An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Archives

NEWS | June 29, 2023

New Colorado National Guard directorate prioritizes serving its members

By Sgt. 1st Class Joseph K. VonNida, Colorado National Guard Public Affairs

Due to the unfortunate situation involving U.S. Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood, Texas, in April 2020, U.S. President Joe Biden ordered the Secretary of Defense to establish an Independent Review Commission to end sexual assault in the military.

In conjunction with the IRC, the National Defense Authorization Act 2022 then directed the National Guard to implement a dedicated full-time Prevention Workforce between fiscal years 2022 and 2024. 

As a result, the Colorado National Guard received funding to hire seven new positions to establish Colorado’s Prevention Workforce and two new positions to expand sexual assault prevention and response.

U.S. Air Force Col. Carrie Worrell was appointed director of the Colorado National Guard’s first Joint Resiliency Directorate (J9) officially established Dec. 1, 2022. Together, Worrell and her deputy stood up a Resiliency Program for the CONG in less than three months. 

“Over the last five years, I have been a two-time group commander in the Colorado Air National Guard for both the Medical Group and the Mission Support Group; with that, I brought a commander’s perspective and experience to this new directorate,” Worrell said. “Throughout this process, I have tried to look through a commander’s lens, focusing on what I would want as an Airman, a family member or a leader to make the job easier.”

The CONG J9 consolidated and brought together 52 personnel from Colorado Air and Army National Guard staff under one umbrella in one central location.

“We established a work group, a combination of the human resources office, chief of joint staff, the chaplain, the CONG senior enlisted leader, our CONG interagency coordinator, and myself,” Worrell said. “We asked what are all of the programs that involve people and pulled them under this umbrella.”

These programs include the ministry team, the director of phycological health for Air, service member and Family Programs, sexual assault response coordinators and victim advocates, legal assistance, prevention specialists, the chief diversity officer, the state equal employment manager, the army drug testing program, and the substance abuse, suicide prevention, and resilience support program.

The consolidation has allowed collaboration amongst support resources and provides service members and their families access to prevention, intervention, response, and readiness services 24/7. Rather than searching for each resource separately, going from one office to another, or calling several different phone numbers, members seeking assistance can find all resources under one stop and through one phone number.

“The entities were in disparate locations across the CONG,” Worrell said. “But now that they are together, the collaboration that is happening is getting us into more of a proactive mindset.”

The collaborative effort is known as the Guard Resiliency Integration Team. Through GRIT, the J9 provides CONG members and their families the tools to persevere and thrive in the face of adversity on and off the battle space.

“I have been through challenging times, we all have, it is probably the one thing we all have in common.  When we face those challenging times that happen it’s difficult to focus on the mission and the job at hand if we’re thinking about the tough stuff we’re going through,” Worrell said. “The goal is to let us [the J9] help alleviate the pain and those challenges, let us help our service members and their families so that they can get back to the mission. I want them to know we have their backs, and this is the rationale as to why we are doing what we’re doing.”

Although the IRC directed and funded the implementation of the prevention program and expanded the sexual assault prevention and response program, how it was implemented was up to each individual state.

“Colorado is one of only a few states that chose to set up a J9 directorate,” Worrell said. “We were told to establish a prevention workforce, and J9 was a directive from our adjutant general”.

The work group had reached out to three other states with similar programs—Idaho, Nevada, and Vermont—for guidance and lessons learned.

“What we found is that we had the resources. However, they were not being adequately marketed to our service members, and there wasn’t an easy way to access the services. We needed one number to get people to the resources they needed quickly,” Worrell said.  “As a result, we established the helpline number  (866-333-8844) for quick and easy access to all of our resources.”

Worrell said the response to J9 and GRIT is more than what she expected.

“Our Airmen and Soldiers and their leadership have embraced this,” she said. “They see the value. We are actively marketing, and they are also seeking us out.”

In addition to marketing the program to Guard members and their families, the J9 is also working with the state for several legislative initiatives and with the behavioral health agency on how they can better partner with them.

“I think that the J9 helps our Citizen Airmen and Soldiers become a more resilient force, not only within the Colorado National Guard but also in their communities,” Worrell said. “It’s been really special watching this program develop.” 

May 2024 (1)
April 2024 (5)
March 2024 (5)
February 2024 (1)
January 2024 (3)
December 2023 (5)
November 2023 (3)
October 2023 (6)
September 2023 (2)
August 2023 (3)
July 2023 (6)
June 2023 (4)
May 2023 (6)
April 2023 (2)
March 2023 (2)
February 2023 (2)
January 2023 (6)
December 2022 (5)
November 2022 (5)
October 2022 (2)
September 2022 (7)
August 2022 (5)
July 2022 (3)
June 2022 (7)
May 2022 (3)
April 2022 (4)
March 2022 (3)
February 2022 (4)
January 2022 (5)
December 2021 (7)
November 2021 (3)
October 2021 (2)
September 2021 (2)
August 2021 (6)
July 2021 (4)
June 2021 (1)
May 2021 (5)
April 2021 (5)
March 2021 (5)
February 2021 (2)
January 2021 (3)
December 2020 (3)
November 2020 (7)
October 2020 (6)
September 2020 (6)
August 2020 (8)
July 2020 (9)
June 2020 (7)
May 2020 (10)
April 2020 (9)
March 2020 (2)
February 2020 (4)
January 2020 (5)
December 2019 (6)
November 2019 (2)
October 2019 (8)
September 2019 (4)
August 2019 (7)
July 2019 (5)
June 2019 (2)
May 2019 (6)
April 2019 (9)
March 2019 (2)
February 2019 (2)
January 2019 (3)
December 2018 (4)
November 2018 (6)
October 2018 (2)
September 2018 (3)
August 2018 (9)
July 2018 (1)
June 2018 (1)
May 2018 (1)
April 2018 (5)
October 2017 (1)
May 2017 (1)
April 2017 (2)
March 2017 (2)
February 2017 (3)
January 2017 (1)
November 2016 (1)
October 2016 (2)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
May 2016 (2)
April 2016 (3)
March 2016 (1)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (1)
December 2015 (1)
November 2015 (3)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (2)
August 2015 (1)
July 2015 (1)
June 2015 (2)
May 2015 (3)
March 2015 (1)
February 2015 (1)
October 2014 (1)
September 2014 (1)
June 2014 (1)
April 2014 (1)
May 2013 (1)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (8)
February 2013 (9)
January 2013 (7)
November 2012 (1)
April 2012 (2)
January 2012 (1)
March 2010 (1)