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States Dinner to Have World War II Theme

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

The final event of the 146th General Conference & Exhibition, Aug. 23-26, in Detroit, will honor the nation’s contributions to World War II with era-appropriate attire.

Participants attending the States Dinner on Monday, Aug. 26, are encouraged to wear outfits recalling either the conflict’s home or war fronts.

Attendees at the dinner — which runs from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Huntington Place Convention Center — may also wear clothing that was worn to work in wartime factories.

For example, guests can dress as Rosie the Riveter — the media icon who represented those women who served in manufacturing roles during World War II.

Women also joined the men overseas during World War II, serving as nurses.

Conference-goers who want to experience the States Dinner in more contemporary fashions can come in business casual attire.

The full attire guide for this year's NGAUS conference in Detroit is available here.

The States Dinner and the entertainment afterwards typically conclude the association’s conference each year.

For decades, only formal attire was allowed during the States Dinner; but, in recent years, NGAUS has allowed the host states more leeway in setting the theme for the social event.

This year’s States Dinner will start after the Chairman’s Head Table Reception and No Host Cocktail receptions at 6 p.m.

Dinner is set to begin at 7:30 p.m., followed by a special concert happening at 9 p.m.

The concert will feature two Michigan natives — Sadie Bass, a Nashville country music singer-songwriter, and Jason Cross, a Nashville country rock musician.

The NGAUS General Conference serves as the association’s annual business meeting, with Army and Air Guardsmen from all 54 Guard organizations nationwide attending.

The event lets attendees network, set their legislative agenda and hear from America’s civilian and military leaders.

The suggested attire is aligned with this year’s conference theme — The National Guard: Built to Defend America, which celebrates the Guard’s status as the nation’s first military organization.

Detroit earned its place in history by helping the United States and its allies win World War II.

Before World War II, Detroit anchored the world’s auto industry by housing "The Big Three" automakers in Ford, General Motors and Chrysler.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said America "must be the great arsenal of democracy" during his Dec. 29, 1940, fireside chat evening radio address.

But Detroit ultimately became synonymous with Roosevelt’s phrase by facilitating the Allied victory in World War II, with much of the city’s auto industry manufacturing bombers, tanks and other war assets.

The National Guard Association of Michigan has declared 2024 the Year of the Company Grade Officer.

NGAM 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 only pay $50.

All other guests pay $180 for this year’s NGAUS conference.

For more information about the association’s conference in Detroit, please visit https://www.ngaus.org/events/146th-general-conference-exhibition.

— By Mark Hensch