(August 8, 2017) More than 50 National Guard company-grade officers from across the nation today wrapped up the first of two officer-professional development visits to Washington, D.C., this year.
The NGAUS-funded program began last year and invites two officers from each state and territory to the nation’s capital for three days. The purpose is to provide them with insight in how NGAUS pushes legislation on their behalf so they can share the information with their colleagues back home.
Their visit included briefings from Guard leaders at the National Guard Memorial, the NGAUS headquarters, and an update from NGAUS on legislation now in the works. Congressional staff also spoke with the officers, who toured the Capitol and the Pentagon.
“For me, one of the extra benefits was to figure out how to better relay to the company-grade officers in the state what NGAUS does for them and then what the state association contributes to NGAUS as a whole,” said 1st Lt. David Wachtveitl of the Illinois Army Guard. “If you can better relate that to people, then they can see why they need to be a part of the state association and the national association.”
A cookout Sunday at the home of Lt. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, the vice chief of the National Guard Bureau, got the visit off to a good start. Hokanson also briefed the Guardsmen at the NGAUS office, along with Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, the director of the Air National Guard.
“This building is really impressive,” 1st. Lt. Danielle Dipippo of the Rhode Island Air Guard said in describing the NGAUS headquarters.
She added, “It was nice to hear a wider view of what NGAUS does . . . and hearing from the top leadership at NGAUS what their direction is, that’s been really helpful.”
Another group of company-grade officers will arrive Sunday for the second session of the program.