Why do I serve in the South Carolina State Guard? A departing message from COL Alan Williams, Chief of Staff
December 1st will be filled with a lot of ceremony as MG Mullikin and I retire. It has been an honor to serve as his Chief of Staff. I hope to see many of you there but I realize I will not see everyone. So I wanted to take a moment before I retire to thank each and everyone of you and your families for what you have done and will do.
This elite volunteer military organization is unique. We could not be successful without your dedication and willingness to sacrifice your time and energy to serve the citizens of South Carolina. Leadership does not happen in a vacuum, it requires dedicated followers. Our efforts would not be possible without the hard work of the Privates, Corporals, Sergeants, Warrant Officers and junior officers in the South Carolina State Guard. You make our plans happen. You have served the citizens of this State through 4 straight years of emergencies and have done it in a professional manner.
We are very thankful for your families. They are part of us. Without their willingness to let you volunteer your time we would not be where we are at. Please take a moment to recognize and thank them. They also serve every time you don your uniform and walk out the door.
In my 28 years, 5 months of service I have often been asked why do I serve in the South Carolina State Guard for free? Many people cannot understand why we do what we do. During Hurricane Matthew a picture was taken at a POD site that I have used as my answer ever since. This photo shows what are paydays look like; Helping our fellow Citizens in need!
I will miss all of you but know that you will always be in my thoughts. Take care and keep providing our citizens with your elite professional services.
COL Alan E. Williams
South Carolina State Guard
Chief of Staff