Kentucky adjutant general to lead Adjutants General Association of the United States

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Kirk Hilbrecht
  • Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs
Kentucky's adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Ed Tonini, was elected president of the Adjutants General Association of the United States during the group's mid-June conference in Greenville, S.C.

The Adjutants General Association of the United States is made up
of the 54 Adjutants General of the sovereign states, territories and the District of Columbia.

The purpose of AGAUS is to ensure that the units within the National Guard of the United States are organized, equipped and postured to fulfill their responsibilities across the full spectrum of operations inherent in the National Military Strategy and the constitutions of the United States, states and territories.

AGAUS holds elections for its top leadership positions every other year during its spring meeting. Elected officers typically serve a single
two-year term. Tonini succeeds Maj. Gen. William D. Wofford of Arkansas.

"The AGAUS president is an important voice in matters involving the National Guard in Washington," said retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr., president of the National Guard Association of the United States. "General Tonini is a seasoned leader and a gifted communicator. He will be a real asset in the challenging discussion ahead. We look forward to working with him."

Tonini, an Air National Guardsman, has been Kentucky adjutant general since December 2007. He has nearly four decades in uniform, much of it as an Air Guard public affairs officer.

"During our 376 years, the National Guard citizen-Soldier and -Airman have answered every call to service as an organized, trained and equipped force for the dual state and federal mission," Tonini said.

"It is my job as AGAUS president to ensure we continue to empower the outstanding Soldiers and Airmen who have answered the call to serve their state and nation."

The adjutants general also selected Maj. Gen. David Baldwin of California as vice president-Army, Maj. Gen. Mike Edwards as vice president-Air, Maj. Gen. Dave Sprynczynatyk of South Dakota as treasurer and Maj. Gen. Scott Rice of Massachusetts as secretary.

The National Guard is comprised of more than 458,000 personnel serving in 3,600 communities throughout the country. The Guard represents the 11th-largest army in the world, the 5th-largest air force and approximately 38 percent of the total U.S. military force structure.

The National Guard has provided the country's homeland defense for more than 376 years. The Guard has been a part of every conflict, battle or war the United States has ever fought and is the lead military force employed during state emergencies and disasters.

National Guard operations consist of land and air units that serve in state, federal, joint, combined and multinational roles for a variety of missions.

Guard missions include state and federal emergencies, humanitarian
assistance, peacekeeping and peacemaking missions, major theater wars, and conflicts involving the potential use of weapons of mass destruction.