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NEWS | Feb. 27, 2023

Kentucky hosts Leadership Development Day

By Lt. Col. Carla Raisler, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

More than 900 Soldiers and Airmen from the Kentucky National Guard attended Leadership Development Day at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. Feb. 5, 2023.

Governor Andy Beshear started the event off with an address to the officers and senior enlisted personnel in the audience followed by a presentation of awards to Airmen and Soldiers for their exceptional service.

Other presenters included U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marc Sasseville, vice chief of the National Guard Bureau; U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Troy Galloway, deputy commanding general of the Army National Guard; US Army Brig. Gen. Robert Davis, assistant operations and training Army National Guard; U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Mark Landes, commander of First Army East; U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Haldane Lamberton, adjutant general of the Commonwealth of Kentucky; and U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Duke Pirak, deputy director of the Air National Guard.

In addition to senior military leaders, Ecuador Army Col. Fernado Silva, defense attaché of Ecuador and Ambassador Dennis Hankins, foreign policy advisor to Chief of the National Guard Bureau addressed the audience on the importance of our national security strategy on a global scale.

“Each of the speakers, whether from the highest level of elected leadership within Kentucky (Governor Beshear) to senior leadership and general officers from throughout the National Guard brought operational and strategic perspectives to the Kentucky National Guard leadership, connecting our efforts of recruiting, organizing, training and equipping at the state-level and its overall importance to the national level and contributing to the on-going security of our country and global community,” said Brig. Gen. Brian Wertzler, deputy adjutant general land component commander for the Kentucky National Guard.

“What a great day it was for our Kentucky leaders of all ranks, as they participated in such a memorable experience,” Wertzler added.

With the success of the first Leadership Development Day in over a decade, Kentucky plans to bring back the event on a bi-annual basis.

“The event provided a rare opportunity for all our senior leaders to hear straight from some of our most senior state and National Guard leaders.,” said Brig. Gen David Mounkes, assistant adjutant general air component commander. “There’s something about our current and future leaders being able to look these senior leaders in the eye and hear for themselves heartfelt thanks and praise along with thought provoking and sometimes challenging messages. Hopefully it helped our soldiers and airmen (and even several of our spouses) understand the critical role they play in protecting and serving our great state and nation,” Mounkes concluded.

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