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Camp Ripley: Chief of the National Guard Bureau visits Camp Ripley

CAMP RIPLEY - Gen. Frank J. Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau, visited camp Ripley Aug. 10-11 to meet with National Guard men and women and share with them the future directions of the National Guard.

During a visit to camp Ripley Aug. 10, 2015, Gen. Frank Grass, Chief of the National Guard talks to Soldiers of the 737th Support Company, Ohio National Guard.
During a visit to camp Ripley Aug. 10, 2015, Gen. Frank Grass, Chief of the National Guard talks to Soldiers of the 737th Support Company, Ohio National Guard.

CAMP RIPLEY - Gen. Frank J. Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau, visited camp Ripley Aug. 10-11 to meet with National Guard men and women and share with them the future directions of the National Guard.

"I had to ask about the runway, on Camp Ripley, if it was still holding up," said Grass in a joke referencing the early years in his military career.

Grass began his career as an enlisted soldier in the Missouri Army National Guard in October 1969. While apart of the Missouri Guard, he participated in an annual training exercise up at Camp Ripley. It was here, in the mid-'70s, that his unit assisted in the construction of the Miller Army Airfield landing strip.

While at Camp Ripley 46 years later, Grass and his wife, along with Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell Brush, senior enlisted advisor to the National Guard, toured the facility, its many resources and talked to the men and women working at Camp Ripley.

"There are over 450,000 National Guard men and women in our country, both Army and Air, they are maintaining partnerships with our allies, achieving a higher education in our universities and doing this all while maintaining a place in the work force," said Grass.

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Grass spoke about the future directions of the National Guard and how best to utilize Guard members during their service to their communities, states and country.

"It is important to recognize the responsibilities of a strategic force, like in the past, and an operational force like our guardsmen and women are facing today," added Grass.

Grass and Brush joined soldiers of the Ohio National Guard conducting tank gunnery training on Camp Ripley as well as a brief town hall visit with MPs of the 34th Military Police Company to share information about the future of the Guard.

"It was appreciative to get this information right from the top," said Sgt. Katie Warden of the 34th Military Police Company. Warden received a coin from Grass in recognition for her outstanding achievement in volunteering to maintain the unit's readiness standing, which is one of the highest in the state.

Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, adjutant general for the state of Minnesota, and his wife joined Command Sgt. Maj. Douglas Wortham, senior enlisted advisor to the adjutant general, in escorting the guests around Camp Ripley. During their visit, The Grasses met with retired Minnesota guardsman and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Jack Vessey, who is one of Grass's mentors.

Related Topics: CAMP RIPLEY
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