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MESSAGE TO THE INDIANA NATIONAL GUARD

February 27, 2024

 

I am honored to serve in my fifth year as your Adjutant General. Thank you for your many sacrifices on behalf of our state and country. I look forward to advancing the organization to a higher degree of readiness.

 

While the global situation is very serious, we are not at war in Afghanistan and the world has very different threats than 20 years ago. As such, we to need to plan for a different global security environment.

 

At the same time, the global pandemic has long been over. Now is the time to put any negative remnants of the pandemic behind us and instill a new sense of organizational discipline and focus.

 

To that end, I want to clearly state my focus areas and goals for 2024:

 

Readiness. The Indiana National Guard must be ready, disciplined, and fit.

Personnel readiness is the linchpin of ready units. We will employ ready, disciplined, and fit units to dangerous places overseas and in support of the Southwest Border. Those units receive the weight of our support and require a people strategy befitting their sacrifices.

 

  • All Army units will set personnel (P) level - 2 as their main objective, while Air units will establish 102% strength as their primary readiness objective.
  • Indiana Joint Staff will develop and implement processes to enable operational units to achieve personnel (P) level - 2.
  • Commanders will retain sufficient soldiers to meet strength goals.
  • Commanders will develop talent by implementing a people strategy that: rewards dynamic leadership and mentorship, provides broadening opportunities, emphasizes work and life balance, sponsors a fair and transparent promotion process, and addresses pay issues promptly.

 

Recruiting. For us to meet readiness objectives, recruiting must be successful. Indiana recruiting organizations must produce enough new recruits for Indiana to out recruit annual attrition and begin to regrow lost end-strength. Indiana will recruit in proportion to its force structure.

 

  • Acquire no less than 1,320 new Army recruits and 200 Air recruits annually. To recruit to our force structure, we must rank in the top five nationally each year - those are high standards, but our future hinges on the ability to regain Indiana's standing as a recruiting powerhouse.
  • Develop a trained and experienced team of AGR production recruiters (128- Army, 10-Air) that is large and efficient enough to meet or exceed recruiting goals.
  • Lead a national level agenda to achieve strategic recruiting policy outcomes and modernize the recruiting process.

 

Capital Improvement. Ready units must train in modern facilities. The Indiana National Guard will continue to modernize facilities across the state in accordance with our capital improvement plan.

  • Continue to execute 2024 capital modernization in Bloomington, Lafayette, Terre Haute, Columbus, and Hamilton Country and acquire resourcing for future projects in 2025 and beyond.
  • Take steps to modernize the 122d facilities that will allow Indiana to better compete for next generation fighter squadrons. Acquire NGB approval and Congressional funding to restart the Hulman Field range project.

 

Future Force of 2040. The nature of warfare is changing faster than at any point in history. If our force structure does not adapt to those changes, the Indiana National Guard could be obsolete or irrelevant.

 

  • The Army and Air components shall prioritize efforts to acquire modern force structure in place of capability that will be less important to national defense in 2040. Both components shall develop and present a balanced force structure plan for implementation in future years.
  • The Joint Staff will provide a detailed report to the Indiana General Assembly on how to best implement the Indiana Civilian Cyber Corps.

 

Relationships. The Indiana National Guard's relationships are the key to achieving our organizational potential. Our state partnership program relationships put the Indiana National Guard at the forefront of U.S. National Security Strategy. Within Indiana, we have unexplored opportunities to partner with education stakeholders on mutual objectives. Our relationships with the defense industry help grow the state in important economic ways.

  • Both Niger and Slovakia have gone through recent political change. We need a new plan that will match the change in those dynamics.
  • Pursue meaningful opportunities to expand relationships with schools (high school and college) that will improve the recruiting atmosphere within Indiana.
  • Promote maximum visibility and widespread attendance at upcoming exercises and industry demonstrations to encourage defense investment in Indiana. Continue to track opportunities to expand defense investment in Indiana.

 

Orderly Transition. A new Indiana Governor will be inaugurated in January 2025.

The Indiana National Guard will contribute to the orderly transition from one administration to the next by being prepared to express our requirements and adapt to the priorities of an incoming administration.

 

  • Prepare a running estimate of the fiscal year 25-26 biennial budget request informed by reasonable assumptions. Our priorities shall be sustaining armory modernization and pursuing growth in the following areas: inflation adjustments for utilities and capital projects, a recruiting initiatives line item, and a revolving account for routine state active duty.
  • Draft a legislative proposal that updates outdated or obsolete components of the Indiana code germane to the National Guard.

 

I expect regular updates from commanders and directorates on these priorities and for the Joint Staff to organize monthly touchpoints to monitor our progress toward the 2024 goals.

 

Live here, work here, serve here.

 

R. Dale Lyles

Major General, INNG

The Adjutant General

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