Veterans Day 2019
The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs was proud to celebrate New Jersey's Veterans and their service to our nation during an event with Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation in Holmdel, N.J. See our video on DMAVA Facebook.
Governor's Annual Military Review
The New Jersey National Guard held its annual Military Review at the National Guard Training Center in Sea Girt, N.J., Oct. 20, 2019. The Military Review is a long-standing tradition that allows the governor – the commander-in-chief of the state militia – the opportunity to review the Soldiers and Airmen of the New Jersey National Guard. See all the pictures on the NJNG Flickr page.
What were your favorite moments from 2019?
The Soldiers and Airmen from the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard had a memorable year, serving our state and nation at home and abroad. We participated in numerous training exercises, deployed troops across the globe, remembered those who came before us, assisted our communities, and came home to loved ones.
Check out our Year in Review video. More to come in 2020.
Just after Thanksgiving, hundreds of Soldiers from the New Jersey Army National Guard began arriving home after deployments around the world.
The 2-113th Infantry conducted a variety of missions, including base security, aircraft security, emergency response, intelligence collection, and security force assistance across a broad area of eastern Africa in support of Operation Enduring Freedom - Horn of Africa. The 1-114th Infantry provided force protection across four locations in two countries to include Qatar, as Soldiers secured personnel and critical infrastructure of U.S. interests. Elements of the 104th Brigade Engineer Battalion and 1-102nd Cavalry served in support of Operation Spartan Shield in Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. The 1-171st General Support Aviation Battalion arrived home after a year of MEDEVAC support in Afghanistan.
View pictures of the homecomings at our NJNG Flickr and Facebook pages.
It's Go Time!
Sergeant Georgia Varoucha immigrated to the United States from Greece when she was thirteen. After graduating high school, she joined the New Jersey Army National Guard, and received her citizenship while in basic training.
"In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can. You don't have to be the fastest or the strongest, the smartest or the most capable, and I've never been the best at anything, really, but, I've always been stubborn and driven by the fact we only have one life to make our dreams come true."
Sergeant Varoucha has words of inspiration for her career path.
New Jersey National Guard Pioneered the End of Segregation
Although history credits President Harry Truman with desegregating America’s military, the truth is that racial integration had already arrived in New Jersey, thanks to a governor and National Guard leaders who had stubbornly insisted on equality in their forces.
In the space of four months, from November 1947 to February 1948, the New Jersey National Guard changed history.
The story begins at a time when the New Jersey National Guard was growing.
World War II had been over for more than a year and the New Jersey National Guard was recruiting new members to fill the recently created 50th Armored Division. The National Guard Bureau, which fell under the War Department, had authorized New Jersey to organize the 372nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery group. Because integration did not yet exist in the military, the 372nd would reflect the United States Army’s policy toward Blacks – the unit was to be composed entirely of Black Soldiers.
And this is where the story would have ended except for one event. Read the rest of the story.
The Adjutant General
Brigadier General Jemal J. Beale was sworn in as the 32nd Adjutant General of New Jersey on April 2, 2018. Brigadier General Beale commands the more than 8,400 Soldiers and Airmen of the New Jersey National Guard. He directs, controls, and manages the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs in the execution of federal and state missions. In addition, he manages all state veterans’ programs, commissions and facilities in New Jersey.
A combat Veteran of Afghanistan, his previous assignments include Director, Plans, Operations, Training & Safety; Director, Logistics; Commander, Recruiting & Retention Battalion; and Commander, Border Police Mentor Team (OEF). Brigadier General Beale began his military career in 1987 as an enlisted Soldier and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1990 after completing the Early Commissioning Program at Seton Hall University. He has served throughout the continental United States, Afghanistan, Albania, Germany, and Italy.