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South Dakota:
Under God, the People Rule

Equipping Our National Guard

South Dakota has a strong legacy of military service. With over 72,000 veterans and nearly 4,200 enrolled members of the National Guard, our state understands the importance of answering the call to serve. Time and time again, our South Dakota National Guard is recognized nationally as an example to the nation for readiness, efficiency, and excellence.

The SDNG's Adjutant General, Major General Jeff Marlette, leads nearly 4,200 Army and Air National Guard members and approximately 1,000 full-time federal and state employees, making sure our National Guard is trained and ready to respond to all state and federal missions at all times.

Year after year, hundreds of Soldiers and Airmen are mobilized to support federal commitment worldwide. Since 9/11, the SDNG has deployed more than 9,500 Soldiers and Airmen in support of various operations throughout the globe. The recent pandemic, civil unrest and natural disasters have once again seen the South Dakota National Guard provide outstanding support to the citizens of South Dakota. Time and time again, they have shown they are always prepared, always professional, always there.

Working with General Marlette, I look forward to further strengthening the SDNG. We've already made great progress.

Since taking office, I worked with the legislature to put $5 million of state funds behind the construction of an Army Aviation Readiness Center in Rapid City. We're also looking to start construction of the Sioux Falls Readiness Center in the next few years. These new readiness centers will give the National Guard the tools they need to train, prepare, and best protect our state. Projects like these are only enhancements of an already great system of excellence that has been recognized in our region, in our country, and around the world.

Every summer in mid-June, our South Dakota National Guard hosts the Golden Coyote training exercise. This two-week-long training is one of the largest National Guard exercises in the country and is renowned globally as a top opportunity to provide units with relevant training in support of overseas operations and homeland defense. Each year, thousands of service members in National Guard and Reserve units from across the country, as well as from several foreign nations, participate in virtual and live training, combat operations, and leadership development. I'm proud of this program and the ways it's equipping our defense and bolstering our readiness.

Because of the men and women who serve, our United States continues to be a shining beacon of freedom to the world. As Commander in Chief for our South Dakota National Guard, I'm committed to enhancing the readiness and success of our Soldiers and Airmen. They are the best asset our state has in protecting our liberties. I will continue to support them.