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Top army guard general visits troops

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The Director of the Army National Guard rubbed elbows with National Guard Soldiers at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

Lt. Gen. William Ingram Jr., referred to himself as a “five-month-old general,” as his visit came five months and one day after he assumed the duties of director and was promoted to lieutenant general on Nov. 28, 2011.

“It felt great to be recognized by Lt. Gen. Ingram,” said Sgt. Alvin Brookshire, a member of the 1204th Aviation Support Battalion, who received the general’s coin. “It helps me to remember that high-level decision makers do care what goes on at the lowest level, and that if you work hard, someone will recognize it.”

Ingram spent time with troops from the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade as well as other units here on Camp Buehring.

“Congress has seen fit to change the law and make the Army National Guard available for non-contingency operations,” said Ingram. “If we’re needed, we can be called up to do whatever we need to do.”

As the director, Ingram guides the formulation, development and implementation of all programs and policies affecting the Army National Guard. The Army Guard is a force of more than 350,000 Soldiers throughout 54 states, territories and the District of Columbia.

Ingram previously served as the adjutant general of North Carolina for more than nine years.

He is the 19th director and the third three-star general to assume the position of director. The first director of the Army National Guard was Army Maj. Gen. Raymond Fleming, who served from 1948 to 1950.

“After 9/11, there was a question in everybody’s mind. Can the Guard do what we need them to do in case of emergencies? And the answer was ‘absolutely,’” he added.

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