(July 19, 2016) Fifty-four National Guard company-grade officers from across the nation concluded the first NGAUS officer-professional development visit to Washington, D.C., with a tour of the Pentagon today.
“The goal was to expose young officers to how the government works with the military and help the officers understand the critical role that NGAUS plays,” said 1st Lt. Heather Bennett, the NGAUS Legislative Fellow who organized the event.
The NGAUS-funded program invites two officers from each state and territory to the nation’s capital. It is offered to officers up to the ranks of captain and chief warrant officer 3. A second visit by another group will take place in August.
A cookout at the home of Lt. Gen. Joseph Lengyel, who will soon become the 28th National Guard Bureau chief, began the three-day visit Sunday. The visitors were provided several similar opportunities to speak about issues with top leaders of the National Guard.
Lengyel spoke to the group Monday at the National Guard Memorial, the NGAUS headquarters, where he welcomed questions and had candid exchanges with multiple officers.
“This is the future of the National Guard,” Lengyel said later in reference to the officers in the room. “I think it is important they understand what I think we are and I wanted to ask them some questions.”
Lt. Gen. Timothy Kadavy, the director of the Army Guard, and Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, the director of the Air Guard, also addressed the group.
The visitors also received a guided tour of the Capitol.
Attendees on social media can use #NGAUSOPD to stay up to date before and after the event.