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New NGAUS President Begins Term

01-30-24 WR McGinn WEBSITE
01-30-24 WR McGinn WEBSITE
Washington Report

Retired Massachusetts Army National Guard Maj. Gen. Francis M. McGinn now has responsibility for the association’s daily operations in Washington, D.C.

The association’s board of directors elected McGinn to be NGAUS president Nov. 18 at its annual fall meeting.

McGinn succeeded retired Mississippi Army Guard Brig. Gen. J. Roy Robinson, who had been president since 2017.

The NGAUS president is the association’s chief executive officer, with responsibility for a 28-member staff that works from the NGAUS headquarters in Washington, D.C.

This includes providing the Guard in the 54 states, territories and the District of Columbia with unified representation before Congress.

The position also oversees the National Guard Educational Foundation — which operates the National Guard Memorial Museum — and the NGAUS Insurance Trust.

"Being able to continue to serve the men and women of our National Guard is a true honor," McGinn said. "I’m excited, I’m humbled, and I am looking forward to carrying on the work that has been so critical over 146 years to making the National Guard the force that it is today."

He said his legislative priority is securing health care for every Guardsman.

Zero-cost TRICARE medical coverage has been a NGAUS legislative priority for three years. It would provide Guardsmen and Reservists with access to year-round health care with no out-of-pocket costs.

The Healthcare for Our Troops Act (H.R. 4221) in the House would do just that, but some lawmakers balk at adding a recurring cost to defense appropriations.

"Zero-cost TRICARE would pay for itself in higher medical readiness and retention and the elimination of the millions of dollars the Guard pays every year for troop physicals from medical contractors," McGinn said.

"I know this will be a challenge," he added. "It may take a while to convince some in Congress of the value of zero-cost TRICARE, but so did winning the support needed to put the Guard on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And we’re up for it."

McGinn arrives familiar with the workings of the association through his 15 years as a member of the NGAUS board.

He will also rely on his four decades of military service, most of it as a traditional, part-time soldier.

McGinn deployed to Iraq in 2004 as part of the 42nd Infantry Division. Later, McGinn was the division’s assistant division commander for support.

He also served as Massachusetts assistant adjutant general-Army and deputy commanding general-Army National Guard at the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence at what is now Fort Eisenhower, Georgia.

McGinn additionally has 34 years of civilian law-enforcement experience, retiring from the Massachusetts State Police in 2018 as a major after 30 years.

Most recently, McGinn commanded the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Station in Arlington, Virginia, as a major in the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department.

He grew up in Quincy, Massachusetts, a city south of Boston that has produced 18 general officers.

This list includes retired Army Gen. James C. McConville, the chief of staff of the Army from 2019 to 2023; retired Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2015 to 2019; and the late Army Gen. Gordon S. Sullivan, the Army chief of staff from 1991 to 1995.

McConville and Dunford recommended McGinn for association president in letters to the NGAUS board.

In his spare time, McGinn, 60, still plays ice hockey, a game he started playing at age five.

McGinn and his wife, Kerry, currently live in Ashburn, Virginia. The couple have a daughter, Kaylee, and a son, Colin.

— By John Goheen