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The National Guard: Built to Defend America

03-26-24 WR Theme WEBSITE
03-26-24 WR Theme WEBSITE
Washington Report

— By Maj. Gen. Francis M. McGinn (Ret.), NGAUS President

Developing a theme for the NGAUS general conference is always an important part of our planning for the big annual event.

You’ll first see it in promotional materials. But it’s more than a marketing slogan.

The theme makes a statement about who we are, what we do and where we will gather to conduct the business of our association.

This year, the 146th General Conference & Exhibition will meet Aug. 23-26 in Detroit under the theme The National Guard: Built to Defend America.

As you know, the National Guard was our nation’s first military organization. The original colonies formed militias, the forerunner of the Guard, to protect settlements.

The Constitution later formally designated state forces to "to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions."

Detroit also helped build and defend the nation. It’s the birthplace of the American auto industry, and no technology has had a greater impact on everyday life than the automobile.

But during World War II, the Motor City stopped producing civilian cars to make weapons and other military material, notably tanks and bombers (please see the photo above).

It is generally agreed that no American city contributed more to the Allied victory. Appropriately, Detroit became known as "The Arsenal of Democracy."

The city is also the home of the uniquely American sounds of Motown.

Conference attendees can expect to see and hear some of what makes the Motor City so famous this August. They’ll also get an audience with defense leaders. Other speakers will also be on the agenda, — including, perhaps, the 2024 presidential candidates.

Conference registration begins next week, and the fee may surprise you.

National Guard Association of Michigan officials are so confident in their fundraising that they are offering free or deeply discounted registration to most currently serving Guard officers.

NGAM has declared 2024 as the Year of the Company Grade Officer and is offering free registration to all currently serving lieutenants, captains, warrant officer 1s and chief warrant officer 2s and a guest.

Field-grade officers and chief warrant officer 3s, 4s and 5s and a guest will only pay $50. All other attendees will pay the standard $180.

For more information, head over to www.ngaus.org/events/146th-general-conference-exhibition.