Military leaders attend Governor’s Commanders Brief
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Military leaders from across South Carolina and Fort Gordon, Georgia attended the 2022 Governor’s Commanders Brief this morning at the Pastides Alumni Center.
The leaders gave updates to Governor McMaster, South Carolina’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs Secretary Will Grimsley, and other officials, on the current state of affairs at their respective bases.
South Carolina’s eight major military installations are made up of over 68,000 Department of Defense personnel.
But even with the large number of military members across the state, recruitment remains an issue.
Commanding General over Fort Jackson, Brigadier General Jason Kelly, says the new “Future Soldier Prep Course” is helping.
“It’s our intent to ease the sting of the recruiting shortfall, and we’re readying those that desire to serve. Readying them for basic combat training. The men and women in the prep course have the will, they want to join our amazing team, they want to serve, and we’re giving them the opportunity to meet our standards,” says Brigadier General Kelly.
Major General Van McCarty with the Army National Guard says while recruitment numbers are down, retention for the National Guard is at an all time high.
“First of all there’s nothing more important or precious to us in any of our formations than our people. And as it’s already been noted by General Kelly the Services are experiencing some challenges now in the recruiting side of the house. Fortunately for the SC National Guard, we’re seeing almost historic times of retention of our soldiers and airmen. So that’s a positive thing right now as we face the challenges of recruiting new soldiers and new airmen,” says Major General McCarty.
According to the SC Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs, the veteran retiree population in South Carolina ranks the 8th highest in the nation with just under 400,000 military veterans.