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Brig. Gen. John D. Slocum holds the flag of the 127th Wing as he officially assumes command of the 127th Wing during a ceremony Sunday, Nov. 2, at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. Behind Slocum are Brig. Gen. Leonard W. Isabelle, Jr., commander of the Michigan Air National Guard; Col. Philip R. Sheridan, outgoing 127th Wing commander; and Chief Master Sgt. Robert Dobson, command chief master sergeant of the 127th Wing. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Hanet)
LANSING, Mich.— In a 10:30 a.m. ribbon cutting and signing ceremony on Oct. 31, Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard, oversaw the final steps required to purchase a 23,000 sq. ft. building in Traverse City. The site, located at 1402 Carlisle Road, will be remodeled to serve as a Michigan National Guard armory.
“The purchase of this facility is in line with Army National Guard Sustainability Policies and Army National Guard strategic imperatives that call upon us to sustain our strong and historic reputation of being good stewards of financial and natural resources, good neighbors to other states and trusted leaders within our communities,” said Vadnais. “We could spend $18-20 million to build a comparable brand new armory or we could spend $2.6 million plus renovation costs to repurpose an available property, invest in a beautiful Michigan community, and forge new relationships with fantastic group of city leaders. The cost savings, community investment opportunities and other positive factors made the purchase of the Carlisle Road facility an easy decision.”
The facility, built in 2003, was a church for five years then a charter school for another five. When renovated, the building will include a full kitchen, exercise and locker rooms, offices, and meeting areas that are traditional features of a National Guard armory. Due to weather restrictions and other renovation recommendations, troop occupancy will not occur until 2016 at which point a formal ribbon cutting ceremony and open house will be planned.
The Michigan National Guard currently maintains 44 armories across the state. Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Legislature have dedicated state resources toward improving Michigan’s aging armories. Having the proper space to train and maintain equipment goes a long way toward retaining the best and brightest Michigan Soldiers and Airmen. The National Guard Bureau also provides federal funding for a portion of armory improvement projects contributing further to mission success, resiliency, and sustainability.
“The addition of a Michigan National Guard armory in Traverse City, and changes to armories around the state, are necessary to bring facilities up to standard, reduce energy consumption, improve readiness with strategic placement of units across the state,” said Col. Stephen Ward, Director of the Michigan Army National Guard Construction and Facilities Management Office. “It’s definitely a win for all involved,” he added.
Michigan Soldiers make impact in Liberia
For months at a time— sometimes even a year— Soldiers from the mitten state come to this sub-Saharan country, uniforms on their shoulders and expertise running through their veins. That experience may be more valuable now than ever, as the extent of the Ebola virus puts the Armed Forces of Liberia— those men and women the Michigan Soldiers are there to mentor and train— [more]
Michigan receives ‘Delivering on Promise Honor Roll’
The Michigan National Guard has been selected for the “Delivering on the Promise Honor Roll” award by the American Jobs for America’s Heroes, a military-hiring campaign sponsored by a number of non-profit organizations. The award recognizes outstanding commitment and leadership of agencies that make substantial efforts to help Guard members, Reservists and veterans gain civilian employment.[more]
Michigan takes proactive stance on Ebola
Michigan National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, participated in a press conference Wednesday, October 22, with Gov. Rick Snyder, discussing Michigan’s proactive efforts to deal with the Ebola threat...[more]
There is a growing number of individuals who have retired from the Michigan National Guard and are either turning 60 shortly, or have turned 60 recently. This is the age that many veterans become eligible for retiree benefits. Do you fall into that category?
For eligibility information, or to get in contact with the retiree office, check out their website or call them at (517) 481-9873.
We are always looking for photos from the force that highlight the wonderful things happening at our Michigan Guard units. We put a call out on social media last week and received numerous photos of members with with family. The response was great!
We want to use these photos for a number of our publications, website, social media, etc. If you have a photo (or photos) that you think would be great four our use, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We make every effort to stay in touch with our Guard family long after they leave service, but it can sometimes be difficult. We know how important it is to know when fellow retirees pass; so we are requesting your help. If you know of a Michigan National Guard veteran who has passed away, please let us know.