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The mission of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is to provide trained and ready forces prepared for rapid response to a wide range of civil and military operations, while providing exemplary services to citizens and Veterans of New Jersey.
TAG Message: Valuing Our People
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.
Dates in History
The New Jersey National Guard ceased to be an all-male organization when the first women soldiers in its history, two nurses, Captain Frances R. Comstock and 1st Lieutenant Lucille Valentino of Paterson, were sworn in as members of the 114th Mobile Surgical Hospital.
Maj. Gen. Maria A. Falca-Dodson became the first female to be promoted to the rank of Major General in the New Jersey National Guard.
The New Jersey Army National Guard closed its largest combat deployment since World War II - the 2,900 soldiers of the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team served 10 months in Iraq - with a parade and celebration in downtown Trenton, NJ.
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.