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By Capt. Bryant Wine
The Georgia National Guard extended well-wishes to the country of Georgia May 26, 2021, on the 103rd anniversary of their Independence Day. The Georgia National Guard and country of Georgia share a partnership under the National Guard State Partnership Program.
“I would like to congratulate you, your Soldiers and all citizens of Georgia in celebrating your Independence Day,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Thomas Carden, The Adjutant General of Georgia. “Please accept the best hopes and wishes for continued success from the Georgia National Guard and the state of Georgia.”
The country of Georgia recognizes May 26 as Georgian Independence Day. Georgian Independence Day commemorates Georgia’s Act of Independence signed on May 26, 1918.
This year is the 103rd anniversary of Georgian Independence Day, though the history of Georgian people and culture dates back thousands of years.
Carden sent a letter to Georgian Maj. Gen. Giorgi Matiashvili, Chief of the Georgian Defence Forces, to recognize Georgian Independence Day. Carden also gave a video message on behalf of the Georgia National Guard to Georgian audiences broadcast on social media platforms.
The National Guard State Partnership Program began in 1993. Both Georgias signed their partnership agreement on October 3, 1994, becoming the 17th agreement in the program’s history. This year will be the 27th anniversary of the partnership between the Georgia National Guard and country of Georgia.
Under the State Partnership Program, the Georgia National Guard and country of Georgia engage in training seminars, leader engagements and personnel exchanges to learn from another.
The Georgia National Guard participates every year in training exercises hosted by the country of Georgia and led by U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The names of the most recent cycles of exercises are Agile Spirit and Noble Partner.
The training exercises and State Partnership Program engagements builds readiness in the Georgia National Guard. These opportunities allow the Georgia National Guard to integrate with active duty and multinational forces. This sharpens the Georgia National Guard’s mission to remain deployable for assignments around the globe, all the while responding to domestic crises when they arise.
The State Partnership Program has allowed service members from both countries to build meaningful relationships. Leaders have grown together in their comradery just as they have grown through the ranks of their organizations.
“As we approach the 27th anniversary of our successful Georgia to Georgia state partnership, this year’s Independence Day is very special to us and I know it is very special to all of you [country of Georgia],” said Carden. “Just know as you celebrate your independence and your success, your colleagues here in Georgia are celebrating with you.”