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Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

Mission

  • Ready To Serve ★ Proud To Have Served

    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.


    COVID-19 Information For Veterans

Events

New Jersey National Guard

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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.

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Dates in History

First Women
January 1957

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.

MG Falca Dodson
May 2009

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. 

50th IBCT
June 2009

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. 

Colonel Hou Official Photo

The Interim Adjutant General

Colonel Lisa J. Hou, D.O.

Colonel Lisa J. Hou, D.O., is the Interim Adjutant General and Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Colonel Hou commands the more than 8,400 Soldiers and Airmen of the New Jersey National Guard. She leads, directs, and manages the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs in the execution of federal and state missions. In addition, she manages all state veterans’ programs, commissions, and facilities in New Jersey. 

Prior to being selected by Governor Phillip Murphy on October 18, 2020, Colonel Hou served as the Assistant Commissioner for Operations, Deputy Adjutant General (DAG) for New Jersey.

In addition to her responsibilities with DMAVA, Dr. Hou is an active Colonel in the New Jersey National Guard.  In 2018 she became the first Joint Surgeon of the New Jersey National Guard, overseeing medical readiness and medical personnel statewide.

Previously, Dr. Hou served in the dual roles of commander of the Medical Command and the State Surgeon. In those capacities, she was responsible for the medical and dental readiness of more than 6,000 soldiers.

New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans AffairsNew Jersey National Guard
Last Updated: 12/01/2020
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