After years in the National Guard, soldiers need reminders on why to continue to serve. That is what the Wyoming Army National Guard was hoping to accomplish with their inaugural ‘Guard Wyoming’s Future’ event.
Approximately 65 members of the Guard and their spouses met at the Joint Forces Readiness Center Sept 10-11 for the two day retention event. They took part in various briefings and one–on-one meetings detailing the benefits of remaining in the service.
“It allows families to see the long term benefits of their loved one remaining in the Guard,” Maj. William D. Patton of the Recruiting and Retention Battalion
A soldier leaving the military affects unit cohesion and leadership, costs money to train up a replacement and affects unit readiness. According to Maj. Patton, it costs approximately $70,000 to train a brand new soldier to replace a soldier getting out.
“Why not try to keep them in,” he said.
The event included numerous round-robin briefings on medical benefits, educational benefits, retirement counseling, and employment opportunities within the National Guard and on the civilian side. The idea for this retention event came about from the North Dakota National Guard as a concentrated effort by senior leadership in their state to keep Soldiers in uniform.
Brigadier General Tammy J. Maas, the Commander of the Wyoming Army National Guard, decided it would be good to bring this idea to Wyoming, since it was so successful in North Dakota. With a state attrition rate of 13.5%, events like this are all the more important.
At the end of the day, Soldiers who would like to reenlist will have the opportunity to do so with their families in attendance. Brig. Gen. Maas would even like to expand the ‘Guard Wyoming’s Future’ event to take place yearly.
“We value everybody’s service,” she said.