G9, all about supporting our Guardsmen and families

By Stacy Floden, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Sgt. Michael Wells with the 178th Engineer Firefighting Team greets his family during a welcome home ceremony at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Ky., Aug. 16, 2018. The 178th had just returned from a nine-month deployment to the Middle East. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Sarah Gossett)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Late last year, the Kentucky National Guard decided to split the G1 into two supporting directorates. Kentucky will continue with the traditional G1, but has now established G9, a Military and Families Support Directorate, effective October 1, 2018.

The newly created G9 will provide guidance and implement long-lasting solutions to the needs of our Guard members and families. Some of its many programs include the chaplain, family assistance centers, youth programs, family readiness council, yellow ribbon events, transition assistance advisors, personal and family counseling, financial counseling, military funeral honors, and the Army Survivor Outreach services.

“We are a diverse group of professionals with distinctive skill sets that form the center of gravity to enhance our Guard families’ circle of life,” said Col. Scott Thomas, G9 Military and Family Support director. “We are dedicated to providing guidance and direct actions that will produce healthy life choices and promote resiliency within our Guard family.”

The G1 will consists of the Personnel Service Branch which includes OPM, EPM and awards. It will also include health services, behavioral health and industrial hygiene, the System Interface Branch, education and incentives, mobilization/operations and the recruiting and retention battalion.

G9 Military and Family Support Deputy Director Major Daniel Cooper stated the intent for the G9 is the continuation of providing proper support to our Soldiers, Airmen, and their families. “It makes sense to me. Consolidating all of these programs in the G9 makes perfect sense. G9 is military and family support. It is support for our Soldiers and families, it involves a lot of liaison with community resources and organizations.”

The G9 mission offers resources and programs to increase Soldier and family resilience, personal readiness, Soldier life cycle management, community involvement and provides Kentucky leadership with greater situational awareness.

“The special thing about now having a G9 is that it gives us an opportunity to focus our time, our energy and staff on what is super important, our Soldiers and their families,” said Cooper. “It allows the Kentucky National Guard to focus on a much more detailed approach for these programs that support our families.”

Several states have created a G9 across the country. Thomas visited Tennessee to see how they ran their G9 and if it would be a good fit for Kentucky.

“Tennessee established its G9 Directorate 10 years ago, so they are a wealth of knowledge and experience on what works and does work in this arena,” stated Thomas. “They are a close resource which I plan to use to help transition our new Directorate successfully.”

Each individual needs to be resilient and the Guard wants their families to be resilient as well. Soldiers deal with a lot of stuff as human beings in society so G9 is here for the Soldier and their family.

What does that Solider really need to be resilient? Sometimes its help, sometimes it is knowing who to talk to and sometimes it is just knowing that someone is out there being an advocate. To reach G9 Military and Family Support, please contact 1-800-372-7601.

G9 is here to focus on military and family support. If you need help, get a hold of us. We want to be here to help you with what you need.