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Dear Bos'un, I couldn't get the musical video to work, so I removed it. If you can fix it, please use 450px width and 250px height. :)
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Sunday, October 22, 2006

NGAUS Notes: 10/20/2006

Retirees Now Eligible for Recruiting Program Bonuses
Docupak Inc., which administers the National Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP), announced this month that eligible retirees now may become recruiting assistants for the Army Guard.

Once hired and trained, G-RAP recruiting assistants may receive free recruiting incentive items and up to $2,000 for each soldier they help enlist in the Army Guard.

Some participants also may receive additional incentives, such as health care insurance coverage.

The program, which began as an experiment last year, does not limit the number of potential soldiers a recruiting assistant can bring into the Guard.

A recruiting assistant receives an initial payment of $1,000, with a second $1,000 payment upon successful shipment of a nonprior service recruit to basic training.

As for a prior-service recruit, the recruiting assistant will receive the initial payment of $1,000 upon the recruit's enlistment in the Army Guard. The second $1,000 payment comes upon that recruit's successful drilling of 120 days in their unit.

The incentive program led to perhaps the greatest recruiting boost ever for the Army Guard.

In fiscal year 2006, the Army Guard experienced a net growth of 13,111 soldiers. This surpassed its 34,875 reenlistment goal by more than 6,200 soldiers, according to figures released this month.

With G-RAP such a boon for the Army Guard, Lt. Gen. Craig McKinley, Air Guard director, told attendees at the 2006 NGAUS General Conference that he is working to adopt the program for the Air Guard.

To date, more than 90,000 recruiting assistants have participated in the program.

For more information, please visit Guard Recruiting Assistant.

DoD Again Makes Anthrax Vaccination Mandatory
The Defense Department announced Monday it will resume mandatory anthrax inoculations for service members and civilians deploying to U.S. Central Command and Korea.

A small number of service members assigned to homeland defense units will also receive the shots.

The six-shot series provides immunity from a deadly disease that has been used as a biological attack agent, said Dr. William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.

David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, will issue instructions to the services within the next two months. The program will start soon after.

A court order halted mandatory vaccinations in 2004. The order was lifted in 2005, and service members deploying to Asia or in special units could choose to receive the vaccinations or not. Roughly 50 percent of those deploying opted for the shots.

"The anthrax vaccine is safe; it is effective for all forms of anthrax spore exposure," Dr. Winkenwerder said. "Time and again [this vaccine] has been looked at by experts ... and each time the conclusion is the vaccine is safe and it is effective."

He said the anthrax threat is still out there.

"Our adversaries continue to remind us that they are determined to obtain nuclear, chemical and biological weapons," he said. "We do not yet know who perpetrated the attacks of October 2001."

In that incident, letters filled with anthrax spores killed five, sickened 17 and contaminated the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Veterans Day Provides Opportunities to Recognize Patriots
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and several other veterans organizations announced Wednesday an effort to "kindle a new spark of patriotism" by asking all men and women who have served in the military to wear their medals on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

"We are announcing a 'Veterans Pride Initiative' to remind Americans of the pride and honor in the hearts of those who have served," said R. James Nicholson, VA secretary. "We expect Americans will see our decorated heroes unite in spirit at ceremonies, in parades and elsewhere as a compelling symbol of courage and sacrifice on Veterans Day, the day we set aside to thank those who served and safeguarded our national security."

The campaign is modeled after a tradition in Australia and New Zealand, countries who honor the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps on April 25 each year, VA officials said. Mr. Nicholson said he hopes a U.S. tradition will ensue to emulate this pride in being a veteran and in honoring the nation's veterans.

VA is offering information about the campaign on a Web page at Veterans' Pride.

Veterans Day is also the release date of For My Country: The Ballad of the National Guard by legendary singer Pat Boone.

Mr. Boone, a longtime friend of Mr. Nicholson, along with the Christian group Valor, debuted the song and video at the 128th NGAUS General Conference last month after the secretary's speech.

The music video can be ordered at www.formycountry.us. It includes interviews with Guard families and footage from the NGAUS conference.

Communications Dept. Seeks Seasoned Staff Writer
The National Guard Association has an immediate opening for an experienced staff writer. Selected candidate will contribute to National Guard, the association's monthly magazine, NGAUS Notes and the NGAUS Web site.

Duties include writing short news stories and covering a variety of hearings on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. For the magazine, the successful candidate will contribute at least one substantial feature story each month and assist in editing and producing the final product. Some travel is required.

Candidates must have five years of reporting experience. Familiarity with the military and the National Guard is preferred.

Interest in writing about military/legislative topics a must. Car required. Salary: low- to mid-40s. Excellent benefits include health and dental coverage and a 401K plan. Convenient Capitol Hill location.

Please send cover letter, resume and three writing samples to:
    Communications Department
    National Guard Association
    One Massachusetts Ave., NW
    Washington, D.C., 20001.
    Fax: 202-682-9358.
    E-mail: Chris Prawdzik.
Please enter "Application" in the subject line if sending e-mail.

NGAUS History
St. Louis, Mo., hosted the first NGAUS general conference in September 1879. Although just 14 years since the Civil War, three former Confederate states - Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia - and border state Kentucky joined 10 former Union states.

The St. Louis Globe-Democrat noted at the time that militia units "were sadly in need of rehabilitation, especially in the West and South."

Although laced with various social events, business sessions featured four days of lively debate, which included a push for a $2 million annual appropriation to supply the militia.

This Week in Guard History
October 17, 1859: Harpers Ferry, Va. (now W.Va.) - Abolitionist John Brown leads a group of men in a raid on the federal arsenal in order to arm slaves he would lead in a revolt against their masters.

Local residents foil the attack, forcing Brown's party into a firehouse where militiamen from Jefferson, Berkeley and Frederick counties surround them. One such unit, the Continental Morgan Guard from Winchester, Va., is still an element of the Virginia Guard today.

As word of the raid spreads, other militia troops arrive by train, some from as far away as Richmond. However, U.S. Marines, under the command of Army Col. Robert E. Lee, arrive and storm the firehouse killing or capturing the raiders.

Brown is captured and later tried for treason, convicted and quickly hanged in Charlestown, Va. (now W.Va.). During this period he is guarded by several hundred Virginia militia against the possibility of other raiders trying to free him, though no such attack occurs. Because of his raid and the fear of other attempts to encourage slave revolts, volunteer militia units in the South rise sharply before the Civil War.
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