WASHINGTON, June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NGAUS and Hawaii National Guard Association officials expect sequestration to have minimal impact on the 135th NGAUS General Conference & Exhibition, Sept. 20 to 23 in Honolulu.
A product of several years of local planning, the conference will draw thousands of National Guard officers, retirees and their families from all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.
Representatives of hundreds of companies in the defense industry also will attend.
"Our conference won't be impacted greatly by sequestration because we're different than most military associations. We don't rely on federal dollars to put on our event," said retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr., the NGAUS president. "And for more than a century, the vast majority of attendees have paid their own way.
"NGAUS members dig into their own pockets because they know the value to their careers, their units and to their profession of gathering with their peers nationwide to network, share information and interact with key leaders. And these are activities that just can't be accomplished as well via video teleconference or over the Web."
Association conferences are coming under increased scrutiny in the tight fiscal environment. The Pentagon recently issued guidance urging commanders to limit federally funded attendance at such events—especially those in "remote" locations.
This new guidance is expected to affect the plans of many military-association conferences.
"Defense officials are worried about appearances, about the fallout from press photographers shooting pictures of men and women in uniform at a conference in a place like Hawaii," Hargett said. "We'll be inviting the press to cover our conference. We want reporters to see what kind of conference can be staged without millions in federal taxpayer dollars.
"We believe we run our conference the right way. The new fiscal environment will force other military associations to do the same."
Local organizers for future NGAUS General Conferences will also be in Hawaii during the conference to learn more about planning, funding and executing the event.
The NGAUS General Conference is scheduled for Chicago in 2014, Nashville, Tenn., in 2015, Baltimore in 2016 and Louisville, Ky., in 2017.
Further conference details are available at www.ngaus.org/ngaus2013.
About NGAUS: The association includes nearly 45,000 current or former Guard officers. It was created in 1878 to provide unified National Guard representation in Washington. In their first productive meeting after Reconstruction, militia officers from the North and South formed the association with the goal of obtaining better equipment and training by petitioning Congress for more resources. Today, 135 years later, NGAUS has the same mission.
SOURCE National Guard Association of the U.S.