Adjutant General's Corps Regimental Association

Georgia Adjutant General, MG Thomas M. Caden, Jr., Addresses New ARNG Recruiting & Retention NCOs

At Camp Joseph T. Robinson Army Base in North Little Rock, Arkansas, MG Thomas M. Caden, Jr., addressed 164 graduating Recruiting & Retention NCOs (RRNCOs) from the Strength Maintenance Training Battalion (SMTB) following the completion of their five-week Basic Recruiting & Retention Course. The SMTB is the Recruiting & Retention School for the Army National Guard (ARNG) and graduates hundreds of students from the Non-Career Recruiting & Retention NCO Course per year for Skill Qualification Identifier (SQI) SQI4.  SQI4 is the basic Recruiting & Retention Course required for ARNG Soldiers to begin their ARNG recruiting & retention career within the 54 U.S. states and territories. The SMTB also conducts 12 additional recruiting & retention courses along with Mobile Training Teams under its Battalion Commander, MAJ Melake T. Whyte II.

MG Carden is the State of Georgia Adjutant General and has a distinguished list of accomplishments and assignments beginning with his enlistment in March of 1988. As guest speaker at graduation, MG Carden spoke to the RRNCOs about their success in the hardest, most accountable, and important job in the ARNG – Recruiting. He began his speech by letting the SMTB graduating Soldiers know that he was honored to be surrounded by what was right about America and gave a round of applause to their families.

MG Carden pointed out that Recruiting and Retention is a unique MOS in the ARNG because it is one in which a Soldier request and applies to become a member. He pointed out that the job is important because you can not train or deploy a vacancy. MG Carden shared his “Guard Story” and encouraged every graduate to tell their “Guard Story” to everyone they talk to as they talk about options available when joining the ARNG. He described the organization of the ARNG as an elevator for young men and women to change their lives. MG Carden encouraged the graduates to wear their sword of accountability in their daily interactions and decisions and to brand their profession everywhere they go. He concluded by offering advise on how to answer some of the hard questions parents ask and by thanking the graduates for stepping up and taking on the challenge of recruiting and retention within the ARNG.

SMTB Live Streams the Non-Career Recruiting Course graduation on Facebook for the families that are not able to travel to the event. You can view MG Carden’s full speech and see the SMTB graduation of Class 23-001 at; his speech begins at 36:27.