Status Update on NJ’s Armed Forces [AUDIO]
On Thursday, the New Jersey Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee heard testimony on the status of the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as the employment situation for service members.
The state National Guard was rocked by scandal late last year when Glenn Rieth resigned; he and a female aide were caught touching each other at a Trenton office. Still, Brigadier General James Grant had nothing but positive news to report on the state's military.
Grant noted New Jersey's armed forces, in the air and on the ground, are at more than 100% strength. Out of the 54 states and territories, only four others share that feat.
He said that reflects the organization's ability to recruit members, as well as retain them.
"I submit that's just because of the leadership that we have at every level, providing that sense of organization, that sense of belonging, that sense of loyalty to our state and nation," Grant suggested.
Beyond that, Grant happily reported the "predictability in the lives of service members" drastically improved recently.
An order rendered nationally would not allow deployment last for more than a year for any reserve component soldier, airman, sailor or marine.
Also, Grant said the Guard has done a good job transitioning troops from combat, back into normal life.
"We do that transparently now," he said. "We in New Jersey do a pretty good job at reemployment and finding people jobs when they come back."
Also on hand for testimony was Raymond Zawacki, Deputy Commissioner of Veterans Affairs. He assured the committee that service and outreach to veterans continues to grow.
"We want to ensure all veterans know that the Department is available to assist them in any way they can," Zawacki said.