Kentucky's adjutant general addresses and prepares the leadership of the Kentucky Guard

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Story by Lt. Col. Kirk Hilbrecht, Director of Public Affairs, Kentucky National Guard

Photos by Sgt. Scott Raper, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Kentucky’s adjutant general, addresses the 1200 Kentucky National Guard officers and senior enlisted Soldiers during the 2011 Adjutant General’s professional development training Feb. 18 at the Galt House in Louisville.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 18, 2011) – Approximately 1200 Kentucky National Guard officers and senior enlisted Soldiers attended the 2011 Adjutant General’s professional development training Feb. 18 at the Galt House in Louisville.

Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Kentucky’s adjutant general, focused on ‘The National Guard’s Way Ahead’, and said leaders in attendance were the future of Kentucky’s Guard-force during his keynote address.

“This isn’t my Guard anymore. What we’re facing now and in the very near future is about you and how you continue to shape and mold the Guard,” Tonini said.

“As the adjutant general, it’s imperative that I give you my insight to help you all prep the battlefield for the engagements that you will be facing—not me—and not the other senior leaders here today, but you,” he said.

Tonini reflected on the significant contributions the leadership has made both state-side and abroad.

“You, as leaders of our Kentucky Guard, have worn well the mantle of leadership and responsibility,” Tonini said. “You have exceeded standards of every mission given to you. You and your units have deployed to hell and back numerous times and have fought side-by-side with active duty units when and wherever this nation has asked you to go.”

Tonini expressed his appreciation and pride to his leaders for last year’s successful Kentucky Guard deployments to Dominican Republic, Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Kuwait, Ecuador, Germany and Japan.

“You’ve had to put your home lives on hold to put your life on the line – in places no other Citizens would go,” Tonini said. “I, and your nation, will be forever grateful for your service, your dedication. I Thank you.”

Tonini challenged the leaders to continue to fight for missions that kept the National Guard ready, reliable and accessible to the nation’s call as an operation force.

“You leaders have lead men and women in battle, time and time again,” Tonini said. “The ‘weekend warrior’ concept exists only in the history books as your Guard is now positioned to project military and civilian capabilities anytime and anywhere.”

Tonini closed his briefing with the emphasis of passing the torch of leadership to the officers and senior enlisted membership of the Kentucky Guard.

“You all will have to carry on the fight when we old-timers are gone,” Tonini said. “The Guard is everything right about America. I’m proud to be a Kentucky Guardsman. And I’m proud of what you all have done for our troops, our Commonwealth and our nation.”

Officers from the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, currently training at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Ky., joined the professional development session Direct Connect Online, the military’s version of Skype.

“It was a great use of both time and technology,” said Capt. Andi Hahn, public affairs officer for the brigade. “Even though we were more than 100 miles away and on another time zone, we still got to hear the general’s intent.”

Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini conducts his annual professional development training Feb. 18 at the Galt House in Louisville.

Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Kentucky’s adjutant general, addresses the 1200 Kentucky National Guard officers and senior enlisted Soldiers during the 2011 Adjutant General’s professional development training Feb. 18 at the Galt House in Louisville.

Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini conducts his annual professional development training Feb. 18 at the Galt House in Louisville.

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