a responsibility to learn about values, customs and traditions of diverse groups and utilize this information when counseling individuals about the benefits of staying in the National Guard.

My goal is to ensure that our future leaders mirror the demographic realities of our State. I also want to eliminate those barriers that may deter certain groups from reaching their potential based on their merit, fitness and capability. I encourage our leadership to demonstrate this commitment by eliminating barriers to success for all our people and seek ways to further diversify our force.

I thank you for your time. Take care of yourself, your loved ones and those who serve along side of you. God bless you and God bless America.

Sexual assault awareness command message

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Every day, women, men, and children across America suffer the pain and trauma of sexual assault. From verbal harassment and intimidation to molestation and rape, this crime occurs far too frequently, goes unreported far too often, and leaves long-lasting physical and emotional scars. In the Missouri nation guard, we commit ourselves not only to lifting the veil of secrecy and shame surrounding sexual violence, but also to raising awareness, expanding support for victims, and strengthening our response.

Sexual assault prevention is a topic that the adjutant general, brigadier general Stephen Danner, takes extremely seriously. The Missouri National Guard has a strict policy against sexual assault, this policy provides immediate action for all reported incidents, and ensures that each victim is provided every resource necessary. Sexual assault is extremely damaging to our organization and the individuals it impacts. It is a crime and violates army and air National Guard values and basic human rights.

As an organization of honor and trust, we share the responsibility for protecting each other from sexual assault, supporting victims when it does occur, and bringing perpetrators to justice.

Sexual violence is an affront to all that our organization stands for, one which we cannot ignore. We can lead this charge by confronting and changing insensitive attitudes wherever they persist. Survivors too often suffer in silence because they fear further injury, are unwilling to experience further humiliation, or fear loss of their career. This feeling of isolation, often compounded with suicidal feelings, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, only exacerbate victims

Total Soldier performance sets the foundation for the revamped enlisted promotion process

Thirty years experience in the Missouri National Guard has taught me how important it is to promote the best qualified Soldiers to fill authorized enlisted spaces; provide for career progression; recognize and retain the best qualified Soldiers and to also preclude from promotion the unproductive or not best qualified Soldiers.

As leaders in the Missouri National Guard, it is our duty to work to ensure all our Missouri National Guard Soldiers are trained, equipped and ready to respond when needed. Now more than ever, it