The luncheon gathering was conducted at the Post #22 American Legion Club in Rapid City.
A Life Member of MOAA, General Marlette recognized the outstanding job MOAA does in its advocacy efforts to support the uniformed services.
General Marlette focused on the diverse and expanded role that the South Dakota National Guard has taken on in recent years, and he talked about the threefold role of the National Guard: first the necessity to prepare for and when called, deploy to fight our nation's wars around the world; second, to be prepared to protect the homeland if attacked and support our state and nation in time of need; third, the Guard provides military exchanges and humanitarian support to engage with other nations.
"In South Dakotas case, we have partnered with Suriname for the past 15 years."
Responding to the question about what might happen if Suriname were to become involved in a military conflict with another nation, might the South Dakota National Guard be caught up in it? – the General said that would be a decision to be made at a higher level in the federal government, not the state level.
After summarizing South Dakota Guard deployments along the Mexican Border in Texas, as well as on the other side of the globe in East Africa – among others – General Marlette talked about the forthcoming January 2022 deployment of a South Dakota National Guard Military Police unit to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The next Black Hills Chapter meeting is scheduled for April 1, 2022.