|Personnel||Adjutant General's Biography||Command Message||TAG Policies|
It's been a long and challenging 18 months for all of us. For those of you who lost a loved one, a friend, coworker or in the case of the 106th Rescue Wing, a member of your unit to COVID-19, please accept my deepest sympathy and condolences. We are all praying that we have seen the worst of the COVID-19 crisis and that our state and nation are on the trajectory of recovery and renewal.
When we look back from March 2020 to today, what you have done as part of the National Guard, or our State Defense Forces, or the civilian workforce of the Division of Military and Naval Affairs (DMNA), it is truly historic in nature and will not be forgotten.
During my 39 years of military service, I have had the opportunity to see our National Guard, State Defense Forces and DMNA in action time and time again. Our military service members, civilian workforce, families and civilian employers have accomplished so much during our COVID-19 response - just simply remarkable achievements.
Your COVID-19 response will be remembered along with September 11, 2001, combat deployments and our response to Super Storm Sandy in 2012.
On June 23, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the location and design of the State’s Essential Worker Monument to be located in Battery Park City along the water, in view of the Statue of Liberty. The Circle of Heroes design will include 19 Red Maple trees symbolizing the essential workers that carried New York through the pandemic This will include a reference to you, the men and women of the New York National Guard.
It recognizes your contributions alongside nurses, doctors, healthcare workers, transit workers, police officers, EMTs and paramedics, firefighters, correctional officers, store employees, government employees, building service workers, utility and communications workers, delivery drivers, teachers, sanitation workers, construction and manufacturing workers, food service workers and hospitality workers.
The monument will also feature an eternal flame as a symbol of New York State's everlasting gratitude for essential workers.
So as we wind down our COVID-19 support, all we can say to everyone is THANK YOU! Your service, dedication, and professionalism has been remarkable.
However, the COVID crisis is not over. Much of our force remains unvaccinated and with new strains of the COVID-19 virus gaining ground, those who are not vaccinated remain at serious risk of serious illness and death. We strongly encourage anyone not vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Our focus now turns back to Soldier and Airmen readiness and preparedness for our federal and state missions, and the daily work to support the force of our civilian staff at DMNA.
Our enduring priority remains - “Soldier and Airmen safety (which includes physical safety; prevention and protection from sexual assault and sexual harassment; treating everyone fairly and consistently), we also have no higher priority than our unit assigned strength - that means retention for units and accessions for our recruiting team.”
Again, I cannot thank you all enough for your service to our state and nation.
Just as Governor Cuomo has said, you are essential! Essential to our organization. Essential to our state and nation. Essential to your families. Essential to your civilian employers. We need you and care about you.