Green Mountain Guard April 2024

From The Desk Of:


March was Women’s History Month, and we certainly have many Soldiers and Airmen deserving of recognition. Of note, Vermont was the first state to elect a female Adjutant General, and more recently we promoted our first woman in the Vermont Army National Guard to Brigadier General: Brig. Gen. Tracey Poirier. There are also dozens of female Soldiers and Airmen blazing new trails within our organization – all of whom earned their way through their courage, competence and commitment to our Guard. Thanks for what you do.

We again led the way on another successful Guerrier Nordique training exercise in the High Arctic. This is an amazing opportunity for our Soldiers to participate in a joint, multinational exercise, and have the experience of a lifetime. You can see more about it in this newsletter, but I wanted to express my gratitude for the efforts of those that participated, and of those that took part in the planning for this training. A job well done by all.

If you haven’t heard, I’d like to bring your attention to a benefit for our Soldiers that is relatively new: dental care covered by our own medical detachment. The coverage includes up to $2,500 in services at any dentist office for an exam or treatment. To get started, please call the Med Det. front desk at 802-338-3404. This service is open to all members of the Vermont Army National Guard: M-Day, Tech or AGR.

Lastly, I’d like to bring your attention to a scholarship opportunity through the National Guard Educational Foundation and USAA. The USAA Guardian Scholarship Fund provides up to $25,000 per student over a four-year college education ($6,250/year). This is a significant opportunity. You can view more information and the application by visiting this link at the bottom of this message.

As I’m writing this I’m looking out over nearly a foot of snow outside my house. Spring in Vermont! Stay safe, take care of yourself and each other, and remember: don’t ever stare at the sun, but especially not on Monday during the eclipse! Unless of course you have special glasses.


Maj. Gen. Gregory Knight

Guerrier Nordique 2024

Cold as Ice

American and Canadian forces once again came together to conduct an iteration of the Arctic exercise, Guerrier Nordique 2024. This year marks the twelfth iteration of this exercise.


Members of U.S. and Canadian Forces practice Arctic night skiing in Resolute, Nunavut, Canada.


The service members camped in Arctic conditions as part of the exercise, a joint force effort that focuses on combat capability and lethality in frigid temperatures.


Sgt. Shane Yuknis displays the frigid temperature in Resolute, Nunavut, Canada.


U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shane Yuknis, cavalry scout for B Troop, 172nd Cavalry Squadron (MTN), shows off his thermostat reading -30 degrees in Resolute, Nunavut, Canada.

More From Guerrier Nordique 2024

Photos from Guerrier Nordique 2024.

Pioneering a Path in the Vermont National Guard

As Women's History Month draws to a close, the Vermont National Guard takes a moment to spotlight Sgt. Ashley Weatherwalks. Originating from Florida, Massachusetts, Weatherwalks is the first female Soldier in Blackjack Troop out of Bennington, Vermont, and the first female U.S. Soldier to accomplish an iteration of the Arctic exercise Guerrier Nordique.


First U.S. Female to complete Guerrier Nordique, Sgt. Weatherwalks, in Resolute, Nunavut, Canada.


Guerrier Nordique, a demanding exercise designed to test the limits of soldiers in arctic conditions, offered Weatherwalks an unparalleled opportunity to demonstrate her resilience, adaptability, and competence in one of the most unforgiving environments on Earth. Reflecting on her experience, she said, "The Arctic was beautiful and unforgiving. It is extremely dangerous if you don't understand it. I can't wait to go back!"


New American Series: Nastassia Lapham

U.S. Army Small Arms Championships

Fort Moore, Georgia

Soldiers and Airmen from across the National Guard, along with ROTC Cadets, participate in the week-long event. This precision event tests everything from marksmanship to action shooting. Competitors must possess a strong foundation in small arms weapons and perform well during the competition to succeed.

Vermont sent down four competitors who put forth a fantastic effort during their events. Pictured on the right:

(From left) U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Galen Topper, 158th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, UVM ROTC Cadet Aidan Chretien, HHC 86th IBCT (MTN), U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nicolas Poirier, 158th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, and U.S. Army Sgt. Ronnie Hurt, B Troop, 1-172nd Cavalry (MTN).


U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Galen Topper, 158th Aircraft Maintanenance Squadron, placed 3rd overall in individual rifle championship, 2nd overall in open catagory for pistol individual championship, and 3rd overall in the open category for combined arms individual championship.


Tech. Sgt. Nicolas Poirier was the overall winner of pistol match 221, third overall in rifle individual championship, and fifth overall in combined arms individual championship.


University of Vermont, ROTC Cadet Aidan Chretien, HHC 86th IBCT (MTN), winner of the high aggregate in all four EIC matches holds the LTG Benjamin Freakley Trophy. He also placed 1st overall in the cadet category for pistol match 3, and 2nd overall in the cadet category for combined arms individual championship.


As a team the Vermonters finished fifth overall in pistol match 4T, tenth out of fifty teams in the overall pistol team championship, and sixteenth out of fifty in the overall combined arms team match.

Sister City Partnership

Burlington City Council Votes Unanimously

In a landmark decision on Monday, March 25, 2024, the Burlington City Council voted unanimously to forge a sister city relationship with Thies-East, Senegal. This partnership marks a significant step in bolstering the cultural, academic, environmental, and commercial ties between Vermont and Senegal.


Mayor of Burlington, Miro Weinberger listens to Maj. Gene Enriquez give his testimony on the benefits of this collabarotion between Burlington, Vermont and Theis-East, Senegal.


The collaboration is set to open up a myriad of exchange opportunities, enriching both communities through shared experiences and knowledge. The agreement leverages their unique strengths for mutual benefit, aiming to deepen the bonds between the two regions.


Vermont National Guard Biathletes compete in the World Cup at Soldier Hollow

It has been five years since the United States played host to the International Biathlon Union World Cup and three of the Americans competing in Soldier Hollow are Vermont National Guard Soldiers.


Members of the National Guard Biathlon Program stand with fellow guardsmen who helped support the International Biathlon Union World Cup races at Soldier Hollow in Utah from March 8-10.


Sgt. Deedra Irwin, Spc. Sean Doherty and Pfc. Maxime Germaine participated in six races over three days against biathletes from across the globe here in the U.S., an infrequent opportunity for a U.S. biathlete.


U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Gregory Knight, Adjutant General of Vermont, participates in the flower ceremony for the Women's 7.5 km Sprint during the International Biathlon Union World Cup races at Soldier Hollow in Utah.


Maj. Gen. Gregory Knight attended the races to celebrate his soldiers from the Vermont National Guard who participate with the U.S. National Team.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our biathletes. What they do out there is incredible; the training and determination to compete on this stage is astounding and they truly earned this chance to represent their country with a home crowd,” said Knight.


U.S Army Spc. Sean Doherty, carpentry and masonry specialist, Det. 1, Garrison Support Command, Vermont National Guard competes in the Men's 12.5 km Pursuit during the International Biathlon Union World Cup races at Soldier Hollow in Utah on March 10.

Listen In!

The Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard, Maj. Gen. Gregory Knight and the Deputy Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Henry Harder Jr. Sat down with WDEV's Brad Ferland to speak at length about the Vermont National Guard and provide informative insights to the general public. In case you missed it, find the links below and listen in.

The Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Gregory Knight, sits down with WDEV's Brad Ferland and talks about the Vermont National Guard. Follow the link below to listen in!


Deputy Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Henry Harder Jr. sits down with WDEV's Brad Ferland and talks about the Vermont National Guard. Follow the link below to listen in!