COARNG Leadership Team's Command Messages

Image of BG Clellan Image of COL Davis Image of CW4 Zanoff Image of CSM Macias Image of CSM Thill
​AAG-Army, BG Clellan ​LCC, COL Davis
​CCWO, CW4 Zanoff
​State CSM, CSM Macias LCC CSM, CSM Thill 


Happy New Year – we hope you enjoyed a wonderful and joyous holiday season. As we kick off the New Year, many of us start off with New Year’s Resolutions; with the renewed sense of freshness and energy that the New Year brings, remember that our first priority is readiness.

Ready to Fight Tonight 

The Colorado National Guard turns 159 years old on January 23rd; long have we stood ready to defend our homeland.  Our nation’s threats haven’t gone away and natural disasters can ruin lives.  As Citizen-Soldiers we all must remain emotionally, financially, spiritually, professionally, and personally ready. As a team, the Colorado Army National Guard, we must be ready to respond and fight tonight on any battlefield to protect lives and property of our fellow Coloradans. While we focus on ensuring you have the right tools and training to be ready to fight and win our Nation’s wars as well as support the citizens of the United States in times of crisis – we want to remind you that readiness is a holistic effort and we need your focus on serving with PACT*.


We will say farewell to several members of the 5/19th SFG(A) on January 19th at Wings Over the Rockies as they prepare to deploy to the Middle East in support of global operations. We know this outstanding team of Soldiers is ready and we wish them safety and Godspeed in their mission.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day 

January 21st is Martin Luther King Jr Day and it is important to remember the greatness of the man and the changes he made happen through non-violent protests.  He led the way for us to fight injustice and had us believe we all deserve to live with freedom and respect.  The day is a reminder of how far we’ve come and that the journey is not over.


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.




*Do you remember what PACT stands for?


As we enter the month of December we have the opportunity to pause with family and friends to reflect upon the events of 2018 and to look forward to the challenges and opportunities of 2019. For many of us this time also holds special spiritual significance and we encourage each of you to celebrate this season with sincerity according to your particular faith tradition. The family traditions you create this time of year have the ability to strengthen your family and leave a lasting legacy for strong spiritual fitness within your family.  There are a variety of worship services, service projects, and opportunities to give to those less fortunate in your community. We encourage you to get involved and make a lasting difference where you live. Remember our chaplain teams are available and has a 243 year tradition of "bringing Soldiers to God and God to Soldiers."
We are focusing this month on “Trust” from our PACT, the Army is emphasizing it this month as well.  It is every Soldier’s and Army Civilian’s responsibility to strengthen the ‘Culture of Trust’ and to live the Army Values.  Stephen M.R. Covey (a noted business guru) has called trust “the one thing that changes everything.”* Relationships of all kinds are built on and sustained by trust. They can also be broken and destroyed by lack of trust. For us “Trust” means that we can be relied upon to accomplish missions with transparency and ethical behavior.  “Trust” is not some illusive feeling, it can be a verb that can that get things done.  Trust is the foundation not only of our culture, but also mission command; but trust starts with the individual Soldier. We all must be trustworthy in order to have a culture of high trust. This culture is the bedrock of the Army profession and requires commitment by each and every one of us to uphold the Army Values, the Army Ethic, and our own PACT (Professional, Accountable, serving with Character, and Trust).  As you think about trust, inventory the amount of trust you have in each of your relationships, personal and professional, and deliberately work to grow that trust. 

The National Guard has answered the nation’s call since 1636 and celebrates its 382nd birthday on December 13th. As the oldest military department in the Department of Defense, the Army National Guard is over 300,000 strong and is a combat-tested, operational force that is ready to deploy when the nation calls. The Soldiers of the Colorado Army National Guard serve as the Premier Citizen-Soldier Force for Colorado and the Nation as Rocky Mountain professionals who are adaptive and ready to win in a multi-domain battle environment. We are proud to serve with you – the best National Guard in history. Happy 382nd birthday to the National Guard, and thank you and your families for all you do!

Celebrations are time of merriment and joy, everyone should take time to ensure the celebrations are safe and fun.  Happy Holidays to you and your Family!  

– Holding the High Ground!
* Reference “The Speed of Trust” written by Stephen M.R. Covey




First, November is almost over so the command team apologies for getting this out late. However, as we enter into the Thanksgiving Holiday, we want to remind all of you to remember those things for which we are grateful.  There are many military members who cannot be with their loved ones, please remember them this Thanksgiving. On November 11th we celebrated Veteran’s day at Fort Logan National Cemetery and said farewell to BG Michael Willis as he retired after 29 years of dedicated service. We are grateful for his service and the service of all veterans that have sacrificed for our country’s freedom.

We want to welcome CSM Edward Macias to the State Command Sergeant Major position and to CSM Joseph Thill to the Land Component Commander Command Sergeant Major position.  We are confident of their leadership and look forward to great things in the future.  CSM Macias personally wanted to say “Everyone be safe shopping out there this season and online as well.”

The COARNG placed third in an NGB Environmental Competition for its sustainability programs. The COARNG will represent the National Guard in competing for the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards.  Over the past several years, the Construction, Facilities Management Office (CFMO) and Environmental office worked through 102 buildings to install LED lighting, increase daylighting, implement centrally automated building management systems, and install efficient HVAC systems.  Looking to the future, we will rely upon a robust sustainability program that maintains and enhances the 37 state armories, training sites, and support facilities of our COARNG.  

Also this month, Family Programs recognized their Top Performers of supporting Family Readiness for the year.  Congratulations to; CPT Keven Weger of the 100th MDB for Outstanding Commander,  1SG Erik Miller of the D Co, 3/140th AVN for Outstanding 1SG,  SFC Brian Stephen of the 947th Engineers for Outstanding MPOC,  Jenn Sager of the D CO 572nd  and Stephanie McGee of the 5/19th Special Forces FSC Outstanding Unit Volunteer. Thanks to all of you for enhancing our family readiness!

Did you know that the Colorado National Guard has Mobile Apps? Search for Colorado National Guard on your IOS or Android device store and you’ll find two different apps are available. 

- The first is for recruiting and retention.  It has information on how to join, career opportunities, benefits, tuition assistance, the RSP program and lots more. Existing Soldiers can use the “Refer a Friend” feature to send us the contact info for your buddy that is thinking of joining. To make it more interesting, the Soldier with the most amount of referrals that enlist will receive a valuable COARNG branded item, compliments of Recruiting and Retention Battalion.

- The second is a general use app as a very useful tool for all of us.  In the CONG app you will find: Unit Drill Dates, Soldier Guidebook, Essential Numbers, Retention Contacts, News, Videos, Chaplain Information, Family Programs Information, References, Essential Links, a COARNG Directory, Fitness Information, Key Events and much more.  It still has untapped potential for group communication at the battalion, company and squad level.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your loved ones!


Readiness remains our number one priority. In order to be ready to fight and win the nation’s wars – as well as serve our citizens in Colorado – we need every Soldier to be mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared. This month we’d like to draw your attention to the physical preparation needed as a Soldier.

The APFT as we know it has been the Army’s physical fitness is on the way out the door and the Army is testing this year the ACFT (Army Combat Fitness Test). Though the scoring standards are not yet determined, we do know that the six-event test will be age and gender neutral. The six events of the ACFT are: strength deadlift, power throw, hand-release pushups, sprint-drag-carry, leg tuck, and a two-mile run.  The work-rest periods are very short, and according to U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Milley, you are smoked by the time you get to the two-mile run. What that means for you is this: don’t wait until next October to start training for this test – start training now. Get yourself mentally and physically ready for the ACFT that will begin to be implemented Army-wide in October 2019.

This year is the 15-year anniversary of the 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defense). On October 16, 2003, the brigade activated as the Colorado National Guard Missile Defense Brigade. Later named the 100th as a nod to Colorado being the Centennial State, the brigade has been  conducting continuous operations since 2003. Congratulations to the 100th MDB, we are proud of all you’ve done in fifteen years and are excited for the future of missile defense!

This month is National Hispanic Heritage Month. During this celebration, the Army commemorates and celebrates the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the nation, society, and culture through recognition of individual contributions, but also the value of diversity and an inclusive environment. The 100th Missile Defense Brigade (GMD) is hosting a potluck style observance at their brigade headquarters in Colorado Springs on October 12 at 1130 – All are invited to participate in this delicious and enjoyable event!

Diversity and inclusion are cornerstones in the Colorado Army National Guard. On October 20-21, the 168th RTI and all Colorado Army National Guard units will hosted the first ever Diversity Day to honor and recognize the incredible contributions of our Soldiers and units. Join the Joint Diversity & Inclusion Council at their table for giveaways and to get information! There will also be several food trucks at RTI during lunch to highlight a variety of cuisines (food available for purchase). Keep an eye for your unit-sponsored events during October drill as well!

We are proud to inform you that SPC Brett Weiner (COARNG) graduated the new Expeditionary Combat Medic (ECM) Course today.  He is the first ARNG Soldier to attend this course which provides enhanced prolonged field medical care training to meet the needs of future operating environments on the battlefield. SPC Weiner displayed outstanding performance and completed the course with an 89% GPA. 

This month ends with the magic of Halloween: trick-or-treating, classroom parties, and trips to a neighborhood haunted house. If you are looking for a fun and safe trick-or-treating event, look no further than the 1st Annual Halloween Trunk-n-Treat hosted by Colorado National Guard Family Program Office! The Trunk-n-Treat will be on Friday October 26, 2018 from 6-8pm at the North Colorado Springs Readiness Center.

Have a great October, be safe, stay ready – Happy Halloween!

AUG/SEP 2018

August was a busy month for us all; many units used August as a “Recovery" month. It is an important month and I want to stress the importance of cleaning and conducting PMCS on all equipment, of not only vehicles but also tents, tools, and other field gear. You really do not want to find faults in the middle of January. Commanders and Leaders were required to update their hand receipts and inventory all their property.  As they finalize their changes and ensure signatures are updated everyone should remember that it takes five times more energy to go back and fix something compared to doing it right the first time. Remember that the “A" in PACT stands for Accountability (double meaning intended).

Secretary Mattis recently reminded us of the importance of discipline, in September we want to emphasize disciplined planning. September is when many Soldiers are still developing the battle rhythm for going back to school whether it for themselves or for their kids. What those Soldiers need from leaders this month is a stable and set training schedule for the year.  Leaders, as you re-examine and prepare for the YTB in October we expect to see solid plans that build readiness and commitments to execute those plans. Those plans not only support the Soldier but also make it possible to get proper funding. The G3 and G4 have done an outstanding job in the past of getting resources for training. When training schedules change within 90 days of execution the turmoil in the staff and at the individual level can have lasting effects on retention and future funding. Leaders need to discipline and focus their actions to supporting the plan and making great training.

Tell everyone you know that we train Citizen-Soldiers to be future leaders of Colorado and to defend America. Then follow through with that statement. Complete your military schooling requirements and set new goals for civilian education. Be the leader you want others to be. Many of you will be returning to school soon. The state has been generous with tuition assistance and everyone should take advantage of that generosity.

Congratulations to the Maintenance Platoon of 117th Space Battalion on their EXEVAL in Fort Greely, AK. NICE JOB!  Units of the 5-19th SF and 2-135th AV proved to be true Colorado Professionals in participating in Arctic Light and Northern Strike. Finally, we should also congratulate D/572nd Engineer Battalion in their successful deployment to the Orchard Combat Training Center in Idaho.  

We will be bidding farewell to TSOD and ARSST 20 this month as they deploy to support the war fight.  God Speed!

As a final note, everyone should review his or her Safety and Risk Management process.  Ensure that it simultaneous with operations planning throughout both our professional and personal lives. 

Holding the High Ground!

- The COARNG Senior Leadership Team


JUN 2018

This June 14, we celebrate the Army's 243rd birthday. Formed by Congress as a Continental Army to serve the united colonies, it was comprised of local militia – what would later be known as the National Guard. Take a moment to remember the proud heritage to which you belong and remember the higher purpose that brought us all into service for our fellow citizens.

In May the COARNG hosted the NGB Command Logistics Review Team (CLRT). The CLRT visits a sampling of units from across the state to provide measurable feedback about a command's logistics readiness. This year, the organization achieved an overall score of 91% with several functional areas achieving noteworthy scores and laudatory comments from the inspectors. The overall score was the highest, by a large margin, of the last four inspections spanning the last decade. This outstanding performance is indicative of the positive strides the COARNG has made toward increasing overall logistics readiness and preparing their units to "fight tonight." Congratulations to the entire COARNG and especially to our leaders and logistics professionals who worked so hard to get our units ready.

Our missions are not limited to overseas conflict. We have to be ready to serve both state and nation, something the 174th Cyber Protection Team and the Defensive Cyber Operations Element know very well. Both have recently participated in training and real world missions right here in our country. Check out what our cyber warriors have been up to:

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. In June of 1969, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City staged an uprising to resist the police harassment and persecution to which LGBT Americans were commonly subjected. This uprising marks the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBT Americans. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month commemorates these events and works to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for LGBT Americans.  Please join us in recognizing the valuable contributions of our LGBT Soldiers, and their families, to our Nation's defense.

Did you know the Colorado National Guard has a very successful marksmanship team? In the last two months, Team Colorado has competed in the All Army Small Arms Championship and the National Guard Woodrow P. Wilson Small Arms Championship. In both competitions, the team placed very well, including several top 3 finishes in the All Army match. SPC Jeremy McCombs (1157th Engineer Detachment) nearly won the entire match! In the process, he earned the “Double Distinguished" designation in rifle and pistol, a status fewer than 1000 Soldiers have achieved since program inception in 1894. Both SPC McCombs andSFC Chris Catlin (Centennial Training Site) were invited to participate on the All Guard International Combat Shooting Team that will represent the United States Army National Guard in international competition in Bisley, England and Ontario, Canada. If you want a taste of that, register for The Adjutant General's Marksmanship Match, 16-19 Aug 2018.

Finally, 7 July 2018 is the 100th Anniversary Warrant Officer Ball. It will be a salute to 100 years of heritage, history, and traditions of the U.S. Army Warrant Officer. This is not limited to warrant officers. All Soldiers, non-commissioned officers, and officers are also encouraged to attend. At only $48, it is a bargain! We hope you'll be able to join us!

Holding the High Ground!

MAY 2018

Readiness is more than having the right equipment and training to complete the mission. Each individual must be ready, and personnel records must reflect it. The biggest drag on our readiness is medical readiness. Did you know that over 12 percent of the COARNG is unavailable to “fight tonight" due to personnel coded MRC 3 or 4. Collectively, an entire battalion of Soldiers is unable to deploy or train. Units simply cannot allow a Soldier's readiness to lapse because their unit's PHA is not scheduled for months. Commanders, CSMs and 1SGs must take action to fix this at the individual level NOW!

Readiness is only one of our strategic priorities. Another is leader development. To this end, we recently brought together command teams at all levels for our annual leadership summit. We read every single AAR, and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. There are still improvements we can make for next year, so if you have an idea please pass it up through your chain of command.

As we move into annual training season, units will be spending a lot of time together. Take this opportunity to get to know one another on a personal level. Perhaps that Soldier who lacks energy or is  irritable is observing Ramadan (15 May to 14 June). Learn why it is important to him or her. Soldiers that feel understood perform better. Empathy is a combat multiplier.

Speaking of Soldier performance, our people continue to impress. Last week, SGT Robert Sheetz (A Company, 1-157th Infantry Battalion) and SPC Lauren Pauzas (100th Missile Defense Brigade) represented the COARNG at the Region 7 Best Warrior Competition in New Mexico. SGT Sheetz won in the NCO category and will go on to compete in the ARNG National Best Warrior Competition, taking place at Fort Indiantown Gap, PA in July! SPC Pauzas was not the first place competitor, but she represented the COARNG with distinction. She is slated to compete in the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) Best Warrior Competition, which will take place on Fort Carson from 4-7 June. SPC Amber Trujillo (169th Field Artillery Brigade) was recently recognized as the Army National Guard award winner at the 42nd Annual Armed Forces Recognition Luncheon held by the Aurora Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations to all our competitors!

Holding the High Ground!


Readiness remains our number one priority. In order to be ready to fight and win the nation’s wars – as well as serve our citizens in Colorado – we need every Soldier to be mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared. This month we’d like to draw your attention to the physical preparation needed as a Soldier.


Readiness remains our number one priority. In order to be ready to fight and win the nation’s wars – as well as serve our citizens in Colorado – we need every Soldier to be mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared. This month we’d like to draw your attention to the physical preparation needed as a Soldier.