VOAD's Role in Disaster Recovery

Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) is a national humanitarian association of independent organizations that may be active in all phases of disaster. Its mission is simple - to identify unmet needs and facilitate efficient, streamlined service delivery to those impacted by disaster. Each state has a lead VOAD agency, but many people may not be aware that they exist, or what they provide to citizens in need following a disaster.
VOAD fills a critical gap, taking a large burden off of state and local government officials and agencies, by providing subject matter expertise at the point of greatest need. It is a force multiplier, providing overall coordination of volunteer efforts across a wide range of organizations to include public and private sectors, during both response and recovery phases of an event. VOAD helps both individuals and communities get back on their feet, and then helps them be more prepared for future events that might occur. They are an indispensable asset in the overall Emergency Management tool kit and a dedicated partner for recovery. 
I know firsthand the work that VOAD does, and continues to do each day for our communities in West Virginia. During the massive flooding events of 2016 throughout West Virginia, more than 1,800 homes were destroyed or damaged and 23 lives were lost in what experts referred to as a 1,000-year flood. West Virginia VOAD took the lead in coordinating post-event recovery efforts for individual homeowners, especially in regard to private bridges and water crossings, and are still working through the process of recovery from that devastating event today. They have been a key part of our state-wide recovery efforts and have helped to rebuild more than 1,800 homes. 
While we are no strangers to natural disasters in this state, the long-term recovery process for each incident that impacts our citizens is managed by organizations such as VOAD. When an event occurs, they integrate seamlessly with the State Emergency Operations Center, and become valuable assets to our arsenal of response and recovery tools. The nature of what we do in the National Guard is to serve our communities, this state and its citizens, and we understand the value and importance of a working partnership with organizations such as VOAD for combined success during and following a disaster. VOAD is truly a national asset!

About the Author 



The Adjutant General – West Virginia


Major General James A. Hoyer assumed the duties as The Adjutant General, West Virginia Joint Forces Headquarters-West Virginia on 1 February 2011. As the Adjutant General, State of West Virginia, he provides command guidance and vision to the West Virginia Army and Air National Guard of more than 6,500 Citizen Soldiers and Airmen. He provides the overall supervision of the day to day operations and management of the readiness, fiscal, personnel, equipment and the real property resources of the agency.

General Hoyer received his undergraduate degree from the University of Charleston and was commissioned in 1983 through a joint Reserve Officer Training Corps program with West Virginia State University. General Hoyer began his military career in the West Virginia National Guard as a Cavalry Officer. He attended the Special Forces Officer Qualification course and spent over 14 years with the 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group. General Hoyer led the development of the West Virginia National Guard Counterdrug Task Force and the Joint Interagency Training and Education Center and its Center for National Response; a national level operational and training capability for critical infrastructure protection and consequence response. General Hoyer's most recent assignment was Director, Joint Staff, West Virginia Joint Force Headquarters.


1983 University of Charleston, Bachelor of Science, Management/Marketing, Charleston, West Virginia
1987 West Virginia Graduate College, Master of Science, Management/Public Administration, Institute, West Virginia
2004 United States Army War College, by correspondence
2004 United States Army War College, Master of Science, Strategic Studies, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania
2009 Federal/Department of Defense Identify Management Certificate, Naval Post Graduate School



  1. December 1983 - May 1986, Assistant S-3/Chemical Officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 150th Armored Cavalry, Bluefield, West Virginia
  2. May 1986 - May 1989, Detachment Executive Officer, Company B, 2nd Special Forces Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, Ceredo, West Virginia
  3. May 1989 - January 1994, Detachment Commander, Company B, 2nd Special Forces Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, Ceredo, West Virginia
  4. January 1994 - October 1996, Commander, Support Company, 2nd Special Forces Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, Ceredo, West Virginia
  5. November 1996 - March 1999, Commander, Detachment 1, 2nd Special Forces Battalion, 19TH Special Forces Group, Kenova, West Virginia
  6. April 1999 - September 2000, Executive Officer, Headquarters, 2nd Special Forces Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, Kenova, West Virginia
  7. October 2000 - February 2002, Commander, 35th Civil Support Detachment (WMD), Charleston, West Virginia
  8. February 2002 - September 2003, Counterdrug Coordinator, Headquarters, West Virginia State Area Command, Charleston, West Virginia
  9. October 2003 - February 2004, Commander, 771st Troop Command, Charleston, West Virginia
  10. March 2004 - February 2005, Deputy Commander for Installations and Homeland Defense, Charleston, West Virginia
  11. March 2005 - August 2006, Commandant, West Virginia Joint Force Headquarters, Charleston, West Virginia
  12. September 2006 - January 2011, Director, Joint Staff, West Virginia National Guard, West Virginia Joint Force Headquarters, Charleston, West Virginia
  13. February 2011 - Present, The Adjutant General, West Virginia National Guard, West Virginia Joint Force Headquarters, Charleston, West Virginia


Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster)
Army Commendation Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster)
Army Achievement Medal (with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)
Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (with 1 Silver Oak Leaf Cluster)
National Defense Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Service Star)
Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with Silver Hourglass and M Device)
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon
Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon
West Virginia Commendation Medal
West Virginia Emergency Service Ribbon
West Virginia State Service Ribbon
West Virginia Service Ribbon
West Virginia Counterdrug Ribbon
West Virginia Distinguished Unit Award
Special Forces Tab
Master Parachutist Badge
Air Assault Badge
Thailand Parachute Badge


2012 University of Charleston, Honorary Doctorate of Law, Charleston, West Virginia


Second Lieutenant USAR 8 May 1983
Second Lieutenant ARNG 8 December 1983
First Lieutenant ARNG 7 May 1986
Captain ARNG 4 October 1989
Major ARNG 26 February 1996
Lieutenant Colonel ARNG 3 October 2000
Colonel ARNG 1 October 2004
Brigadier General ARNG 31 August 2007
Major General ARNG 1 February 2011