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Kathy Wirtanen
Administrative, Facility
& Conference Assistant

P:  (540) 464-7361
F: (540) 464-7396

Center for Leadership & Ethics
VMI, Marshall Hall
500 Anderson Drive
Lexington, VA  24450

About the Conference

Top individuals from both academia and government will focus exclusively on the role of the citizen-soldier in our national preparedness.  Combining experts from disparate backgrounds will produce a cogent and energetic discussion. 

All attendees should gain a better understanding of the range of possibilities for future action as well as an appreciation of the issues involved in personnel decisions, mobilization, and the place of the National Guard and Reserve components in coping with disaster relief. It is essential in a conference of this nature that the audience has an opportunity to participate.  Thus, each session would feature a moderator who will insure ample time for discussion.  Without this chance for debate, the presenters might as well simply mail papers to the audience.  A conference should really be crafted to afford the opportunity “to confer.”  This one is. 

The conference encourages attendance by Cadets and other undergraduate students.  These young men and women need to be exposed to critical defense issues early in their careers. 

The conference is co-sponsored by the Virginia Military Institute, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, and the First Division Museum, Cantigny.  Two years ago, these same three institutions partnered in organizing a conference called The Citizen-Soldier at War.  That meeting, which led to the publication of the proceedings by the McCormick Foundation, featured distinguished panelists from academe, the policy world, as well as the National Guard bureaus and Reserve forces. To view a news release from the 2007 conference, click here.

The program developer is Dr. Malcolm Muir, Jr., a military historian who directs at VMI the John A. Adams ’71 Center for Military History and Strategic Analysis. The VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics is coordinating the conference. With support from the First Division Museum, VMI will publish an edited volume of conference papers.  This collection will provide scholars and policy-makers the vital arguments coupled with relevant documentation.