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Saturday, November 18, 2006

NGAUS Notes: 11/17/2006

Board of Directors Gathers in Washington This Weekend.
Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, NGAUS' new chairman of the board, will convene the first board meeting of his two-year term this weekend at The National Guard Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Delegates to the 128th General Conference in September elected the Indiana adjutant general to head the association's 29-member governing body, which meets three times annually.

Topping this weekend's agenda is the approval of 2007 operating budgets for the association, NGAUS-Insurance Trust (NGAUS-IT) and the National Guard Educational Foundation (NGEF).

In addition, board members will discuss the upcoming legislative session, receive an operational update from senior National Guard Bureau officers and fill two board vacancies from the association's geographical area II.

Reports from the NGAUS Corporate Advisory Panel, National Guard Executive Directors Association, Adjutants General Association and Enlisted Association of the National Guard are also on the board meeting agenda.

Events get underway today with meetings of the company grade, general conference, membership, officer professional development and strategic planning committees. The NGAUS-IT and NGEF boards will also meet today.

Joining General Umbarger as new NGAUS officers are Maj. Gen. David B. Poythress, Georgia adjutant general, as vice chair (Air) and Brig. Gen. Norman E. Arflack of Kentucky as vice chair (Army).

The three new officers served on the previous board.

New faces on the board include Maj. Gen. Randal E. Thomas of Illinois, area V adjutant general representative, Brig. Gen. Daniel B. O'Hollaren of Oregon, area VI Air representative, and Capt. Rollin L. Roberts of Mississippi, new Army company grade representative.

NGAUS Staff Makes Semi-Annual Walter Reed Visit.
A five-person NGAUS staff contingent visited Guardsmen yesterday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to thank them for their service and show that the 45,000 NGAUS members support their sacrifice in the war on terror.

For the past three years, the association has made two yearly trips to the facility to bring soldiers "goodie bags," which include pre-paid phone cards, copies of National Guard magazine and souvenir pens.

Yesterday, the staff visited Guardsmen from Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The Michigan Guardsman was recovering from a leg and hand injury caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Iraq.

The Pennsylvania Guardsman lost a leg after an IED detonated near his vehicle during a convoy. The Indiana Guards-man awaits a medical procedure after a pancreatitis diagnosis while in Iraq.

All three soldiers were in good spirits, and the Michigan Guardsman was delighted to receive a FedEx delivery from the Detroit Lions during the NGAUS visit. The package included a letter from head coach Rod Marinelli and autographed items from several players.

These few soldiers represent the thousands who have willingly paid a heavy price for their service, and the more support they get the more they will know their contribution to the country's security is recognized and appreciated by friends and family back home.

To arrange a visit to the medical center, contact Tamara Miller at 202-782-6231. Visiting hours are 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Groups may be no larger than five people.

NBC: Youth ChalleNGe Program is 'What Works'.
The NBC Nightly News plans to feature the California National Guard's Youth ChalleNGe program Monday in the first of a series of daily reports on "what works." The telecast airs at 6:30 or 7 p.m. Eastern Time, depending on the market.

Operation Homefront Launches Holiday Care Package Service.
Operation Homefront, part of www.CinCHouse.com, has launched eCarePackage, an online service that allows caring citizens to send care packages to deployed troops and their families.

Service members and families can register on E-Care-Package. Visitors can adopt them based on common interests.

Then visitors select individual items to create a customized care package for their chosen service member or family.

Operation Homefront's team of volunteers takes the order, boxes the items and ships them to the service member or family - always protecting the participant's identity and physical location.

"There's nothing like a care package to cheer a deployed soldier or a lonely military family, especially during the holidays," said Amy Palmer, executive vice president of operations for Operation Homefront.

Items available in the eCarePackage store range from toiletries and necessities to games, books and candy. Most items were donated from sponsors, particularly The Dollar Tree, which runs its Operation Appreciation program in most stores nationwide.

Donated items are not marked up, so eCarePackage visitors often pay only the cost of shipping - making eCarePackage less expensive than doing it yourself. Moreover, Operation Homefront has partnered with DHL to ensure direct and timely delivery of all care packages to deployed troops.

The eCarePackage program is part of Operation Homefront's mission to provide support and morale to our troops.

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 AT ngaus.com.
Please enter "Application" in the subject line if sending e-mail.

This Week in Guard History.
Nov. 18, 1916: Ten JN-4 "Jennies" bi-wing aircraft, from the New York National Guard's 1st Aero Squadron, lift off from Mineola, N.Y., in the first multi-plane military flight totaling about 200 miles. They land in Princeton, N.J., and then return to Mineola the next morning.

Starting just six years after the Wright Brothers made their first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., in 1903, several Guardsmen in different states brought their personal airplanes to drill to teach their comrades how to fly.

The 1st Aero Squadron becomes the first federally recognized Guard flying unit July 16, 1916. In 1917, the unit enters active duty for World War I, but never sees combat. Its pilots instead go to France as individuals.

Capt. Raynal Bolling, the 1st's commander, dies in the war, killed not in a dogfight against a German airplane but in a pistol fight with an enemy officer after Captain Bolling's car is ambushed near the front.

NGAUS History.
The annual NGAUS General Conference hasn't always been a "can't-miss" event. In 1926, for example, at least 10 states and territories neglected sending any representation.

Several states sent one officer. Texas sent four officers: two brigadier generals and two colonels, one of the latter from the state staff - most likely representing the adjutant general.

Although set in Louisville, Ky., that state's delegation totaled only five, headed by a colonel. New York, with 26 attendees, and Pennsylvania, with 21, provided nearly a fourth of all delegates.

But on most issues, states completed balloting with an assigned voting strength of accredited delegates. Thus, except for bragging rights, there was little premium for a state to have a full delegation.
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