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  • 16 Jan 2019 10:59 | Robert Tamplet (Administrator)


    National Guard Bureau
    Alumni Association

    Martin Luther King NGBAA Message 2019

    Virtually every Federal Holiday is associated with some commercial symbol:  Decorated Easter eggs, cornucopia, fireworks or jack-o-lanterns all conjure some image of the underpinning occasion.  One American holiday, though, doesn’t so much reflect on service, as to beckon us to Service. 

    In what started as a series of local celebrations, then State recognitions, the third Monday in January is now reserved on our American calendars as a day of reflection on how each of us may rise to our best potential.  What makes this particular day upon which we celebrate the birth of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so special, is we now enjoy a reflective lens more than a half-century deep since his assassination.  The words of this world-renowned minister and civil rights leader ring no less true today, than they did when he walked the Earth.  Many of us remember this giant among men for a single speech rendered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial when he shared his dream that his “four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

    But for those who serve and served at the National Guard Bureau, this clarion call to service is nothing new.  In fact, our uniformed Soldiers and Airmen, Service Civilians, and Industry Partners are each and all renowned for their hospitality, and their willingness to roll up their sleeves when called upon.  Where these two concepts intersect of treating one another with dignity, and doing our best for a cause greater than ourselves you’ll find a National Guardsman, and a member of the National Guard Bureau, standing shoulder to shoulder. 

    While many Americans will go out of their way to render some service to their communities on this January 21st, the members of the National Guard Bureau Alumni Association are involved and engaged every day of the year.  Whether hosting a Senior Leader forum, raising Scholarship funds through a car show, recognizing excellence in NGB service, or anything in between, our NGBAA members are likely there, right in the mix.  The celebration of the life of this one Civil Rights icon presents a unique opportunity for service rendered by countless others. 

    To that end, I hope you’ll join many of us in the National Guard Bureau Alumni Association in taking the day to serve in your community and all across our Fruited Plain.  Perhaps, even visiting with an aging Veteran or a Wounded Warrior, and learning of their remarkable lives. 

    On behalf of the NGBAA Executive Board, warmest wishes for a joyous MLK Birthday celebration; and hoping you’ll take the opportunity to thank a National Guardsman for their service to our Great Nation, across each of our 54 States and Territories, and in our communities.

    Michael R. Ford

    Lieutenant Colonel, Ret.,

    President, National Guard Bureau Alumni Association

  • 28 May 2018 00:00 | Michael Ford (Administrator)

    tomb, arlington national cemetery, u.s. soldiers, memorial day

    A Marine is pictured. | AP Photo

    Memorial, Cemetery, Grave, Flag, Heroes

    On this fourth Monday in May, we pause to remember each who has fallen in Service to our Great Nation.  What distinguishes this day from Veterans' Day is the manner in which we observe, the manner in which we mark, and the manner in which we celebrate.  Many of our Minutemen have given their lives on the field of battle, and so very few of those battles have been waged within the boundaries of our own shores.  Great cemeteries around the world are now hallowed ground and a final resting place for Americans who stood their watch for our Freedom. 

    So many Americans equate Memorial day as the unofficial start of Summer, and yet another reason for tossing a burger on the barbeque.  But amid the celebration of this long weekend, and on behalf of the officers of the National Guard Bureau Alumni Association, I ask that you join me in pausing on Monday, 28 May, to raise your glass in a toast of thanks for the magnificent service each of our fallen have rendered.  Fondest 

    wishes for a safe, restful, and reflective Memorial Day.

  • 19 Feb 2018 19:25 | Frederick Wilson

    mount rushmore imageIn the entirety of our rich National history, less than four dozen Americans have served as President.  Enshrined in our Constitution is the mechanism by which this person is determined to be eligible for this office, is elected, serves their boss -- the American people -- then surrenders the reins of power to their successor.  The world marvels at our peaceful transition of power.  And regardless of their political party, or their path to the highest office in the land, each of our Presidents has arrived on their first day in office with great hope and a spirit of service; and most assuredly tried their best to live up to the expectations of their boss. 

    We set aside the third Monday each February to celebrate each of these unique Americans who have worn the mantle of Commander-in-Chief.  And for each of us who served, who are serving, or who will serve at the National Guard Bureau, it is with great pride that we fulfill the unique role of actually serving forty-four Commanders in Chief!  Our uniformed members, service civilians, and industry partners each serve at the Federal level through a pair of magnificent directorates; and some even serve in that narrow nexus of a joint billet.  But all are mindful that our Governors may call at any moment for assistance, and our President may ask us to stand a watch on the other side of the globe. 

    I would ask each of our members to take some time during this unique Federal Holiday -- this Presidents' Day -- to celebrate not only our Commanders-in-Chief, both past and present -- but those who serve our President in protecting the Greatest Nation on Earth.  In just the brief span of our lifetimes, the promise made by every parent to their sons or daughters that they may be anything they want to be when they grow up, has been realized:  Including growing up to be the President.  Surely this holiday is one to celebrate the articulation of that promise, and of that dream. 

    On behalf of the officers of the National Guard Bureau Alumni Association, I wish each of you a joyous Presidents' Day, and hopes for safe travels throughout this holiday weekend.

  • 17 Dec 2017 14:23 | Frederick Wilson
    US Capitol Christmas Tree
    2017 US Capitol Christmas Tree - Photo courtesy of CW5 Doug Finstad

    It seems we've no sooner covered-up the patio furniture, and taken the fall sweaters out of storage, than winter is ushered-in with a fury. And, just like that, the end of another year is upon us.

    There is so much joy in this time of the year: Families gathering from across town, and around the globe, to be seated for a Christmas dinner; others lighting a menorah, and celebrating the miraculous. It is a time of traditions and festivities; of wonder. And a chance to see the world afresh through the eyes of a child, tearing through wrapping paper for the delight that lies beneath the bow and glitter.

    We have so much to be proud of in the part we played -- however great or small -- in helping the Soldiers and Airmen of our National Guard across the 54 states and territories meet their mission. For the Uniformed Members, Service Civilians, and Industry Partners of the National Guard Bureau, we may take pride in that role, and the effect it has had in ensuring our peace and freedom; in this season, and every day throughout the year.

    On behalf of the Officers of the National Guard Bureau Alumni Association, I hope you each may find great comfort in the celebrations of this magnificent season. And to that end, let us raise our glasses, wherever we may be in these final days and hours of 2017. Let us thank those who served before us, and those who serve with us. Let us remember those who fell on the field of battle, and their family and friends who remember them. Let us each and all reflect upon a year that was nothing short of extraordinary, in so many ways; and, welcome the new year with all its possibilities and wonder. Warmest wishes for safe travels, splendid celebrations, and an outstanding New Year!

    Michael R. Ford
    President, NGBAA

  • 27 Nov 2017 19:21 | Frederick Wilson

    Scholarship Application

    Each year NGBAA selects Scholarship recipient(s) from qualifying applications from members, member spouses, and members’ children. Each evaluator receives the applications with identifying information redacted and ranks them accordingly. Scholarship dollar amounts and quantities are determined just prior to the application review based on the fiscal status of the Association. Each application must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM, 31 March of each year and awards are announce in May of the same year. Please log into NGBAA and see the Scholarship Application details.

    Scholarship Recipients

    In 2017 two applicants were selected; one receiving $1,500 and other receiving $750.

    Please join with me in congratulating the 2017 NGBAA Scholarships recipients.

    Mr. William “Will” Van Orden is the recipient of a $1,500 scholarship. Will, Gregg Van Orden’s son, is attending the University of Virginia and plans on studying Economics and Physics. Will is also a volunteer firefighter and EMT. Congratulation Will.

    Ms. Sarena Pillow is the recipient of a $700 scholarship. Sarena is the daughter of Katrina Pillows and is studying at George Mason University. Sarena will double major in Sports and Business Management. Congratulation Sarena.


    Scholarships and other Association activities are only possible by keeping up with your annual memberships and participating in Association fund raisers (e.g., Annual Virtual 5K). Other associations, such NGAUS, also donate to NGBAA Scholarship. Please consider supporting those who support us.

  • 21 Nov 2017 14:50 | Frederick Wilson

    The string of holidays and celebrations of the late fall and early winter provide us plenty of opportunities to pause and reflect upon who we are as a people; as Americans. And each year, these occasions are each in themselves cause for great celebration in their mere existence.

    But nestled in the weeks that follow Veterans' Day, friends and family are called to sit together in a tradition dating well before the Stars and Stripes were conceived. Differences of culture and creed become moot, and we gather to break bread, much as the first European immigrants to this continent enjoyed with those who arrived to this great land centuries before them. This celebration began as a humble time to give thanks to a merciful God; for the blessings of a bountiful crop and fruitful hunt. So it is amidst all the hustle and hurry of our days in this time, that we may wonder what's changed since that first Thanksgiving?

    I would offer that while the tradition of a Thanksgiving feast itself may not have changed, the freedom we enjoy in which this tradition may continue, most certainly has! A freedom hard won, and earnestly preserved by those who have stepped aside from their plows and took up their muskets; and those who carry on that selfless tradition of Minuteman service to this very Thanksgiving. For the men and women of our National Guard, rest assured that all across our Fruited Plain, we give thanks. And to each member of our National Guard Bureau Alumni Association, I ask that you take a moment during your own Thanksgiving dinner, to raise your glass in a toast to each Soldier, Airman, Service Civilian, and Industry Partner - for making it all happen each day of the year.

    Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving.

    Michael Ford
    LTC (R)
    President, NGBAA

  • 09 Nov 2017 14:20 | Frederick Wilson

    Dear Members,

    Regardless of your political proclivities, or religious affiliations, each of us may find common ground in a deep and abiding appreciation for the freedoms of this Great Nation we enjoy each and every day.

    So it is in a tradition dating back nearly a century, that we pause right where we are on the eleventh minute, of the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. We pause to remember, and give prayer. We pause to give thanks for a debt that each of us have accumulated, but none of us can pay: For that of the sacrifice of service required for a citizen to step aside from their plow, and take up their musket - itself a tradition of the Minuteman dating back more than a century before the birth of our very nation!

    On behalf of each of the Officers of the National Guard Bureau Alumni Association, I thank you for your service to those who, in turn, serve each of us throughout the states and territories. Whether your service is - or was - rendered in uniform, the shirt-and-tie of a service civilian, or as an industry partner, it is that very service that forms the bedrock upon which we stand in the freedoms we enjoy. I exhort you to service on Veterans' Day. Lean across the fence to a neighbor who served, and say "thank you." Or, stop by a Veteran's home, and share an afternoon of swapping stories. But no matter where you are at 11:11am on 11 November, I hope you'll join me in pausing for just a minute in a prayer of gratitude for each of our Veterans, and their shoulders upon which we stand in enjoying the freedom to do so."

    Michael Ford
    LTC(r), AV
    President, NGBAA

  • 25 Aug 2017 20:30 | Frederick Wilson

    NGBAA Logo National Guard Bureau
    Alumni Association

    Nomination Time
    National Guard Bureau Alumni Association | Post Office Box 4294 | Falls Church, VA 22044-4294

    It is time again for Members to submit themselves as candidates for NGBAA Board of Director positions. We are looking for nominees for the following positions:
    • President
    • VP-Army Guard
    • VP-Air Guard
    • VP-Civil Service
    • Treasurer
    • Secretary
    (See the incumbent board at

    In addition to the elected positions we are also looking for non-elected volunteers for Chair positions including:
    • Social Chair
    • Membership Chair
    • Web Service Chair

    SUSPENSE: 5 SEP 2017

    If you wish to be a nominee or a volunteer please send a short note to the Secretary, Mark Grapin, about your vision for the position you wish to. Submissions may be email to please included in the cc line of your email or you click here to start and email

    Nominees must be NGBAA member in good standing and it is not necessary for the member to be actively working at NGB.

    Explanation of each positions can be found in the by-laws at

    Voting will take place at the next membership general meeting to be announced later.

    Mark Grapin
    Secretary, NGBAA
  • 10 Jun 2017 12:24 | Frederick Wilson

    Congratulations to the second quarter REDI award winners. As winners they receive complimentary two year NGBAA membership.  If you see them around campus please remember to congratulated them. Otherwise look them up in the member directory and give them a shout out.

    Civilian Award
    Mr. Daniel Lewis  
    Warrant Officer Award
    CW4 Cheryl Shodd 
    Enlisted Award
    SSG Charles Miller, II

  • 14 Apr 2017 08:34 | Frederick Wilson

    Wishing our NGBAA Members a Happy Easter Happy Passover:

    What a joyous season this is! Hope abounds as we shake off the winter, and a summer full of plans begins to become visible on the near horizon. This time of year is steeped in celebrations for many of the great Faiths of the world - each with a fundamental tone of giving thanks for having weathered some very long nights and dark days, and for the possibilities and promises of hope eternal.

    This is an opportunity for each of us walking a tour in the National Guard Bureau to take stock of our good fortune to serve our Air and Army Guard members in the 54 states and territories. For those who have stood their watch, it is our chance to renew our thanks for your tremendous service to those who serve our Nation. This is also an opportunity for us to reflect upon those who came home to be laid to rest; or those who yet count the days until they are liberated and accounted for to their loved ones, and a grateful Nation.

    Several times throughout the year, my wife, Cindy, and I visit those veterans for whom the holidays do not rise to the level of happiness enjoyed during another time in their lives; and we hope you may take the same opportunity during these Easter and Passover holidays. For each of our members: Those in uniform, Service Civilians, or Industry Partners, and on behalf of the NGBAA Executive Board, please accept our warmest wishes for joyous and safe holiday.


    Michael R. Ford, LTC (Ret.)
    NGBAA President

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National Guard Bureau Alumni Association | Post Office Box 4294 | Falls Church, Virginia 22044-4294 |

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