Congressional, Military Leaders to Speak at Guard Conference in Chicago

WASHINGTON (Aug. 15, 2014) - Some of the key players in shaping the nation’s defense for the future will top the list of guest speakers when 3,500 National Guard officers and their guests  gather in Chicago next week for the 136th NGAUS General Conference & Exhibition.

The conference opens Aug. 23 with an opening ceremony and speeches by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, the commander in chief of the Illinois National Guard; Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, the Air Force chief of staff; and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus.

Featured speakers Aug. 24 include Gen. Frank J. Grass, the National Guard Bureau chief; Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, an organization entrusted with determining how the Army will fight in the future; and Gen. Darren W. McDew, the commander of the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command.

U.S. Rep. William Enyart, D-Ill., a member of the House Armed Services Committee and a former Illinois adjutant general, will address attendees Aug. 25.   
Most speakers will address the conference theme, The National Guard: Now More Than Ever, or any of a number of current military and homeland security issues affecting the Guard. These include overseas operations, domestic missions, equipment modernization, current fiscal challenges, and future Guard roles and missions.

The gathering serves as the annual NGAUS business meeting. Delegates from 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia will set the foundation for the association’s 2015 legislative agenda and elect new members to the NGAUS board of directors.

Also included in the event is a large trade show featuring 300 companies and organizations that market products and services to the Guard.    

More conference information, the full business agenda and a complete list of exhibitors are available here.

Media: All major conference events will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago. A press office will be established in the facility Aug. 22. Office contact information will be provided in a later release.
About NGAUS: The association includes nearly 45,000 current or former Army and Air Guard officers nationwide. It was created in 1878 to provide unified Guard representation in Washington. In their first productive meeting after Reconstruction, militia officers from the North and South formed the association with the goal of obtaining better equipment and training by educating Congress on militia requirements. Today, 136 years later, NGAUS has the same mission.