☷Ho okahi Imua – moving forward together enabling the mission of a citizen Soldier
U.S. Army ( By Press Release office)
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For almost two years , National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from all across the United States supported COVID - 19 response efforts , and the Hawaii National Guard was no exception . The HING tapped Citizen Soldier Col . Mark Young to lead Joint Task Force Medical when it stood up on April 14 , 2020 . Hawaii Army National Guard Col . Mark Young served as the HING Task Force Medical spokesperson for numerous news stories and public announcement during the TF’s activation , as shown in this screenshot of a broadcast by KGMB , the CBS affiliate station in Oahu , Hawaii . In addition to serving in the HING , Young serves as a U . S . Army civilian operations and plans specialist at Installation Management Command - Pacific working in the G3/5/7 ( Operations/Plans/Training ) directorate . When Young got the call to mobilize , nobody knew how long he would be required to be away from his civilian job at IMCOM - Pacific , but the G3/5/7 director , Don Bradshaw , knew it was an important mission and fully supported Young’s mobilization . “It is difficult for us to perform our mission if we don ' t have the support of our families and the support of our civilian employers , ” said Young . “As a former reservist myself , I understand the obligations of the military member , and also of their employer . We knew this was an important mission , ” said Bradshaw . Because of the uncertainty of COVID - 19 , the task force had to be built on - the - fly and it was necessary to be flexible with Young’s deployment orders . “We had to build this plane in the air , ” said Young . The Hawaii National Guard’s Task Force Medical commander , Col . Mark Young , meets with Maui mayor , Michael P . Victorino , to discuss COVID - 19 mitigating strategies and medical support for the County of Maui , islands of Kaho’olawe , Lanai Maui and Molokai . “You know , normally when soldiers go on deployments , they ' ve got 270 day orders . It ' s a blanket order to do a certain mission . This one was unique in that Mark ' s orders were generally 90 days , 120 days , and they were extended over time , ” said Bradshaw . Throughout Young’s mobilization , the IMCOM - Pacific G3/5/7 found ways to continue its mission supporting U . S . Army Garrisons that serve nearly 300 , 000 military - affiliated personnel at approximately 125 installation sites located in four countries and spanning roughly 20 million square miles across the Indo - Pacific region , from Alaska to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and from Hawaii to East Asia . “We knew we were going to have a gap , and so , we tasked organized . We looked at the various functions that Mark did – requirements that didn ' t stop because of COVID – and we picked up the slack . As things evolved , it became very evident that he was the right guy for the job , and while unpredictability was an issue , he kept up steady communication with us the whole time , so we were never out of touch , ” Bradshaw said . In some cases , team members filling in for Young had to learn while doing . “Our challenge was to pick out the things that he did and then reassign them to some other team member . Some of those tasks were things that folks had done before or had a little bit of background in , in other cases , there was a bit of a learning curve , but we overcame , ” said Bradshaw . IMCOM - Pacific’s willingness to support Young’s mobilization helped enable the TF Medical mission , which assisted citizens of Hawaii through some of the toughest parts of the COVID - 19 global pandemic . “There ' s a cost , but you feel like it was worth it considering what his contribution is to the state , ” said Bradshaw . The Hawaii National Guard’s Task Force Medical partnered with the Hawaii Department of Health , Public Health Nursing , to provide COVID - 19 medical screening , testing and vaccinations in identified high risk residential areas on the island of Oahu . The Hawaii National Guard’s COVID - 19 assistance to federal , state , and local authorities was the longest state activation in its history . The TF Medical motto was “Ho’okahi Imua , ” which means “moving forward together” in the Hawaiian language . “Coming together and moving forward … that ' s exactly what the task force did , ” said Young . During activation , working with the Hawaii Department of Health and other community partners , TF Medical took on a myriad of tasks and helped thousands of citizens of Hawaii by performing medical screenings , conducting public health education encounters in low - income housing areas , and collecting thousands of nasopharyngeal swab specimens at correctional facilities , long - term care facilities , private residences and businesses . “They might not remember the vaccinations and testing , or the education , everything that we ' ve done for them , but they will remember how they were treated … the team treated everyone with the highest level of professionalism , dignity and respect . . . those are things that I ' m really proud of , ” said Young . Members of the Hawaii National Guard’s Task Force Medical performed numerous mass testing events resulting in tens of thousands of COVID - 19 nasopharyngeal test swabs throughout the TF’s activation period . In addition to in - person medical services , TF Medical provided many other assisted the state by providing many other supports , like prepackaging $10 million worth of equipment and 300 , 000 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment for emergency kits , repairing lifesaving biomedical equipment , and developing a COVID - 19 training course that taught participants how to break the infection cycle , signs and symptoms , mitigating practices and strategies for the workplace and in schools . Young said that one of the highlights of leading TF Medical was seeing the public trust the teams earned . Young expressed the importance of his personal faith throughout his mobilization and his gratitude for the opportunity to serve the people of his state . “COVID was bigger than all of us , ” said Young , “all the credit and glory goes to [God] . ” Hawaii National Guard’s Task Force Medical provided COVID - 19 Community Surge Testing at the Lanakila Health Center partnering with the State of Hawaii Department of Health . TF Medical stood down on March 15 , 2022 and Young returned to his Army civilian job in IMCOM - Pacific’s G3/5/7 at Fort Shafter . “Now he ' s back in the office , we welcomed him back wholeheartedly , and he has jumped right back into the fray , ” said Bradshaw . “I was gone for two years and they ' ve been very supportive . . . I really appreciate it , ” said Young . Director of the Hawaii National Guard’s joint staff , Brig . Gen . Moses Kaoiwi , Jr . ( right ) presents the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award to Don Bradshaw , director of operations for U . S . Army Installation Management Command - Pacific ( middle ) , during a brief ceremony held at the IMCOM - Pacific headquarters on Feb . 25 , 2022 . Hawaii Army National Guard Col . Mark Young ( left ) nominated Bradshaw for the award .
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