Tonini addresses the state of the Kentucky Guard

Story and Photos by Sgt. Scott Raper, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

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Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, The Adjutant General for Kentucky looks at raised hands of Guardsmen following his question of who enjoyed being a member of the "most professional and most decorated force" in the military, during a conference in Louisville, Feb. 10. The speech was part of the Officer and Senior Enlisted Leader Professional Development Seminar held annually to provide a "state of the Kentucky Guard" discussion.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Several hundred Kentucky Air and Army National Guardsmen came together in Louisville over the weekend for The Adjutant General’s Officer and Senior Enlisted Professional Development Seminar.  The annual meeting gives leaders the opportunity to give their own “state of the unit” addresses.

In a Friday afternoon speech, Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Kentucky’s Adjutant General, asked the large crowd of uniformed servicemembers who among them enjoyed being a part of “the most proficient, most professional and the most decorated force in the United States military.”

“I could not be any more amazed, more proud or more awestruck by the accomplishments and accolades bestowed upon our Kentucky National Guard,” he said to a room full of raised hands.

In addition to The Adjutant General, keynote speakers included; retired Maj. Gen. Robert Silverthorn, the state chairman of the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, Command Sgt. Maj. David Munden, the Senior Enlisted Advisor for Joint Force Headquarters, and Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson.  Each echoed Tonini’s praise for the quality of service the Guard provides the Commonwealth, but also spoke of the necessity to stay focused to remain the “right fighting force for America.”

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Members of the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade gather for a break out session during the Officer and Senior Enlisted Leader Professional Development Seminar in Louisville, Feb. 10. The conference provided an opportunity for unit leaders to address issues within each major command to improve unit stability.

Break out sessions provided each major command their own forum to address issues and allow leaders to brainstorm ideas.   Topics such as career progression, education and Soldier readiness were discussed as a means to direct improvements within units and throughout all ranks.

“This is a great opportunity for young officers to see how leadership works on all levels of the Guard,” said Ashland, Ky. native 2nd Lt. Brysen Perry.

“All together, the weekend is a really good experience,” said Perry who was recognized as the Junior Commissioned Minuteman, having just become an officer in December.

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Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson speaks to a uniformed crowd of the Kentucky National Guard in Louisville, Feb. 10. Abramson's speech was the keynote address during the annual Officer and Senior Enlisted Leader Professional Development Seminar, a joint Army and Air Guard function.

Many of the Guardsmen also attended the National Guard Association of Kentucky and the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of Kentucky Joint Conference on Saturday.  The conference meets annually to discuss the association’s continued representation of the National Guard before Congress.

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