NCNGA Weekly Guardsman for July 28, 2022

July 28th, 2022


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Join NC4ME and the NC Business Center for a networking social! NCNGA 
While Russia-Ukraine Looms Large, Hecker Promises ‘Balance,’ Focus on Africa AFMAG 
Guard Soldiers Train in Military Funeral Honors Program 
Scholarship Spotlight: Weldon E. Holcomb & Lt Col William C. Polk Memorial Scholarships NCNGA 
USO Volunteers Needed! USO 
Read the latest edition of the Tarheel Guardsman NCNGA 
EANGUS Roll Call: Drill Weekend Talking Points EANGUS 
Highlighting EANGUS and NGAUS’s upcoming conferences NCNGA 
Tickets-At-Work: Members get Discounts on Tickets NCNGA 
This Week in NCNG History NCNG Museum 
July 28th — Today in Guard History National Guard 

Join NC4ME and the NC Business Center for a networking social! NCNGA 

Join NC4ME and the NC Business Center for a networking social! This event is free for all employers, service members, and military spouses.

Join us on July 26 for this interactive networking social! Employers and candidates will be able to connect with each other and the NC4ME team. Appetizers and beverages will be provided.

Click Here to Register!

While Russia-Ukraine Looms Large, Hecker Promises ‘Balance,’ Focus on Africa AFMAG 

FAIRFORD, U.K.—When Gen. James B. Hecker, the new commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, got the chance to meet with dozens of other nations’ air chiefs during the Royal International Air Tattoo, the main topic on everyone’s minds was obvious.

“The consensus is that everyone agrees Russia invaded a sovereign country [Ukraine] without being provoked. They just did it. And everyone, I think, is against that,” Hecker told Air Force Magazine in an exclusive interview.

Indeed, much of the Pentagon’s focus over the past few months has been on aiding Ukraine against Russia’s aggression and bolstering NATO’s defenses, and USAFE has been at the forefront, with increased vigilance and extra rotations of Airmen and aircraft in the region.

But while the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to dominate headlines and concern military and government officials alike, Hecker emphasized that as he settles into his new job, he won’t forget about the other region he’s tasked with overseeing—Africa.

“Right now, the demand signal is a little bit more on the European side, based on what is happening with Ukraine,” Hecker acknowledged. “But it is also relatively constant and maybe increased a little bit on the AFRICOM side.”

While roughly 100,000 U.S. troops are now in Europe, only a couple thousand are now in Africa, and the Air Force presence, in particular, is small, with no permanent USAF installation and limited personnel to cover a massive continent with issues ranging from terrorism to regular regime changes to great power competition, as China and Russia seek to increase their influence.

As a result, the main Air Force mission in Africa is typically intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, usually accomplished with unmanned aircraft such as MQ-9 Reapers.

Those Reapers fly “very long-duration” flights, Hecker said, regularly staying in the air for 24 hours.

Read More…

Guard Soldiers Train in Military Funeral Honors Program 

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia National Guard Funeral Honors Program hosted Level 1 funeral honors training for nine National Guard Soldiers from four states.

Soldiers from Maryland, North Carolina and Ohio joined Virginia Soldiers June 27-July 1 for the five-day course, which prepares Soldiers to conduct professional military funeral honors.

“It feels great knowing that one day someone will be doing this for me,” said Spc. Raativ Rahman, a Virginia National Guard Soldier assigned to the 29th Infantry Division Band. “I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Rahman has been assisting with the program for about a year and has served at a few funerals. But the formal training program provides insight and guidance into exactly how and why the services are performed.

“Coming here, you learn why you do things a certain way,” he said. “Everything builds upon something else.”

Sgt. Byme Taylor, a Maryland National Guard Soldier assigned to the 175th Infantry Regiment, has performed more than 1,000 services for the Maryland National Guard Funeral Honors Program but, because of COVID-19, was unable to attend the Level 1 training sooner. He assisted the instructors with some of the newer Soldiers.

“Sometimes Soldiers are more receptive to a peer telling you what to do, and it makes it easier to learn from them,” he explained.

Read More…

Scholarship Spotlight: Weldon E. Holcomb & Lt Col William C. Polk Memorial Scholarships NCNGA 

Scholarship Spotlight:

Weldon E. Holcomb Memorial Scholarship

Mr. Holcomb joined the military and 1942 as part of the 28th Infantry Division. He participated in D-Day invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944. He was captured by the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944. He was a POW for nine months before escaping and making his way back to the American lines to be released in May 1945. Mr. Holcomb joined the NCNG in 1947 as a full-time unit administrator in Winston-Salem. He serves as Division Food Service Chief and Battalion Administrative Officer for the 230th Support Battalion, 30th Infantry Division, Winston-Salem. Upon his death in 1973, Mr. Holcomb had attained the rank of Chief Warrant Officer Four.

Lt Col William C. Polk Memorial Scholarship

Lt Col Polk enlisted in the US Army in February of 1943 in September of that year he entered duty as an aviation cadet in the Army Air Corps ultimately serving as a bomber pilot. He flew the A-26 over “The Hump” in the Burma-China Theater at the age of 21. He was reassigned in April of 1946 to the Army Air Corps Reserves where he served until joining the North Carolina Air National Guard, 156th Fighter Bomber Squadron in 1954 as a pilot flying the F86A. He was seriously injured in the crash of his T-33 at Savannah, Georgia during exercises. He was employed as the full-time Base Civilian Engineer for the NCANG. Many changes on the base were the result of his efforts. His last large design and construction project was the base operations building. He retired from as a full-time technician and from the NCANG on April 30, 1981.

Click here to learn more and apply!

USO Volunteers Needed! USO 

The USO North Carolina is looking for volunteers in the Raleigh, Goldsboro, Jacksonville, and Fayetteville areas. USO Volunteers are trusted representatives of our mission to connect service members to family, home and country throughout their service to the nation. Our highest need is volunteers to operate our RDU Airport, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Ellis Airport (Jacksonville), and Fort Bragg Centers. Please sign up via the link below and we will contact you for training as soon as possible.

Sign Up



Read the latest edition of the Tarheel Guardsman NCNGA 

The latest edition of the Tarheel Guardsman is now available online at




EANGUS Roll Call: Drill Weekend Talking Points EANGUS 

President Biden released the FY23 President’s Budget on March 28th, 2022, with most of the supporting documents not being released until late April. The President’s budget requests $773.0 billion in spending for the Department of Defense. This is an increase of 5.75%, or $44.5 billion, above FY22 enacted levels. The late release of the President’s Budget was due, in part, to the extremely late FY22 appropriations legislation in which the federal government operated under a continuing resolution for the first six months of FY22. This has caused a cascading effect on the rest of the cycle, delaying normal FY23 NDAA and appropriations processes.

Each year, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizes funding levels and provides authority for the U.S. military and other critical defense priorities, ensuring our troops have the training, equipment, and resources they need to carry out their missions.

The national security challenges before the United States are momentous. In its 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS), the Department of Defense judges China as the “most consequential strategic competitor and the pacing challenge for the Department,” and identifies Russia as an “acute threat.” These global rivals do not accept the international norms that have helped maintain peace and stability for the better part of a century, and our long-term strategic competition with China and Russia is likely to intensify. Even as the United States navigates this competition, the Department of Defense must also manage persistent threats such as North Korea, Iran, and violent terrorist organizations. The interconnected nature of these and other threats will drive how the United States resources and transforms its tools of national power to rise to the challenge. The passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2023 is an important step toward achieving that goal.

The 62nd annual NDAA supports a total of $857.46 billion in the fiscal year 2023 funding for national defense. Within this topline, the legislation authorizes $817.15 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD) and $29.71 billion for national security programs within the Department of Energy (DOE).

The bill allows up to $6 billion in general transfer authority for unforeseen higher-priority needs in accordance with normal reprogramming procedures.

Both houses of Congress continue to work on FY23 appropriations, holding posture hearings with Service Secretaries, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Combatant Commanders. Congress is expected to work under a $1.6 trillion discretionary budget ceiling as negotiations continue in determining top lines for defense and non-defense budgets. House appropriators did start their subcommittee mark-ups during the week of June 13th, 2022. Senate appropriators are expected to start the mark-up process later this summer.

H.R.2471 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 was signed into law on March 11th, 2022, fully funding the federal government through the end of the current Fiscal Year. The compromise package ends the nearly six-month stalemate between the House and the Senate in which the government has been funded by continuing resolutions. This budget also marks a major shift in how the Department of Defense pays for contingency operations by replacing the Overseas Contingency Operations account with two new accounts that fall under the department’s base budget.

Some of the supported bills that did come up in the NDAA are as follow:

  • H.R.1836/S.2644 Guard and Reserve GI Bill Parity Act provides GI Bill education benefits parity between the Active and Reserve Components.
  • H.R.7837/S.4272 National Guard Promotion Improvement Act requires service secretaries to backdate date of rank and provides backpay and provides Congressional oversight and reviews FEDREC process to decrease delays.
  • H.R.5112/S.4179 Space National Guard Establishment Act creates a Space National Guard and establishes it as the primary combat reserve of the U.S. Space Force.
  • H.R.1854/S.1178 RECRUIT Act authorizes small businesses an additional tax credit for employing members of the Guard and Reserve.
  • S.3215 USACE Military Personnel Augmentation Act of 2021 expands USACE eligibility to members of the Guard and Reserve, Warrant Officers, and non-commissioned officers

The introduction of both the House and the Senate version of the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act is the beginning of the process. EANGUS will continue to monitor these bills closely and will be sure to notify our members of any updated information. The NDAA, as always, will be a major topic at this year’s conference in Little Rock AR. Hope to see you there.

If you have any questions, please reach out to
the EANGUS Legislative Director Kevin Hollinger at or 202-670-1826.

EANGUS Legislative Action Center

EANGUS Healthcare Survey

EANGUS invites you to take a brief 30-second survey to provide your feedback on the importance of healthcare and your military service.

Take the Survey


Join Today!


The annual conference brings 1,000+ attendees consisting of EANGUS members, National Guard Leadership, State Association Senior Enlisted Leaders, representation from Joint Services, and product end-users.

We are excited to have the National Guard Command Senior Enlisted Leaders (CSEL) present at the EANGUS Conference who jointly hold their annual conference at the same location. In addition, many of the Army National Guard Command Sergeants Major, as well as the Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sergeants from the State and Wing Levels, will be in attendance. Furthermore, each year, EANGUS has a hundred or more National Guard Servicemembers attend our annual conference for Professional Development purposes and our Senior Enlisted leaders provide invaluable insight and mentorship to those that attend. The Senior Enlisted Leaders of the National Guard support EANGUS and their participation greatly increases the value that our attendees receive.

Golf Tournament

Wine Tasting

5k Run


Highlighting EANGUS and NGAUS’s upcoming conferences NCNGA 

While our conference in Wilmington last week was a success, we want to highlight EANGUS and NGAUS’s upcoming conferences for their members! Be sure to sign up soon to reserve your spot.
For information on EANGUS:
For information on NGAUS:…/144th-general-conference…

Tickets-At-Work: Members get Discounts on Tickets NCNGA 

Tickets at Work: The benefits are endless when it comes to being a NCNGA member! Check out our Tickets-At-Work program, where members can get discounts on tickets from Busch Gardens all the way to Disney. For more information, visit



This Week in NCNG History NCNG Museum 

If you know of anything significant to the NCNG that occurred on any of these dates, and would like it added to our records, please email 1LT Dearie at

July 28th — Today in Guard History National Guard 

Ft. Bragg, North Carolina – Guard members of the “Sinai Battalion” return home having completed their six month tour of peace keeping duty along the border between Israel and Egypt. The battalion, which included 401 Guard volunteers from 24 states, was part of the on-going Multinational Force established by the 1978 Peace Accords ending the war between the two nations. The Regular Army commander of the Force praised them as the “best prepared U.S. battalion to rotate to the Sinai.”

Read More…

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