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Honorary Commander Program


The intent of the Vermont National Guard's Honorary Commanders Program, in accordance with Air Force Manual 35-101, "Public Affairs Procedures," is to pair up VTNG senior leaders with community leaders who have limited or no knowledge about the Vermont National Guard, its mission, and its units at locations around the state.

Civilian participants will be selected from among non-federal elected or appointed officials, mayors, chamber of commerce-type group members, principals of local schools, Military Affairs Committee members, business leaders and others who, because of their position or influence in the community, can positively impact public support for the Vermont National Guard. Selected honorary commanders should represent a cross-section of the entire community.


Honorary Commanders should:

  • Be a United States citizen of outstanding character, integrity and patriotism
  • Have a deep interest in military affairs
  • Be a leader in local, regional, or national community affairs
  • Be in a position to provide individual perspectives to Vermont National Guard senior leaders on VTNG initiatives, issues and other matters of interest
  • Be in a position to share information about the Vermont National Guard to broad cross-section of the public and to other prominent citizens in their area
  • Be able to interpret and affect public attitude toward the Vermont National Guard
  • Be able and willing to devote a reasonable amount of time as a civic leader for the Vermont National Guard

Honorary Commanders will not:

  • Be an employee of the Federal Government
  • Be a federally elected or appointed official. Locally elected or appointed officials will be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • Be an active member of the National Guard or a member of the Ready Reserve (Selected), Individual Ready Reserve or Standby Reserve
  • Be a retired military member of any service. Exceptions will be rare and approved when there is significant justification for inclusion
  • Be a paid employee of any political party
  • Hold financial interests that conflict with their role as a civic leader

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If selected, an honorary commander should be included in unit functions as much as possible, providing a hands-on experience in the program. They should be invited to be a part of their assigned unit and attend not only business functions such as unit ceremonies and meetings, but family functions as well, e.g., parties, unit picnics, and other such unit events.

The honorary commander will be invited (by the Public Affairs Office) to base-wide events such as awards ceremonies and changes of command. Honorary commanders may choose which they attend but should make every effort to be involved and attend at least one event per quarter. Attending additional events will help them gain knowledge and build a strong partnership with their military commander, unit personnel and the VTNG as a whole.

Honorary commanders should drop from the program if they feel they cannot actively engage with their unit commander. We understand mission comes first, so dropping from the program does not create a poor reflection of you or your organization.

All questions, concerns or issues about the overall program should be directed to the Vermont National Guard Public Affairs Office. Commitment and feedback is essential to the success of this program.

What to Expect

The program allows for frequent opportunities to visit the Vermont National Guard and learn about our mission, to participate in base functions and to express your views on issues of mutual concern.

This is an excellent way to gain a better understanding of the VTNG mission and build a partnership that can help our communities plan for and move into the future. If you’re interested and have time to commit to learning and becoming our voice in your community, this is the perfect place to start. 

Term Length
The VTNG Honorary Commander Program is a voluntary program with a maximum two-year term limit. It is designed to build and maintain solid, mutually beneficial partnerships between local communities and the VTNG. However, honorary commanders can resign or be dropped from the program at any time if the program is not a good fit.