Air Guard Facility to Honor First Four-star Chief

Washington Report

(July 25, 2017) Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, will attend a ceremony Thursday honoring the first bureau chief to wear four stars and sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

A new dormitory and classroom facility at the McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base in Tennessee will be named for Gen. Craig R. McKinley. The facility is at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center.

McKinley’s historic tenure as bureau chief ran from November 2008 until September 2012.

Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, the director of the Air National Guard, will also attend.

The National Guard Educational Foundation is contributing items from the National Guard Memorial Museum to the ceremony. A display in the museum is dedicated to McKinley and his role in Guard history. Among the items that have been shipped to Tennessee for the ceremony are his blue uniform jacket bearing four stars on each shoulder, a National Guard Bureau flag and a pen used by President Barack Obama to sign the law that made the Guard bureau chief a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Retired Brig. Gen. Roy Robinson, the president of NGAUS and NGEF, will also attend the ceremony. He said, “This is a proper honor for General McKinley, and NGEF is proud to have a small part in the ceremony. The permanent display of these items in our museum illustrates the increased importance of the Guard in the nation’s defense. General McKinley was an appropriate choice for that trailblazing role.”

The training center was established in 1968 and carries the name of the first Air Guard director, Maj. Gen. I.G. Brown.