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Feature Stories

NEWS | Sept. 14, 2017

USARCENT commander honors National Guard at annual conference

By Sgt. Matt Kuzara U.S. Army Central

“I’m going to begin by telling you an absolute truth, which I believe with all my heart: the Army would long ago have failed as an institution without the contributions of the total Army, our National Guard and our Army Reserve,” said Lt. Gen. Michael Garrett, the U.S. Army Central Command commander, during his remarks at the National Guard Association of the United States’ annual conference, on Sept. 9.

With his unique position as the commander of all Army forces in the Middle East and Central Asia, Garrett relies upon the National Guard for numerous combat and training missions.

For USARCENT, the impact of the National Guard and Reserves is felt even within the organization’s headquarters because of the hard work of more than 200 soldiers who integrate the total Army force.

The NGAUS is the nation’s oldest military association and works to represent the National Guard of the United States while educating the public about the Guard’s role and history in the armed forces of the United States.

In the Army there are four areas of focus for readiness; manning, training, equipping, and leader development. For attendees, the NGAUS conference gave the opportunity to tackle these focus areas through discussions led by senior National Guard leaders. The attending units also had a chance to look at products from more than 100 commercial vendors to better meet their equipping needs. This annual conference helps the National Guard meet the four focus areas of readiness and ensures the Army can rely upon these citizen Soldiers to accomplish a full range of military operations. This is especially important to USARCENT.

“About 40 percent of the units that are deployed in the (Central Command) area of responsibility are National Guard and Reservists,” said Dr. Charles Eubanks, deputy chief of the USARCENT Commander’s Initiatives Group. “We just set a precedent by adding a National Guard division headquarters as part of our mission command structure, and that is a headquarters that will be there until conditions change.”