The Adjutant General: This year, we proudly Muster

  • Published
  • By Maj. Gen. Michael T. McGuire
  • The Adjutant General
For the first time in over a century, the Arizona National Guard will muster in one formation, and there are 7,531 reasons why I've chosen to revive this time-honored military tradition. I am proud of each Soldier and Airman who voluntarily serves our state and nation, and the time has come to recognize you.

On Pearl Harbor Day, Sunday, Dec. 7, at 11 a.m., we will meet on the field at Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium. As the minutemen of the colonial militia first mustered in 1636, we will assemble for review by our Commander-in-Chief, Governor Jan Brewer.

ASU graciously agreed to partner with us in this effort, offering a venue large enough to accommodate as many members of our community who wish to attend in honor of your service. We invite your families, friends, and coworkers to join state and community leaders at the event. We also invite our vast veteran population, students, public service organizations, civic groups and the general public to fill the stadium. All are welcome, and admission is free.

This is our way of holding an "Open House" event for our communities. It presents an opportunity for them to witness your professionalism, discipline, precision, dedication, and your commitment to defend your fellow citizens, or come to their aid during an emergency. I want Arizona to see you for what you are; the greatest National Guard in the country.

Throughout wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the longest in American history, you placed your personal lives and civilian careers on hold and went into harm's way to defend freedom. You are the best-trained and most-experienced National Guard the world has ever known.

As Citizen Soldiers and Airmen, we are deeply embedded in the communities in which we serve. To many Arizonans, we are the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force. For your focused efforts to improve your communities and enhance public support for our missions I thank you and encourage your continued work to strengthen local ties.

We cannot underestimate the impact that a muster of this kind will have on those relationships. This is one mission we can do together; a truly joint effort to reach out to our neighbors. And though they will be there to witness our historic muster, we will honor them by showing them that our service is not possible without their unyielding support.

Additionally at the muster, we will ensure that veterans of all services and all foreign wars are properly honored. This formation is our way of saying 'thank you' to those who have gone before us or served alongside us.

It is my hope that once you are on that field standing shoulder to shoulder with your brothers and sisters in arms, that you will look up into the stands to see and hear the adulation of those you swore to protect. You will look around and see that you and your unit are part of a military family that extends far beyond the armories and bases you call home.

Following the muster ceremony, you will be released to your families and friends to enjoy a community expo adjacent to the stadium. We are working with numerous organizations and partners to host an afternoon of fun, food, and attractions where you can fellowship with each other and the people who want to shake your hand and thank you for your service - myself included.

There are 7,531 reasons to conduct a public muster, and for each one it will be a day you always remember - a day you are proud to call your own. Again, I thank you for your service and your support for this historic event.