NEWS | Oct. 6, 2021

Guardsmen share ideas during state conference

By Sgt. 1st Class Scott Raymond, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Soldiers and Airmen of the Kentucky National Guard gathered at the Sloan Convention Center for the 90th National Guard Association of Kentucky (NGAKY) Conference, Oct. 2, 2021.

The Guardsmen who are members of the association come together annually for professional development and to discuss career and operational updates. Each member can provide a voice from Kentucky to elected officials in Washington, D.C.

“The association represents all of us in uniform, and provides us with a unified voice to fight for the changes and support we need,” said Lt. Col. Travis Carpenter, current NGAKY president.

NGAKY is tiered off the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) whose purpose is to advocate for the National Guard and educate Congress on the roles, capabilities and requirements of the Nation’s oldest fighting force.

Full of tradition, the annual conference recognizes select Soldiers and Airmen for prestigious awards such as the George Rogers Clark Outstanding Young Officer Award which is presented to two officers who demonstrated exceptional performance during the year. Capt. Logan Forrest, training officer for the 2-138th Field Artillery Battalion and Capt. Brent Cashion from the 206th Engineer Battalion, 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, were honored with trophies.

Capt. Bradley Scholl with the 1-623rd Field Artillery Battalion was also recognized for his aggressive training plans and attention to detail. He received the General John Hunt Morgan Award for exemplary service to the Kentucky National Guard.

NGAKY welcomed retired Brig. Gen. Roy Robinson, NGAUS director, as their keynote speaker. Robinson provided news on several key legislative issues that could impact the men and women of the National Guard.

“Times are different in Washington D.C., but they respect what you do” said Robinson. “Thank you for what you do! I’m your biggest fan and when I walk the halls of congress I tell your story.”

Brig. Gen. Haldane Lamberton, adjutant general for Kentucky concluded the conference with a “state of the Guard,” highlighting the unique and challenging year Guardsmen have faced.

“Most people outside this organization have a vague idea about what we do as a Guard,” said Lamberton. “A lot of folks simply think that if there’s flood or an aftermath of a tornado, the Guard is just going to go out fill sandbags, well I say we do a lot more than just fill sandbags.”

He went on to talk about the extraordinary year the Kentucky Gard has had during the last 18-months and the events they were involved in from the pandemic support, civil disturbance response and even assisting at election polling sites.

“National Guard Bureau knows that they can call on us at the Kentucky National Guard, because we get things done,” added Lamberton.