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National Guard Bureau's senior enlisted advisor visits Silver State

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell Brush, right, the senior enlisted advisor to the chief of the National Guard Bureau, meets with Nevada Army Guard Soldiers 1st Sgt. Elbie Doege, center, and Staff Sgt. Rutilio Lara in Reno in early December.

Photo courtesy NV ARNG 106th Public Affairs Detachment

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell Brush, right, the senior enlisted advisor to the chief of the National Guard Bureau, meets with Nevada Army Guard Soldiers 1st Sgt. Elbie Doege, center, and Staff Sgt. Rutilio Lara in Reno in early December. Photo courtesy NV ARNG 106th Public Affairs Detachment

RENO -- Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell Brush, the senior enlisted advisor to the chief of the National Guard Bureau, emphasized the importance of Guardsmen informing others about their skills and missions while he toured Nevada Guard facilities in early December.

"It's my job to walk the halls of the Pentagon and let people know Guardsmen are inherently different than other service members, with unique capabilities and skills," Brush said during a meeting with 757th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion Soldiers. "We're smart. We're capable. We're Guardsmen."

Throughout his tour, Brush emphasized the importance of an "elevator speech," or quick synopsis of the Guard's purpose when members of the community approach Soldiers and Airmen. Brush said Soldiers and Airmen should emphasize three points when talking to members of the community: war fight, homeland and partnerships.

"Guardsmen have to promote their stories of service and dedication," Brush said. "When we're deployed, we don't tell our story often enough. Some people just don't know what the National Guard entails."

Brush elaborated on communicating the Guard's story.

"A bumper sticker and a billboard isn't enough," Brush said. "Your community has to hear the stories. Every one of us has a story -- the reason why we came into the Guard; the reason why we stay in the Guard; the reason we drive 220 miles for Guard drill every month.

"It's important for citizens to understand how we're different. It's not about the uniform or the paycheck. It's about something bigger."

Brush has advised Gen. Frank Grass, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, since 2013.

Brush, a former police officer and state command chief of the Montana Air National Guard, coined three 757th Soldiers during his tour of the Washoe County Armory to recognize their accomplishments and achievements.

Brush stopped in Nevada after visits to North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Northern Command and the Colorado National Guard before heading to the National Diversity Conference in Savannah, Ga. He lauded the Nevada Guard's state partnership with Tonga, its deployment record and its relationship with local businesses.