Posted 9 months ago
By John Axtell
The command of the Nebraska National Guard changed hands Sunday with the symbolic passing of a flag from Governor Dave Heineman to Major General Daryl Bohac, the state’s new adjutant general and head of NEMA…the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency.
He succeeds Maj. Gen. Judd Lyons, who held the position for almost four years before being promoted in May to the Pentagon to be deputy director of the Army National Guard.
The 52-year old Bohac brings a unique perspective as adjutant general, having spent 31 years in the military including a decade as an enlisted Marine before moving over to the Air National Guard and becoming an officer.
The #2 man in the Nebraska Guard and head of the Air Guard side, he says the end of the U-S military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan will pose new challenges for the National Guard.
When Guard units began being called up for lengthy overseas deployments, there were fears members would leave when their enlistments ended rather than risk being called up again.
Now Bohac is worried the opposite might happen; members leaving because the job is dull and mundane. He says one way to combat that is through challenging and stimulating exercises and drills that keep them prepared both for possible overseas action and for public safety operations at home.
Figuring out how to do that is one of his first priorities, so he plans to review the Nebraska National Guard’s strategic plans over the next 3 months to see what local or state projects dealing with the health, safety and welfare of citizens can be added.
Interestingly enough, much of General Lyons’ work at the Pentagon…at least early one…will be on the same issue: making Guard members to feel valuable even though they won’t be deployed as often.
There are more than 4,600-plus members in the Nebraska Army and Air National Guard units.