Conference Update August 2022
Most attendees traveling to the 144th General Conference & Exhibition will reach Columbus through John Glenn Columbus International Airport (reservation code: CMH), just outside the Ohio capital. It handles most major U.S. and regional airlines.
If you’ve signed up for ground transportation Aug. 25 or 26, look for signs or volunteers in red polo shirts in baggage claim. They will direct you to buses to the conference hotels, which are only a short ride away.
Cabs, commercial shuttles and ridesharing are options on the other days. A cab is probably the simplest, but it’s also the most expensive. Fares can top $30 each way.
All meetings, some social events and the industry exhibition will be at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, connected to some conference hotels and only steps away from most others. Bus transportation will be available if you are in a conference hotel farther away.
Conference business sessions, which used to be known as the business session, begin at 12:30 p.m., Aug. 27 with an opening ceremony featuring a local band that has performed across the country and around the world — Lt. Dan’s New Legs.
Confirmed speakers include three members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: Gen. James C. McConville, the Army chief of staff; Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the Air Force chief of staff; and Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, the chief of the National Guard Bureau.
Also on the agenda are Gen. Andrew P. Poppas, the new commanding general of Army Forces Command; Lt. Gen. Jon A Jensen, the director of the Army Guard; Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh, the director of the Air Guard; and Lt. Gen. Laura A. Potter, the deputy Army chief of staff for intelligence (G-2).
The agenda for the business sessions and the Army and Air separate sessions is available here.
A professional development program for company-grade and junior warrant officers is again part of the program. The agenda will feature presentations by senior NGB generals and leadership experts from Ohio State University.
There is also association business to conduct. One item is board elections. This includes the three representatives (adjutant general, Army and Air) for Area I and Area IV, the Army company-grade rep and the Air retired/separated rep.
Conference delegates will also consider resolutions that will be the foundation for next year’s legislative agenda.
The uniform this year for most meetings and sessions will be OCPs (Operational Camouflage Pattern). Those going on stage will be Class A’s.
A REALLY BIG SHOW
The largest NGAUS industry exhibition in a decade is on tap for Columbus. More than 340 companies or organizations will display their latest products and services, according to SPARGO, the association’s show manager. Some will be exhibiting for the first time at the conference.
The exhibition ranks among America’s most diverse military tradeshows. It annually includes products and services tailored to the Guard’s domestic response mission and to its full spectrum of contributions to Army and Air Force operations worldwide.
The NGAUS booth (No. 1636) again will be near the middle of a sure-to-sell-out, 200,000-square-foot show floor. This is where you can speak with NGAUS staff and purchase the 2022 National Guard Educational Foundation holiday ornament. It features the flags of the 13 nations (12 in Europe and one in Asia) that established the Guard State Partnership in 1993.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony opens the exhibition at 10 a.m. Aug. 27, followed by a complimentary brunch on the trade show floor.
Social events this year will take advantage of some of the city’s most popular attractions.
Evening festivities get underway Aug. 27 with separate company-grade officer, warrant officer and field-grade officer all at Huntington Field, a minor-league baseball stadium a short walk from most hotels. There is no game scheduled, so attendees will have the place to themselves, with plenty of food, drinks, games and music.
Meanwhile, the Adjutant General’s Reception (invitation only) takes place at the National Veterans Memorial Museum.
As always, the largest social event will be the Governor’s Reception Aug. 27. It will be held at the Center of Science & Industry, a 32,000-square-foot, nationally recognized science center featuring interactive experiences, galleries and a planetarium. Arrive hungry and thirsty, as plenty of food and drink will be available.
Another popular social event figures to be the Spouse’s Luncheon, Aug. 28 at the Battelle Grand Ballroom in the Greater Columbus Convention Center. “Sweet Success” is the theme of the event, which will feature a dessert-heavy fare. Red, white and blue is the recommended wear.
The conference will conclude with a States Dinner on Aug. 29 like none other in the annual event’s century-old history. It will have a strong sports theme. The recommended dress is sports jerseys and food and drink will resemble offerings from the best tailgate parties, emphasizing smoked meats.
In keeping with the theme, the dinner program will include mascots from the local pro and college teams and a short performance by the Ohio State cheerleaders. Bobby Carpenter, a former OSU and NFL linebacker and current ESPN football analyst, will provide the program play-by-play and the color commentary.
A DJ will provide after-dinner entertainment.
The latest conference information is available here.
You can also stay updated by downloading the NGAUS Conference App sponsored by Armed Forces Benefit Association. It’s now available at the Apple Store and Google Play.