Owensboro armory renamed in honor of retired adjutant general

By Pfc. Nasir Stoner, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Maj. Gen. (Retired) Dean Allen Youngman (second from left) is joined by his son, Brad Youngman (left) and Congressman Brett Guthrie (middle), Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson and Kentucky Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan at the newly unveiled sign for the MG Dean Allen Youngman Readiness Center in Owensboro, Ky., Aug. 23, 2017. Youngman, an Owensboro native, first served in the Kentucky Guard in 1983 as a commander of a unit in Owensboro prior to becoming the 49th adjutant general in 2001. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Pfc. Nasir Stoner)

OWENSBORO, Ky. — The Kentucky National Guard renamed the Owensboro National Guard Readiness Center in honor of Maj. Gen. (Ret) Dean Allen Youngman during a ceremony, Aug. 23 in Owensboro.

Youngman, an Owensboro native and third generation Guardsman, was appointed as the 49th Adjutant General of Kentucky by Governor Paul Patton, leading the Kentucky Guard from 2001-2003.

“National Guard armories play a unique role in the defense of our nation,” said Youngman. “We put down roots and make a commitment to the community and build relationships. The armory is the most visible symbol of the military in the eyes of our community and I’m honored to have this armory named after my family.”

As the adjutant general, Youngman was responsible for the training, readiness, and mobilization of Kentucky’s Army and Air National Guard units during the period following the attacks of 9/11 as well as establishing the Kentucky Office for Homeland Security Coordination.

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“When an individual comes into command, he sets an agenda with an end state,” said Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan, Kentucky’s adjutant general. “General Youngman took command and 30 days later the towers came down.”

“This was the most volatile time in our organization’s history and Maj. Gen. Youngman was at the helm. He was charged with turning us from a strategic reserve to an operational ready reserve and he was just the man to do it. This man was going to teach us how to fight.”

Commissioned through Officer Candidate School in 1970, Youngman served on Active Duty with the 8th Special Forces Group, the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam and the 101st Airborne Division prior to joining the U.S. Army Reserves in 1974, then the Kentucky Army National Guard in 1983.

A University of Kentucky alumnus, Youngman practiced law in Owensboro and serves as the Executive Director of the Defense Small Arms Advisory Council, a 501 (c) (6) trade association comprised of U.S.-based manufacturers of small arms for the military and law enforcement markets. He is also the State Chairman for Kentucky’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

The National Guard has been in Owensboro since 1946 with the first armory completed in 1948. A quality relationship has been in place ever since. The first unit to occupy the armory was the 149thRegimental Combat Team. In 1983, Youngman would command Troop A, 240th Cavalry at the location.

The community support was evident by the number in attendance, including Congressman Brett Guthrie of Kentucky’s 2nd District and Tom Watson, Mayor of Owensboro.

“An old sergeant major once told me, never ask your Soldiers to do anything you wouldn’t do,” said Guthrie. “General Youngman personifies this saying and it’s appropriate to have this facility named after him.”

The Owensboro Readiness Center was constructed in 2012 and is home to the 206th Engineer Battalion. The facility offers a staging area to receive and/or deploy Soldiers and Airmen, and expands the maintenance capability and support of military equipment assigned to units in Western Kentucky.  The center also serves as the Regional Emergency Operations Center, and offers Homeland Security support in multiple arenas.

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