Remember who we are and what we stand for

  • Published
  • By Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar
  • Adjutant General of Wisconsin
I want to address a topic that applies to the entire Wisconsin National Guard, but especially to commissioned and noncommissioned leaders.

This recent memo from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is a timely reminder of our responsibilities to those we serve. Since 1839, the Wisconsin National Guard has provided enduring value to our communities, state (territory until 1848), and nation.

We stand ready to respond in times of crisis -- be they natural disasters or overseas conflict -- and we have never been as ready, reliable or relevant to our nation's collective defense as we are today. We have earned the trust of our fellow citizens and we must ensure that we maintain the highest standards in the execution of our duties.

Our charge is not to merely meet standards, but to set and comply with the highest ethical standards, avoiding not only impropriety but the appearance of impropriety. This applies to all serving Guardsmen in the Wisconsin National Guard, from the most senior officers and enlisted leaders to the newest members of our ranks.

Our nation is facing substantial fiscal challenges, but our ethics are constant regardless of the conditions under which we serve.

We do the right thing -- always.

This is our culture and this is our legacy, and this is why the public trusts us. Please ensure that this message is shared to the maximum extent in your formations.

It is a privilege to serve with you.