An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Aug. 28, 2023

Lt. Gen. Jensen: Army National Guard Better Than Ever

By Capt. James Mason, National Guard Bureau

RENO, Nev. – Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen, the 22nd director of the Army National Guard, says the Army Guard is the best it’s ever been.

Jensen, who has commanded at the company, battalion, brigade and division levels since commissioning as an infantry officer in 1989, told National Guard members from the 54 states, territories, and the District of Columbia that the Army Guard today is “so much better” than it was when he joined.

“Your talent, your experience, your abilities, everything that you bring to the table, is head and shoulders above the Army Guard that I joined in 1982,” Jensen told a room full of company grade officers at the annual National Guard Association of the United States general conference Aug. 18-21. “This is the best the Army Guard has ever been, and it’s, quite frankly, because of your leadership and what you’re doing to keep moving us forward.”

Jensen, who just began his fourth year as the director, has led the more than 300,000 members of the Army Guard through unprecedented times over the past three years. He took a moment at the 145th annual conference to reflect on these challenges and opportunities.

Since Jensen assumed responsibility as the director in August 2020, he has overseen tens of thousands of Soldiers deployed overseas in support of combat and peacekeeping operations and thousands more activated domestically in support of federal and state missions.

And Jensen doesn’t expect the need for the Army Guard involvement to decrease anytime soon.

“The demands on the Army Guard are not going down,” Jensen said. “I really deeply appreciate the traditional Guardsmen who continue to serve their communities and this nation while they are balancing full-time careers, as well as their family and everything else that you all are doing.

“What we ask you to do today is significantly different than was what asked of me when I joined,” he said. “I’m so proud to serve with you.”

As the Army’s integrated reserve, the Army Guard must continue to be ready to serve at a moment’s notice, according to Jensen.

Jensen isn’t the only Army senior leader to emphasize the readiness and relevance of the Army Guard.

Gen. Randy George, the Army’s vice chief of staff and nominee to become the next chief of staff, also spoke at the conference and reiterated how impressed he is with the Army Guard, which makes up roughly 40 percent of the Total Army.

“Our Army is the global Army. And we’re going to have to be ready to go wherever we’re going to go,” George said. “And wherever we go, it’s going to be a multi-compo(nent) solution. … The Army is as busy as ever, and the Guard is as busy as ever.”

To be able to support the Total Army and respond whenever and wherever, the Army Guard needs to continue to build generational readiness and be an integrated reserve, Jensen said.

“Every operation that the Army is doing across the entire globe, we are either directly involved in or supporting it in a way. We are integrated in everything that the Army does,” Jensen said. “The Army can’t do what our nation is asking it to do without an integrated reserve.”

To build the readiness needed, Jensen told conference attendees the preparation and training completed annually by the Army Guard is paramount to success.

Command Sgt. Maj. John Raines, the senior enlisted leader of the Army National Guard, said without the tough and realistic training the Guard conducts annually, the Army Guard would not be as strong and ready as it is today.

“When our forces go to combat training center rotations, we must take advantage of those events,” Raines said. “Our units that go there is just one example of how we build generational readiness. We’re about trying to be better and make sure that the leaders that replace us are falling into better formations than we fell into years ago.”

The Army Guard is good at training and building readiness, but also at winning, said Raines.

Raines excited the crowd on the final day of the conference when he listed many of the accomplishments the Army National Guard achieved in the past year.

Since the NGAUS general conference in 2022, teams from the Army National Guard have:
- Won the 2023 Army’s Best Sniper Competition
- Won the 2023 Army’s Gainey Cup Best Scout Squad Competition
- Won the 2023 Army Forces Command Best Squad Competition

As Jensen’s final NGAUS conference as the director of the Army Guard concluded, he had one message to leave with the attending Soldiers and leaders.

“When we give you a mission, you accomplish the mission. And that’s a testament to you as a professional but also to your families and your employers,” Jensen said. “It has been my honor to serve with you these last few years. … It’s been the privilege of a lifetime to stand up here, represent you, and acknowledge the great things you accomplish every day — so, thank you.”



Related Articles
U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen leads a panel, “Director of the U.S. Army National Guard Seminar: The Next Greatest Generation is Now!” with four Army National Guard general officers Oct. 10, 2023, at the AUSA 2023 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington.
Army Guard Leaders Emphasize Modernization, Partnerships, Messaging
By Capt. Jamie Mason, | Oct. 17, 2023
WASHINGTON - Army National Guard Soldiers and leaders joined together this week in Washington for the 2023 annual Association of the United States Army meeting and exposition. The three-day event included panels led by Lt...

Army Gen. Randy A. George, the 38th vice chief of the U.S. Army, addresses attendees at the 145th National Guard Association of the United States General Conference, Reno, Nevada, Aug. 20, 2023.
Senior Army Leader Lays Out His Vision, and How Guard Fits
By Sgt. 1st Class Zach Sheely, | Aug. 21, 2023
RENO, Nev. – The Army’s senior leader conveyed his perspective on the state of the Army, his vision for its future and how the National Guard — one of its two reserve components — fits into the current environment Aug...

Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen, right, director of the Army National Guard, speaks with more than 250 Army Guard officers and senior noncommissioned officers at the annual Army National Guard G1 Military Personnel Office workshop in Orlando, Florida, May 2-4, 2023. The conference marked the first time the group has met in person since before the COVID-19 pandemic began three years ago.
Army Guard Personnel Officers Focus on Soldiers at Symposium
By Capt. James Mason, | May 12, 2023
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...