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Friday, March 09, 2007

NGAUS Notes: 3/9/2007

Board of Directors Meets in Washington This Week.
Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, chairman of the board, will convene the first board meeting of 2007 this weekend at The National Guard Memorial in Washington, D.C.

This weekend’s agenda will include discussions of the current legislative session and the March 1 report from the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves regarding Guard empowerment.

Membership marketing and plans for the 129th General Conference and Exhibition, Aug. 24 to 27 in San Juan, Puerto Rico will also dot the agenda.

And board members will receive an operational update from senior National Guard Bureau officers.

Events begin today with meetings of the company grade, general conference, membership, officer professional development and strategic planning committees.

The NGAUS-Insurance Trust and National Guard Educational Foundation boards also meet today.

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

The 29-member board is the association’s governing body. Its members serve staggered two- or three-year terms. They are elected by delegates to the NGAUS annual conference.

The meeting overlaps with the first ever NGAUS “Train the Trainer” workshop also being held Sunday and Monday at the memorial. Representatives from state and territory associations have registered to come and learn the latest membership recruiting and retention practices from the NGAUS membership
committee.

2007 NGAUS Individual Award Nominees Sought.
Guardsmen with a long record of outstanding military service, elected representatives who strongly support the Guard and Guardsmen who have performed a life-saving act are potential candidates for the 2007 NGAUS Individual Awards Program.

Nominees should have demonstrated superior performance, committed acts of heroism or have contributed significantly to Guard effectiveness.

The 11 separate individual awards include the new Company Grade Leadership Award that debuted in 2006.

NGAUS mailed complete awards program information last month to each state joint force headquarters and Guard association and the National Guard Bureau.

Award program basics are also available on the NGAUS Web site at NGAUS.

NGAUS must receive nominations by May 1. Most require an adjutant general endorsement. The only exceptions are nominations sent directly from the state Guard associations and NGB.

A five-person awards committee will review the nominees in June and make recommendations to the NGAUS board for final approval.

NGAUS will notify recipients in late July and present the awards during business sessions of the 129th NGAUS General Conference and Exhibition Aug. 24 to 27 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The association will reimburse individual award recipients for their $125 conference registration fee.

Those awards not presented in San Juan will be available for state association collection.

Nominations for unit awards presented at the conference’s Army and Air separate sessions must be submitted through the appropriate directorates at the National Guard Bureau and have different submission procedures and deadlines.

Calendar:
Mar. 9-11 NGAUS Board Meeting - The National Guard Memorial
Mar. 11-12 Train the Trainer Workshop - The National Guard Memorial
Mar. 21 North Dakota National Guard visit

IRS Offering Free Income Tax Help for Military Personnel.
The Internal Revenue service once again is providing free income tax preparation assistance at military tax centers worldwide. The IRS has provided the service for more than 25 years.

The program, overseen by the Armed Forces Tax Council, works to train military volunteers on installations so they can understand current laws and offer tax advice, preparation, return filing and other tax assistance, said Bill Cressman, an IRS spokesman.

IRS tax laws provide special benefits to active-duty service members, particularly those in combat zones. For federal tax purposes, “armed forces” includes officers and enlisted members in active-component and Guard and Reserve units.

According to the IRS Web site, three combat zones have been designated by executive order from the president in areas where armed forces are or have engaged in combat. This includes the air space above those areas. These are the Arabian Peninsula, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The Defense Department also has certified locations for combat zone tax benefits due to the direct support of military operations during operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. A listing of these locations can be found at IRS.gov by clicking on the “Armed Forces” tab.

Those who qualify for combat zone provisions can apply for military pay exclusions, deadline extensions and miscellaneous provisions by writing “combat zone” and their deployment date in red ink on the top of tax returns.

Qualifying taxpayers may directly notify the IRS of their exclusion status by e-mailing Combat Zone AT IRS.

Deadline extensions also apply to some civilian personnel and spouses who are stateside.

Legislative Staff Seeks Analyst.
NGAUS is seeking a legislative analyst to work at association headquarters in Washington.

The ideal candidate will: have a bachelor’s degree; be familiar with the congressional process and the military; and be able to analyze Guard-related issues. The candidate must also possess strong computer skills and be familiar with Web content management software.

The association offers a competitive salary and benefits. Interested candidates should submit a resume to retired Brig. Gen. Richard Green, NGAUS legislative director, via fax: 202-682-9358 or e-mail: Richard Green.

NGAUS History.
Officers representing reserve forces from 10 NATO countries got a first-hand look at U.S. reserve forces at The National Guard Memorial in March 1964.

Maj. Gen. James F. Cantwell, NGAUS president, welcomed Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark, a lieutenant colonel in the Greek Army Reserve, and the other officers at NGAUS headquarters.

Visitors and Brig. Gen. John L. Strauss, NGAUS executive assistant, discussed the association’s role in Guard affairs. Col. Robert C. Boden of the National Guard Bureau focused on the organization, missions and accomplishments of the Army and Air Guard.

The European and Canadian reservists received copies of THE NATIONAL GUARDSMAN and reproductions of the first four National Guard Heritage Series paintings. The reservists represented Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Norway.

This Week in Guard History.
Mar. 4, 2002: Takur Ghar, Afghanistan—Tech. Sgt. Keary Miller, a combat search and rescue team leader from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, earns a Silver Star for his actions in pulling wounded men out of the line of fire and providing first aid after their MH-47E helicopter crashed due to ground fire.

Later he stripped ammunition from the dead and injured—exposing himself to enemy fire—and resupplied those still able to fight.

Although seven soldiers lost their lives and 10 others were seriously wounded during this 17-hour engagement with Taliban fighters, probably several more would have died without Sergeant Miller’s heroic service.

Sergeant Miller received his Silver Star from Air Force Secretary James G. Roche Nov. 1, 2003.

Produced weekly by the NGAUS communications department. Comments and questions should be directed to NGAUS. NGAUS members can sign up for electronic delivery of NGAUS NOTES at NGAUS Notes

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