2002 Military Review
By Spc. Rebecca O’Donnell, 444 MPAD, photos by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, NJDMAVA/PA.
For some, no matter what branch of service they were representing, the day's nervousness seemed hugely magnified. Butterflies were circling within their stomachs and all the sweat glands seemed to flow steadily to the palms of their hands. And even though soldiers and airmen wear their uniforms proudly each time they put it on, this morning every little thread, crease, and shine mattered even more to them than any other day.
What made this day so different was this was the first time The Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth and Governor James E. McGreevey, the New Jersey National Guard’s Commander in Chief, would be inspecting and reviewing the troops.
The New Jersey National Guard held its Annual Military Review at Sea Girt on Sept. 29. The event was open to the public at the National Guard Training Center, Sea Girt, and included displays of tanks and helicopters, a cannon salute, a military band and parade. Every unit of the Army and Air Guard in New Jersey were represented.
Master of Ceremonies, Maj. Royce P. Lawler explained that in order for officers and soldiers to determine their location in the smoke and confusion of battle they would look for their unit flags. Prior to battle, it was common practive for units to parade their flags at the end of the day. This was called Trooping the Colors and it was done so that the soldiers would recognize their flag during battle.
The units present were the 63rd New Jersey Army National Guard Band, the50th Brigade, the 42nd Division Support Command, the 57th Troop Command, the New Jersey Air National Guard, including the 108th Air Refueling Wing and the 177th Fighter Wing, Headquarters State Area Command, and the Salute Command, Battery A, 3rd Battalion, 112th Field Artillery.
Once the units had marched into position and a nineteen-gun salute was rendered, the Governor, along side of The Adjutant General, inspected the troops. Medal and honors were then presented including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Ernest J. Gregory Internal Review Award of Merit, the Chief of Staff Army, Supply Excellence Award, the 2002 New Jersey Governor’s Air and Space Special Award, the 21st Air Force Armstrong Trophy, the Colonel Richard A. Newman Award for Food Service Excellence, the Master Sergeant (RET) James A. Goddard Outstanding Supply Sergeant Award, and the New Jersey National Guard Outstanding Family Readiness and Support Award.
Brig. Gen. Rieth assured everyone that the New Jersey National Guard were making a difference on the global war on terrorism.
" The New Jersey National Guard is fully engaged across a full spectrum of operations, from peacekeeping in Bosnia, to playing a key roles in Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Noble Eagle," said Brig. Gen. Rieth, before turning the podium over to the Governor.
" I want to first say thank all the members of the New Jersey National Guard and their families, for your service, your dedication, your courage and commitment to our state and nation," said Governor McGreevey. "The Army and the Air National Guard is playing a critical important role in protecting our nation."
Following the review a barbeque was held and carnival games were held for family members who attended the event.