The purpose of NGAUS’s (National Guard Association of United States) Officer Professional Development (OPD) program is to educate and inspire Company Grade Officers (CGO). I have had the pleasure of attending two NGAUS OPD events this year to include the NGAUS 144th General Conference in Columbus, Ohio, as well as the recent Capitol Summit. Both events were beneficial to my education, experience, and network as a CGO. I am grateful for these opportunities. I formally would like to thank those that provided me the opportunity to attend these events.
The Capitol Summit was held October 2, through October 4, 2022. The event intended to educate CGOs on how NGAUS, National Guard Bureau (NGB), National Guard (NG), and Air National Guard (ANG), coordinate to interact with congress in attempt to accomplish pertinent objectives of the Air and Army National Guard.
On October 2nd we checked into the hotel, met at the NGAUS building in Capitol Hill, then quickly headed to Airbus’s experience center in DC. Airbus leadership welcomed us with food and drinks, then lead us through their experience center to explain their current and future operations and projects.
October 3, 2022, Monday morning, we were welcomed for breakfast by NGAUS leadership (Ret) Brigadier General (BG) Roy Robinson and Priya Ghosh Ahola in the “Hall of States”, a lecture style hall with every state’s flag flying, following breakfast we transitioned to the “Montgomery Room”, a stately conference room.
(Ret) Major General (MG) Don Dunbar spoke about the formation of the National Guard, major historical benchmarks, and changes for the NG through-out American history. He explained items such as: the Dick Act of 1903, 1908 amendment allowing NG to leave the United States territory for duty, 1916 Amendment to the Dick Act, Title 10, Title 32, Section 304 – requiring NG to have a TAG, the resolution process, and much more. Additionally, he read the “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats, and urged the attending CGOs to go back to their units and start CGO committees if they do not already exist, these committees can collaborate on issues we see, later these posed resolutions can ascend to the state and national level.
MG April Vogel from NGB office of Legislative Liaison (LL) explained her organization, how the LL staff communicates and works with Congressional staff and their members to achieve NGB goals. Furthermore, she discussed “Legislative Proposals” and “Congressional Objectives”, the two mechanisms NGB LL uses to persuade congress to implement their objectives into law. Legislative proposals and congressional objectives are issues/resolutions gathered from each state’s resolutions committee. LL compiles and prioritizes resolutions, then once approved by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and ultimately the DoD at large, the legislative proposals are presented to congress members in hopes for congress to pass into law. These laws can be implemented into the annual NDAA or a stand-alone bill, however, standalone bills are uncommon.
Additionally, MG Vogel spoke about the Military Fellowship program. The program allows for roughly 25 military members from each branch to serve as an advisor for congress members and their staff. The MLAs serve as subject matter experts and a point of contact for congress on topics of military matters.
Former representative of Kentucky Geoff Davis spoke about how congress works in DC and the culture. Paraphrasing some of the quotes I wrote down from his discussion were: Todays enemies may need to be tomorrow’s friends, and the world looks very 1937 currently. Geoff spoke about American history and how isolationism has somewhat been engrained into the DNA of the United States.
Lieutenant General (LTG) Michael Loh, Director of the Air National Guard spoke about the major objectives of the ANG. As expected, a major topic was China and Russia. General Loh stated our goal is to