Two Chester area residents complete Va. Defense training

Edwood C. Corker, SR of Surry Road in Chester and Jay C. Bates of Chester Forest Lane in the Salem Church area completed the Virginia Defense Force Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course held at Fort Pickett in Blackstone, VA. Both SSG Corker and SGT Bates received the Protector of the Commonwealth badge as well as other honors.

Only a select group of NCOs throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia were approved by their Company Commanders to participate in the VDF BNCOC. To graduate, the participants had to pass classroom and field-testing in drill and ceremony, post security, VDF regulations and troop leadership.

SSG Corker was awarded the Honor Graduate Leadership Coin for being the top NCO in the class of over 20 troops as well as the Commanding General’s Leadership Coin for distinguished effort. SSG Corker is also a certified Military Emergency Management Specialist.

SGT Bates was recognized as one of three students with a Most Improved Student Leadership Coin from Fort Pickett’s 29th Infantry Division and is a certified Military Emergency Management Specialist.

Both SSG Corker and SGT Bates serve in the 1st MP Co, 1st MP BN, Division Troop Command VDF out of the Petersburg armory.

The Virginia Defense Force (VDF) is an all-volunteer, formal military organization. Its mission is to assist the Virginia National Guard in performing state missions as specified by the Governor of the Commonwealth.

The VDF is the state’s only military force that is independent of federal control. With units located throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, the VDF can move into a stricken area quickly, interact with and assist local authorities and restore community integrity as soon as possible. Working during blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes and other disasters, the VDF troops are familiar faces working in nearby towns and cities bringing aid and comfort to people within the communities they live and work.

The Virginia Defense Force is the Commonwealth’s Military Reserve. The VDF is governed by the military laws of Virginia and Managed by the Virginia Department of Military Affairs. The chain of command for the VDF consists of the Governor of Virginia (Commander-in-Chief), the Commonwealth’s Secretary of Public Safety, Adjutant General of Virginia and the Commanding General of the Virginia Defense Force.

VDF mission capabilities include securing the Commonwealth’s NG Armories, providing evacuation assistance, emergency communications, light search and rescue, shelter operations, NG family assistance, traffic control, emergency transportation, aerial damage assessment and fixed wing air search.  


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