Armories shutter, modernize in 21st century winds

The National Guard’s standing armories — iconic centers of stone and brick where the nation’s Citizen-Soldiers muster to defend state and nation — are weathering a storm of change, officials here said this week.

Base Realignment and Closure law, budget restrictions, rising energy standards, post-9/11 force protection issues, technology needs, and mission demographics are some of the challenges that states and territories now face to find the best use and location of their facilities.

Some armories, many decades-old, will close their doors for new construction or consolidate with other reserve components; others will be refurbished.


Guard nerve centers prove key to inaugural, national missions [repost]

NOTE: This story, “Guard nerve centers prove key to inaugural, national missions,” first published January 2009.

By Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. — When National Guard soldiers and airmen show up for the thousands of missions they perform, they know they’re part of the right unit, in the right place, at the right moment. But, getting them to a mission does not happen by chance.

That’s partly because the joint staff at the National Guard Bureau, along with the Army and Air Guard’s readiness centers work behind the scenes with the states and territories to put the Guard’s best foot forward.

The National Guard’s support to the current presidential inauguration is no different, but its footprint is nearly four times larger than any in previous inaugurations.


Soldiers honored, memorial unveiled at Purple Heart Medal ceremony

By Staff Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Guard Times Staff

ALBANY, N.Y. – Four Soldiers from the NY Army National Guard sat on a park bench in the peaceful surroundings of a beech tree grove one sunny August afternoon. The quiet setting seemed in sharp contrast to the explosive combat of Iraq where the Soldiers were wounded several months ago.