The Brigadier General William W. Spruance Legacy Award recognizes individual contributions, service, and devotion to the NGEF mission — telling the Guard story.
Brigadier General William W. Spruance served on the Board of the National Guard Educational Foundation and was a dedicated supporter of NGEF.He enthusiastically donated time, energy, and funds to the telling of the Guard story. His devotion to NGEF inspired us to name the award in his honor.
Recipients of the Brig. Gen. William W. Spruance Legacy Award include the following:
2016 – MG (Ret.) Gus L. Hargett, Jr.
2017 – Leonardo DRS
2018 – Sikorsky, A Lockheed Martin Company
2019 – The Honorable Van Hipp
2020 – AM General
2021 – Northrop Grumman
2022 – Major General (Dr.) Jan Young (Ret.)
The National Guard Educational Foundation, the NGAUS partner that raises awareness of the rich heritage of the Guard, also used the conference to present its highest honor, the Brigadier General William W. Spruance Legacy Award, which recognizes contributions, service, and devotion to the foundation.
This year’s recipient was retired Tennessee Air Guard Maj. Gen. Jan Young, one of the NGEF’s top individual benefactors.
She told conferees her giving was inspired by retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr., a former adjutant general of Tennessee and NGAUS president, who made foundation fundraising a priority during his tenure. He often asks retired senior Guard officers, “Has the Guard been good to you?” It’s his way of getting them to reflect on their careers and consider giving back.
Young received her commission in 1984. “I was a female, biracial, naturalized citizen and a medic,” she recalled. “At that time, there had been no female general officers in the Guard. So, a betting person would tell you that a snowball had a better chance of surviving in Hades than me retiring as a two-star officer from the Guard.”
Yet she did.
The Guard has been good to me,” she said. “Most of us if we were raised in a faith tradition, we’re told that if you give freely with no expectation of return, you’ll have blessings that return to you tenfold. … I received blessings 100-fold from the Guard.Conference Recap | National Guard Association of the United States (ngaus.org)