(November 25, 2014) Two company-grade National Guard officers will spend one year at NGAUS as the inaugural participants in a fellowship program approved this month by the NGAUS board of directors.
Second Lt. Mark Caruso of the New Jersey Army Guard and 2nd Lt. Charles Martin of the Vermont Army Guard will spend one year working with the NGAUS legislative department to learn how the association works with Capitol Hill in the pursuit of legislation on behalf of the National Guard. They will arrive soon after the new year.
The NGAUS Fellowship Program was one of the ideas of the ad hoc Futures Committee approved by the board at its autumn meeting in Washington, D.C., this month. The Futures Committee was appointed after NGAUS successfully paid off the mortgage on the National Guard Memorial, the NGAUS headquarters, in 2013. The committee, led by retired Maj. Gen. Gus Hargett, the NGAUS president, came up with uses for the money that had been going toward the mortgage.
Hargett notes that no Air Guard members applied for the position, and urged some to do so in the years ahead.
"We'd like to spread this program across the force," he said. "We think its benefits will extend beyond the successful applicants to their colleagues and units."
The Fellowship Program will provide each fellow with $50,000 for the year spent in the nation's capital.
The board also approved the Futures Committee's idea for professional development aimed at other officers. Under this plan, an Army Guard officer and Air Guard officer from each of the 54 states, territories and District of Columbia would visit NGAUS for a three-day event aimed at exposing them to the legislative process and meeting with leaders of government and the military. Two events would be held annually with a total budget of $110,000.
Also, the board approved the Futures Committee's idea to return 25 percent of annual membership dues to the states beginning in 2015. The budget for this is $325,000. And the board approved $50,000 to be spent increasing the use of social media at NGAUS.
In other board action, Denver was approved to host the annual NGAUS conference and exhibition in 2019. Boston will be the site of the conference in 2020.