National Guard July 2012 : Page 48

LAST WORD The Answer By Capt. John Brownell s the representative for Air issues on the NGAUS Committee on Company Grade Issues, I often get asked by junior officers why they should join the association. I like to start my answer with a simple definition of a professional organization. It is, I tell them, an organiza-tion that seeks to further an entire profession and serve the interests of individuals in that profession. In doing that, it serves the interest of the broader pub-lic. All of that describes our association. In the January 2012 Defense Department report “Sus-taining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” the Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta states that “an ill-prepared force will be vulnerable to corrosion in its morale, recruitment, and retention.” What does this mean as a junior officer? In the future, the National Guard will rely on profes-sional business qualities to sustain itself as an organization. The Guard will be limited in the number of officers that it can retain. The force can no longer afford to maintain all the officers who enter its ranks. Professionals such as lawyers and doctors are required to be part of their professional organizations in order to be recognized within their fields. As a professional Guard officer, shouldn’t you be recognized as well? NGAUS offers competitive pricing and world-class ben-efits for its members. Several money-saving programs are available, from travel to insurance and more. But more important is the professional development opportunity for junior officers. At each annual conference, the association provides professional development for junior officers. At the 134th General Conference and Exhibition in Reno, Nev., which will be held in September, another op-portunity for professional development will take place. Our committee wants input from company-grade officers on the types of speakers and presenters they feel will help them better their careers. As professionals in a rapidly changing environment, it is A NGAUS is the organization that best represents National Guard officers in the nation’s capital. paramount that we stay informed of the daily changes that occur in Washington, D.C. Our roster of speakers for the Reno event is not yet complete, but it is shaping up to be top-notch. For the professional-development sessions alone, it in-cludes the chief of the National Guard Bureau, the director of the Army Guard and the Air Guard, additional senior officers and a senior fellow at the CATO Institute. Plus, this is an election year. Both candidates for the White House have been invited. They would miss a great opportunity to reach a broad audience representing America if they choose not to come. The key role of NGAUS, of course, is to fight your battles on Capitol Hill. The legislation that Congress debates often is aimed at you—at your ability to train with proper equipment, at your peace of mind when you go to war knowing your family is being cared for, at your access to good and afford-able health care following your military service. The men and women in Congress care about Guardsmen. But they are buffeted from many sides by people asking for this or that. They have plenty of people pulling them in many direc-tions. But our association makes sure your voice is heard and that your concerns are addressed. NGAUS breaks through the other noise and presents clear arguments in your favor to the people who can influence the direction of this country. One way to make this voice even stronger is to grow our membership. If you are reading this magazine, chances are you are a member. But you know people who are not. Ask them why they haven’t joined the organization that best represents them in the nation’s capital. When people ask me why they should join NGAUS, I tell them to use the Write to Congress feature on the as-sociation website at www.ngaus.org. Drop a note to your lawmaker, I tell them, and see what happens. They get an answer, that’s what happens. Lawmakers listen to NGAUS. They’ll listen to you. That’s why company grade-officers should join the association. 48 | Na tional Guard

Last Word

Capt. John Brownell

The Answer<br /> <br /> As the representative for Air issues on the NGAUS Committee on Company Grade Issues, I often get asked by junior officers why they should join the association.<br /> <br /> I like to start my answer with a simple definition of a professional organization. It is, I tell them, an organization that seeks to further an entire profession and serve the interests of individuals in that profession.<br /> <br /> In doing that, it serves the interest of the broader public.<br /> <br /> All of that describes our association.<br /> <br /> In the January 2012 Defense Department report “Sustaining U. S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” the Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta states that “an ill-prepared force will be vulnerable to corrosion in its morale, recruitment, and retention.” <br /> <br /> What does this mean as a junior officer? In the future, the National Guard will rely on professional business qualities to sustain itself as an organization.<br /> <br /> The Guard will be limited in the number of officers that it can retain. The force can no longer afford to maintain all the officers who enter its ranks.<br /> <br /> Professionals such as lawyers and doctors are required to be part of their professional organizations in order to be recognized within their fields.<br /> <br /> As a professional Guard officer, shouldn’t you be recognized as well?<br /> <br /> NGAUS offers competitive pricing and world-class benefits for its members. Several money-saving programs are available, from travel to insurance and more.<br /> <br /> But more important is the professional development opportunity for junior officers. At each annual conference, the association provides professional development for junior officers.<br /> <br /> At the 134th General Conference and Exhibition in Reno, Nev., which will be held in September, another opportunity for professional development will take place. Our committee wants input from company-grade officers on the types of speakers and presenters they feel will help them better their careers.<br /> <br /> As professionals in a rapidly changing environment, it is paramount that we stay informed of the daily changes that occur in Washington, D.C. Our roster of speakers for the Reno event is not yet complete, but it is shaping up to be top-notch.<br /> <br /> For the professional-development sessions alone, it includes the chief of the National Guard Bureau, the director of the Army Guard and the Air Guard, additional senior officers and a senior fellow at the CATO Institute.<br /> <br /> Plus, this is an election year. Both candidates for the White House have been invited. They would miss a great opportunity to reach a broad audience representing America if they choose not to come.<br /> <br /> The key role of NGAUS, of course, is to fight your battles on Capitol Hill.<br /> <br /> The legislation that Congress debates often is aimed at you—at your ability to train with proper equipment, at your peace of mind when you go to war knowing your family is being cared for, at your access to good and affordable health care following your military service.<br /> <br /> The men and women in Congress care about Guardsmen. But they are buffeted from many sides by people asking for this or that. They have plenty of people pulling them in many directions.<br /> <br /> But our association makes sure your voice is heard and that your concerns are addressed. NGAUS breaks through the other noise and presents clear arguments in your favor to the people who can influence the direction of this country.<br /> <br /> One way to make this voice even stronger is to grow our membership. If you are reading this magazine, chances are you are a member.<br /> <br /> But you know people who are not. Ask them why they haven’t joined the organization that best represents them in the nation’s capital.<br /> <br /> When people ask me why they should join NGAUS, I tell them to use the Write to Congress feature on the association website at www.ngaus.org. Drop a note to your lawmaker, I tell them, and see what happens.<br /> <br /> They get an answer, that’s what happens.<br /> <br /> Lawmakers listen to NGAUS.<br /> <br /> They’ll listen to you. That’s why company grade-officers should join the association.

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