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NEWS | May 12, 2023

Army Guard Personnel Officers Focus on Soldiers at Symposium

By Capt. James Mason, National Guard Bureau

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Army National Guard hosted its annual G1 Military Personnel Office conference May 2-4, marking the first time the group had met in person since before the COVID-19 pandemic began over three years ago.

Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen, director of the ARNG, joined the more than 250 Army Guard officers and senior noncommissioned officers for the workshop. Participants heard from senior leaders in the Army human resources career field.

“When we’re together, we can share things with each other that allows us to learn and grow as professionals,” Jensen said. “One of our greatest strengths as an Army Guard is that we aren’t all the same. Events like these are so important to who we are as a force.”

The role of the G1 in the ARNG is to develop and implement policies that build readiness to ensure the Army’s greatest resource — its people — are prepared for any mission, today and tomorrow.

Brig. Gen. Lavetta Bennett, the ARNG G1, began the event with a keynote session addressing her fellow G1s with a message of appreciation and excitement. Bennett has been the top ARNG G1 for eight months and says the job has been the most rewarding of her career.

Bennett said one of the things that she enjoys about coming to work every day is knowing she gets to put people first and support the members of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and territories that make up the National Guard.

“Our conference theme is ‘Putting People First into Action,’” Bennett said. “People first means treating everybody with dignity and respect. We have to make people know they are valued in our ranks. As we move towards the Army of 2030, we need to build cohesive teams and value the opinions of our Soldiers.”

There was one common message throughout the keynote and breakout sessions delivered by Jensen, Bennett, Brig. Gen. Hope Rampy, director of Military Personnel Management; Command Sgt. Maj. John Raines, command sergeant major of the ARNG; Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Stevens, sergeant major of Headquarters Department of the Army G1; and others: The Army is modernizing and the G1 community must keep up to meet the needs of America’s Soldiers.

Jensen told the group their contributions to modernization would allow the ARNG to continue accomplishing its ever-changing mission.

“The Army Guard of Sept 10, 2001, is gone and will never be back,” Jensen said. “Our role as part of the total Army is no longer to be a strategic reserve or an operational reserve, but to be both. We’re an integrated reserve. Integrated as part of the total Army – and the work of the G1 is crucial to that.”

Ongoing efforts in the G1 community discussed during the symposium included total integration and implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Pay System - Army (IPPS-A), reaching the 2023 recruiting goal, ensuring Soldiers are receiving the benefits and services they are authorized, and that when it comes time for a Soldier to exit the service, they hang their uniform up knowing they will be taken care of and recognized as a Soldier for life.

Rampy said ARNG leaders must continue to serve with the mindset of always putting people first. She said the Guard plays such a unique role in the total Army and the Army must work to ensure that Guard Soldiers are taken care of, and that starts with the G1.

“No one can do what the Guard does. The Guard is the closest to the community. Our Army needs the Guard,” Rampy said. “The permeability between all three compos is going to continue to be stressed and highlighted as the importance of the total Army working together as a team as we lean into the Army of 2030.”

Jensen agreed.

“If we’re not integrated at every level of the Army, we’re in trouble,” Jensen said. “I’m a firm believer in preparing for the future and this is where it starts.”



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