Albany -- The Headquarter/Headquarters Company of the Second Battalion of the 121st Infantry has been station at the National Guard Armory in Albany as long as many can remember. With the reorganization and transformation in the National Guard, the company is moving north to Griffin. A new forward support company is moving in with a female commander and female national guard soldiers.
A lot has changed in the last year for Albany's National Guard since they returned from Iraq. Changes that are being felt as the H/HC moves to Griffin.
"Right now it's a little chaotic for the soldiers, the M-day soldiers themselves, but as far as the full-time staff we already know where we're supposed to be going," said National Guard Spc. James Ryder.
A forward support company will move into the Albany armory with a female company commander. "With the Forward support company the parameters of male-only company applicants are opened up, so that we can have females, and we have a lot of females that are joining," said National Guard Maj. Brian Lassetter.
"Actually the popularity of a forward support unit tends to be more females, to males, than any other type of company you get because it has the jobs that they're more acclimated to as far as supply and things of that nature," said Ryder.
The change from a mechanized to light infantry unit, has also changed the training for many soldiers. "I like walking, I like running, I like getting out on my feet, just being about to maneuver a little bit more. For a lot of the guys, they're maybe use to riding around in vehicles stuff like that so we're slowly moving into the whole let's put a ruck sack on your back, let's go walk two miles, three miles," said Ryder.
"This year we're conducting a U.K. exchange where one company from the United Kingdom will come and train with us at our annual training at Ft. Stewart, and we will send one company to the United Kingdom to train with their forces," said Lassetter.
One thing that hasn't changed is the unit's focus. It remains homeland defense and should the President call the unit to be re-deployed, they'll be ready to go. The Family Support Unit will have an open house for all National Guard soldiers and their families Saturday. That open house and picnic begins at 9:00AM.
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