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ANG deputy director retires after 34 years of military service

The deputy director of the Air National Guard retired from the Air Force during an October 14 ceremony held at the ANG Readiness Center here.

During his 34-year-long career, Maj. Gen. Brian G. Neal served as both a traditional Air National Guard member and Active Guard Reserve, after spending seven years in the regular Air Force.

Ceremony host Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, thanked Neal for his professionalism and candor.

"Brian Neal is an individual who will tell you - no matter who you are - what he thinks the right thing is," Lengyel said. "He's never been afraid to say 'this is the way it should be.' That's been incredibly valuable to me and to the Air Force."

Neal, in turn, passed on any credit to the Guard Airmen whom he served.

"You are the 105,000 men and women in uniform in our Air National Guard," said Neal, "and I'm just in awe of everything you do. Everything I am is because of you; you are my heroes. I appreciate you letting me be a part of who you all are."

Reflecting on his career, and the lessons he learned in uniform, Neal urged Airmen to have a positive focus, and be thankful for their blessings.

"We have a pretty amazing country and a pretty amazing job in the Air Guard," Neal said. "Every day we wake up with people we know, love and respect and we go do great things. We've got it pretty good here. We get to wear this uniform. And when there's a disaster, there's nobody the 344 million citizens of the United States want to see more than this uniform on the National Guard."