Wolverine Guard - January 2015

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In this issue:



The Michigan National Guard is designed and tasked to support both state and national level operations. Today, several members had the distinct privilege to participate in the inauguration of Gov. Rick Snyder today. As governor, Snyder also begins his second term as commander-in-chief of the Michigan National Guard. Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais will also stay on as the director of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard.

Chaplain's Corner

New Beginnings

The New Year brings with it the idea of New Beginnings. It is during this time of year that people pledge to lose a few pounds, workout more, keep a cleaner house and so forth. Too often though we lose sight of these resolutions. Our busy days and hectic schedules seem to incessantly get in the way of the plans we have to be better people. The set habits we have continually prevent us from doing the things that we know are right. 

It is with this in mind that I challenge all of you to set a new type of New Year’s Resolution. I challenge you to pledge to be intentional. Be intentional about setting time aside to build new habits that will let you accomplish your goals. Regardless of your New Year’s Resolution, intentionality will ultimately be the determining factor on if you will reach your goals or not.

Capt. Paul Lepley, Chaplain

R2C Program Coordinator


“When your intentions are pure, so too will be your success.” 

- Charles F. Glassman -


Top Photos from 2014


SSgt Andrew White, 127th Security Forces Squadron, receives hugs from his family on March 2, 2014, at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., after being deployed for 6 months to southwest Asia. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by John S. Swanson / Released)


A member of the 51st Civil Support Team, Michigan Army National Guard, goes through a simulated decontamination line during joint training exercises with Denso Corporation at Ft Custer Training Center simulating the release of a toxic industrial chemical in an industrial setting. The three organizations conclude a weeklong Hazardous Material refresher course for the 51st CST and Denso Corporation.  The 51st CST is building relationships with local and industry partners to further understand of strengths, limitations and available recourses in the event of an actual response.


An Air National Guard Joint Terminal Attack Controller takes up a defensive position during Operation Northern Strike at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Mich., Aug. 11, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by MSgt. David Kujawa)

welcome home

After an 11-month tour of service in Afghanistan, more than 150 Michigan National Guard Soldiers from the 1460th Transportation Company were welcomed home Sept. 23, 2014 at H.H. Dow High School in Midland, Mich. 

Gov. Rick Snyder and Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard, joined family, friends, local business leaders, government officials, the northern Michigan Patriot Guard Riders and community members on the football field and bleachers with messages of pride and welcome. 


140111-Z-NJ721-014 An A-10 Thunderbolt II from the 127th Fighter Squadron is parked beneath a shelter on a foggy morning at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., on Jan. 11, 2014. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by TSgt. Robert Hanet/Released)


Air Force Staff Sgt. Bradley Moehlig, survey team member assigned to the 51st Civil Support Team, Michigan National Guard, is pulled out of his personal protective hazardous material equipment during the "man down" drill of the quick reaction force training exercise at Mart Dock in Muskegon, Mich., Sept. 24, 2014. The Michigan National Guard, the Coast Guard, and several local law enforcement and emergency response agencies conducted the exercise. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Kimberly Bratic/Released)


Airmen of the 191st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron begin their day by towing a KC-135 Stratotanker out of a hangar at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., in the pre-dawn hours of Dec. 19, 2014. Each aircraft undergoes a complete inspection, known as an ISO or isochronical inspection, at various points in the aircraft’s operational cycle. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Terry Atwell)


Staff Sgt. Andy Kableman, 1437thEngineer company, Sault Saint Marie, Mich., Michigan Army National Guard, demonstrates the M16-/M4-Series Rifles to members of the Latvian Engineer Battalion ( ZS 54 ITBN), in Orge, Latvia, Sept. 28, 2014. The Michigan Army National Guard is training the Latvian Engineers on their equipment, while, in turn the Latvians train the Michigan soldiers on theirs. The Michigan and Latvian Engineers are training together in support of Operation Silver Arrow, in conjunction with United States Army Europe and Operation Northern Resolve. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Helen Miller, Michigan National Guard/released)


127th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief Tech Sgt Byron Blasky and Airman 1st Class Brian Whitfield, a crew chief in training, prepare to launch an A-10 Thunderbolt II for a routine training mission at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich. on October 15, 2014. (Air National Guard Photo by Terry Atwell)


U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Matthew Spittler and Senior Airman Tyler Trocano, joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs), coordinate with leaders of 2nd Platoon, C Troop, 1st Battalion, 126th Cavalry Regiment, during a combined arms live fire exercise at the air-to-ground range on Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center, Aug. 11, 2014. JTACs embed with ground forces to provide real-time air support to small reconnaissance surveillance teams. “We often find ourselves forward of friendly lines with little to no support,” said Sgt. 1st Class Steven C. Sparks, 2nd Platoon sergeant. “Aircraft are valuable to us and, as subject matter experts we like to have the JTACs around with us.” (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Nicholas Oposnow, 126th Press Camp Headquarters, Michigan National Guard)


CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. -The 1437th Multi-Role Bridge Company of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Michigan Army National Guard, successfully completed a bridge across the Mississippi River, July 24, 2014. During their annual training at Camp Ripley, the unit participated in a bridging exercise that built an improved ribbon bridge with overhead anchorage to connect the banks of the Mississippi River. The wet gap crossing area on the Mississippi was approximately 435 feet wide. The 1437th utilized 18 interior floating sections, each approximately 22 feet long, and two ramp sections to complete the bridge. The bridge company started by erecting six sections and creating a raft to move equipment required for bridge assembly and anchorage to the far shore. The raft was then reconfigured by adding 14 additional interior bays, one half on each side, then the two halves were put into place and jointed together by bridge erection boats. A long term anchorage solution was put in place using the unit’s overhead anchorage system and the bridge was opened for traffic. The float bridge is capable of carrying the Army’s heaviest wheeled & tracked loads during assault operations and sustained logistical movements. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Helen Miller, Michigan National Guard/Released)


Staff Sgt. Jeremy Wesley, 127th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, loads ammunition into an A-10 Thunderbolt II’s GAU-8 Avenger system. The 30mm Gatling gun is among the most distinctive features of the A-10. The gun is capable of firing up to 70 rounds per second. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by SSgt. Samara Taylor)

News from Your Guard

Career students visit 125 Infantry diesel vehicles


LANSING, Mich.— Students from the Mecosta Osceola Career Center in Big Rapids, Mich., had a unique experience with local Michigan Army National Guard Soldiers and their equipment Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. The students are members of the diesel mechanics class and got up-close and personal with a variety of diesel engines assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 125th Infantry Regiment. [more]

Taylor-based Michigan Guard unit passes guidon to new leadership


LANSING, MICH. —The Taylor-based Michigan Army National Guard, 177th Military Police Brigade will hold a change-of-command ceremony at the Taylor Armory Saturday, December 6 at 1 p.m. Incoming commander, Lt. Col. Phillip Burton will accept the colors from Col. Stephen Potter, who will transition to his new role as the Commander for the Operation Onward Liberty team to Liberia for the Michigan Army National Guard. [more]

Strong Bonds 2015

The Ready & Resilient Campaign (R2C) and the State Support Chaplain's Office are happy to announce the beginning of open enrollment to attend the Strong Bonds for Married Couples Enrichment Workshop held at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire from 13-15 March 2015!  This Strong Bonds event is intended for married couples at any stage to help build great communication skills, conflict resolution skills, and foster successful and positive attitudes within the marriage. Come join us in a casual fun environment to learn new tools in building martial confidence and improving communications. When fully embraced, your marriage can experience rejuvenation, hope, and peace.

This Strong Bonds event will be held from March 13-15, 2015 at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, Mich. You will be provided two nights lodging, up to four meals, and Strong Bonds materials.

This Couples Only event is open to active Michigan Army National Guard Soldiers and their spouses enrolled in DEERS and is the only event that you can enroll in at this time.

 **There will be no childcare offered for this event at this time, subject to change**

Registration is open until 20 January 2015 at http://strongbonds.org. If you have questions, please contact Sgt. 1st Class Mark Webster (SBAO) at mark.l.webster.mil@mail.mil or via phone at (517) 481-7931. We welcome this opportunity to meet you and your family!

 If the March date does not work for your schedule, keep an eye out for more upcoming Strong Bonds events. The following dates are tentative. Registration opens online approximately 60-90 days prior to each event and is limited to 30 couples. For questions about Strong Bonds, contact Sgt. 1st Class Mark Webster at mark.l.webster.mil@mail.mil or via phone at (517) 481-7931.

Tentative Dates

March 13-15 Shanty Creek Resort (Bellaire)

April 24-26 Great Wolf Lodge (Traverse City)

May 8-10 Mission Point Resort (Mackinac Island)

June 5-7 Mission Point Resort (Mackinac Island)

August 28-30 Amway Grand Plaza(Grand Rapids)

September 11-13 Crystal Mountain (Thompsonville)

September 25-27 Grand Traverse Resort (Acme)