Why did you join the Florida National Guard? Our reasons are as varied as our Soldiers and Airmen themselves. For some, it was for educational opportunities. For others, it was the desire to go and see places they never would have, and some may have chosen to join the FLNG for a job or because they were patriotic. Each of you had a personal and unique circumstance that drew you to the Florida National Guard, but have you considered what has influenced you to remain a Soldier or Airman?
I’ve been in the Florida National Guard for almost 44 years, and for me, it all started when I was a kid wanting to be a pilot. I joined the Florida Air National Guard because they were in my hometown, right in my backyard, and because I had the opportunity to fly, which is what I always wanted to do. The chance to become a fighter pilot was what got me in the door, but as is the case with many of you, my “why” changed, almost imperceptibly, over the years.
For me, I was always a team kind of person. Whether it was team sports or Boy Scouts, I gravitated to those organizations where I could belong to a group of people who shared common goals and values. That sense of camaraderie and “family” togetherness that I found in the FANG is what hooked me.
I’ve continued to serve for a number of reasons. I’m proud to wear the uniform that represents generations of fathers, mothers, sons and daughters that have answered the call for our state and nation. I’m proud of the dedication and professionalism I see every day in the eyes of our Soldiers and Airmen and their families that steadfastly support them. And I’m proud to be an American – and to know that I am a member of a team that is committed to preserving the freedom and liberties for which Americans have fought for nearly 250 years.
I submit that many of you continue serve because you truly believe in what you do and are proud of your contribution in completing the mission. Regardless of your motivations, the citizens of our state and nation are grateful for your service.
The next few years will be challenging for sure, but I am confident the collective strength of our “why” will enable us to adapt and remain the best air and space force in the world. Thank you for what you do to make us always ready…always there.
Maj. Gen. Titshaw
Adjutant General of Florida