ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 22, 2014 —
The National Guard Bureau’s Office of Resource Management and Comptroller held its inaugural National Guard Bureau J8 Summer Gala here Aug. 15.
Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jessica L. Garfola Wright was the keynote speaker for the event, which aimed to promote morale and esprit de corps within the NGB community.
“We wanted to build a tradition by bringing National Guard members and families together … in an atmosphere of camaraderie, good fellowship, and social rapport,” said Air Force Maj. Scott Anderson, branch chief of Resource Oversight and Analysis, National Guard Bureau J8.
“We wanted to support the goals of our most recent climate assessments … and to increase unity … through the joint staff transformation,” Anderson said.
Wright is a retired Army National Guard major general and former adjutant general of the Pennsylvania National Guard. The Guard, she said at the gala, has undergone transformations since its inception and has always performed its missions well.
“From time to time, and on some occasions, the National Guard meets with some skeptics -- some about [its] abilities, and some about [its] readiness,” Wright said. “But since 1636 [you] have done three things well in the Guard: [you] fight our nation’s wars, protect the home front, and build strong and enduring partnerships at home and abroad.”
Anderson said finding the perfect keynote speaker, such as Wright, who had a personal connection to the Guard was the biggest challenge of the event’s planning.
“We didn’t stop searching. Her remarks were right in line with our [theme and] vision for the night,” he said, which was ‘Infinity and Beyond.’
Wright’s remarks also included the importance of family for Guard members.
“I’ve said it before and it rings so true, that family members … are there to celebrate the really good times with their Guard members and the really bad -- they are the glue that holds [the Guard] together,” she said.
Anderson added that Wright’s remarks about family illustrate their importance throughout the many challenges the Guard has faced and could face in the future.
After coming together so well -- and with the perfect keynote speaker -- Anderson said the event was a huge success, and hopes to see it continue for years to come.
“Our desire is that we continue this tradition by allowing another directorate to promote their community,” he said. “I do believe that this will become a yearly tradition and it will continue to be the NGB social event of the year.”