The tragedy of the Coronavirus pandemic—lives lost, livelihoods destroyed, and lifestyles disrupted—is tempered only by the stories of perseverance and bravery which have sprung from the actions of frontline responders. From these stories, people have gained a newfound appreciation of the nurses, grocery clerks, and other essential workers who accept significant personal risks to enable social distancing for all of us. Alongside these heroes are the National Guardsmen distributing meals, staffing testing sites, and providing PPE across the nation. In a proud tradition stretching from the American Revolution to Hurricane Katrina, America’s citizen soldiers have responded in force to this pandemic, which shows little sign of abating.

Please join the Atlantic Council for the latest event in its Commanders Series, “War against the Invisible: Heroism & Sacrifice in the National Guard’s Response to the Coronavirus,” a virtual public conversation with General Joseph L. Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. The event will take place on Thursday, May 28, 2020 from 3:30 4:30 p.m. via Zoom webinar.

General Lengyel is visiting the Council at a moment of historic crisis for the United States and the world. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the National Guard is playing a key role in responding, from implementing a containment zone in New Rochelle, NY in the early months of the outbreak, to distributing food countrywide as some states start to cautiously reopen. In the process, the National Guard has mounted its largest response operation since Hurricane Katrina. As the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Lengyel will both share a few examples of the extraordinary actions of individual Guardsmen responding to the pandemic and engage in a conversation on lessons learned from the National Guard’s COVID response and its plans to combat the virus going forward. The pandemic has impacted readiness across the US military, and Gen. Lengyel will discuss how the Guard can prepare for other crises while the country is still combating the present outbreak.

A conversation with

Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, USAF
National Guard Bureau

Moderated by

Lara Seligman
Pentagon Reporter

The Commanders Series, generously supported by Saab, is the Atlantic Council’s flagship speakers’ forum for senior military and defense leaders. The series provides a platform to discuss current strategic issues with an impressive audience drawn from across Washington’s policy community, including think tanks, media, industry, embassies, and the US government. In 2020, the Atlantic Council has hosted Commanding General of Army Futures Command, GEN John Murray, Chief of Staff of the Army GEN James McConville and Commander of US Transportation Command GEN Stephen Lyons.

The event is open to the press and on the record.

Questions? Trouble registering? Contact Mark Massa.