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State Employees Key to Georgia DOD Success

February 26, 2013
National Guard and civilian collaboration
(From left) Interns Steven Welch and Desiree Bamba, and Seth Stuck, Command Information Officer of the Georgia Department of Defense's Public Affairs Office.

Welch, Bamba and Stuck monitor activities in the Joint Operations Center during the Jan. 30, 2013 tornadoes that passed through north Georgia. These state employees monitor breaking news and relay valuable information onto the Georgia National Guard social media channels.

Photos courtesy Georgia National Guard

Headshot of Seth Stuck

About the Author

Seth Gregory Stuck currently serves as the Command Information Officer for the Georgia National Guard. He directs social media and online outreach for the Georgia National Guard’s 15,000 citizen soldiers and airmen. 

More than 500 state employees work for the Georgia Department of Defense in jobs ranging from sanitation services to human resources and public affairs. Often, such a thing as a state Department of Defense gets forgotten or overlooked because the National Guard is the driving force within the organization.

The Georgia Department of Defense is composed of the Georgia Air National Guard, Georgia Army National Guard, and the all-volunteer Georgia State Defense Force. With such visible and important flag-bearers, it’s easy to see how the hundreds of state employees who serve them are often overlooked.

But state employees provide a crucial, strategically significant role in the defense community. In addition to providing top-tier service and subject matter expertise, these civilians (some are former military themselves) provide continuity to an organization that is otherwise always in flux. Whereas a given Army or Air position is likely to change hands every couple of years, state employee positions tend to be more stable — with some employees serving more than a decade or even 2 in the same position. As a result, state employees become the constant in various offices and are the gatekeepers of valuable institutional and functional knowledge.

Important, too, are the interns who serve as state employees for the Georgia Department of Defense. Many of them are either currently earning their undergraduate degree or have recently graduated. Their internships provide them with valuable real-life work experience, of course, but these hard workers also get the opportunity to work side by side with real-life heroes every day, creating a formative experience which molds the way these interns will become leaders themselves. I can't think of a better place to observe and participate in civil leadership than by working with the U.S. military.

While these interns do not provide the continuity long-term employees do, they serve as a valuable addition to the organization. They receive valuable experience and mentorship paired with meaningful work, while the department saves money and, in some instances, provides a test run for folks who may turn out to be future employees.

All in all, the state employees of the Georgia Department of Defense provide a valuable and meaningful service to their state, their nation and — particularly — their National Guard.

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