NGAUS Notes: 12/29/2006
President Gerald Ford’s three-stage state funeral begins today with the former president’s remains lying in repose at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, Calif. He will then be honored in the nation’s capital and finally in his home state of Michigan, where he will be buried Jan. 3.
Mr. Ford died Tuesday at his Rancho Mirage, Ca., home. He was 93.
The Michigan National Guard will provide logistics, security and public affairs support in Michigan.
The former president’s casket will arrive tomorrow at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
A motorcade will travel through Alexandria, Va., where Mr. Ford resided while serving as a congressman and vice president. After a pause at the World War II Memorial—he served in the Navy during the war—the motorcade will proceed to the U.S. Capitol, where the former president will lie in state.
His coffin will be draped in a U.S. flag, with the blue field over his left shoulder. The custom began in the Napoleonic Wars of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when a flag was used to cover the dead as they were taken from the battlefield on a caisson.
Graveside military honors in Michigan will include the firing of three volleys each by seven service members.
An “order of arms” protocol determines the number of guns to be used in a salute.
A president, ex-president or foreign head of state is saluted with 21 guns. A vice president, prime minister, secretary of defense or secretary of the Army receives a 19-gun salute.
Flag officers receive salutes of 11 to 17 guns, depending on their rank. The rounds are fired one at a time.
A U.S. presidential death also involves other ceremonial gun salutes and military traditions.
On the day after the death of the president, a former president or president- elect — unless this day falls on a Sunday or holiday, in which case the honor will rendered the following day — the commanders of Army installations with the necessary personnel and material traditionally order that one gun be fired every half hour, beginning at reveille and ending at retreat.
Troop Support Program Enjoys Second Big Year.
Americans from all walks of life played a role in the exceptional second-year growth of America Supports You.
This Defense Department program was created in 2004 and showcases support for the armed forces by the American people who communicate that support to military service members and their families.
In 2006 alone, more than 6 million care packages were sent to troops serving overseas.
Through the program, community groups also raised nearly $3.5 million for support to troops.
In addition, America Supports You spearheaded the creation of a national tradition to observe the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the Pentagon, New York City and Shanksville, Pa.
A cornerstone of that remembrance was the America Supports You Freedom Walks in all 50 states and the District of Columbia—nearly 140 walks in all—that honored those who lost lives in the 9/11 attacks.
“This past year has been an amazing journey, and we’ve seen the extraordinary and growing capacity Americans have to take care of each other by continuously asking, ‘How can we help?’” said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense and architect of the America Supports You program.
“Our community groups have done phenomenal work for our soldiers and their families, and have shown that Americans have an unparalleled desire to give back to those who so bravely defend our freedoms,” she added.
Nearly 250 of the program’s community groups have worked tirelessly to show appreciation for those who wear the uniform. For more information, contact America Supports You.
Radio Show Helps Military Spouses Cope With Deployments.
Star Henderson and Tara Crooks have teamed up to help other military wives through their Internet talk radio show, Army Wife Talk Radio.com.
“We want to pass that experience along to other Army wives,” said Ms. Henderson, 32, whose husband, David, is a captain in the Georgia Army National Guard. The Hendersons have a 10-yearold son and 2-year-old daughter.
Army Wife Talk Radio.com covers a variety of topics, such as how to solve family challenges when a spouse is deployed and navigate the military’s health care system.
Ms. Henderson launched Army Wife Talk Radio.com a year and a half ago, and Ms. Crooks got involved about seven months ago when she began writing for the show’s newsletter.
The program has developed a core following of fans, said Ms. Crooks, 31, a veteran with 10 years of military experience. Her husband, Kevin, is an Army captain assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Ga. The Crooks have a 5-year-old daughter.
“It became like a community thing, where I’ve got loyal listeners that are probably following my life, wondering what the heck is going to happen in the Crooks’ household today,” she said. “And, then I’ve got people calling in and sharing their stories."
There are so many services available to help military families, Ms. Crooks said there’s no cohesive program to promote them to family members. That’s where the radio show can really help.
A recorded show is available each Monday, but they hope to be able to broadcast live in the near future.
Legislative Department Seeks Air Programs Lobbyist.
NGAUS seeks an individual experienced in legislative affairs to be responsible for lobbying Air National Guard issues on Capitol Hill, while pursuing member resolutions of the NGAUS legislative agenda.
Duties will include direct lobbying, strategy development and implementation, coalition development and administrative duties relevant to the Air Programs issue area.
Successful candidate will have 3 to 5 years legislative/political experience and strong knowledge of the defense community, a bachelor’s degree, preferably in political science or government affairs.
Strong advocacy and communication skills are a must, and military experience is a plus.
Send cover letter and resume to:
National Guard Association of the United States
One Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
This Week in Guard History.
Dec. 29, 1968: Fire Support Base “Betty,” Vietnam—New Hampshire’s Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 197th Artillery is selected to take part in a unique experiment.
Three of its 155mm howitzers are combined into a battery along with three 105mm howitzers from the 2nd Battalion, 13th Artillery—a regular Army unit.
Designated as Battery D, 2nd Battalion, 13th Artillery, the “Jungle Battery” was airlifted by helicopter to numerous undeveloped areas where the howitzers could quickly come into play, often with devastating effect.
They were frequently called upon to support Special Forces teams operating deep in the jungles far from road access.
The experiment proved so successful that Battery B retained this mission until it returned home in August 1969.
Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee in 1971 Col. James B. Deerin, NGAUS executive vice president, cited the increasing importance of the National Guard in the context of Total Force planning and said the draft must be continued if the active component, Guard and Reserve are to maintain authorized strength levels.
Colonel Deerin said he did not feel sufficient inducements would be made available to attract enough individuals to enlist or reenlist in the Guard and Reserve.
However, he said adjutants general and other Guard leaders in the states were intent upon doing everythingpossible to recruit Guardsmen in a zero or near-zero draft environment.
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