IPA’s Global Strategy Group (GSG) is a team of former officers from the U.S. Departments of State, Defense, Treasury, Commerce, Justice, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the FBI, and the private sector. They are a team of experts in foreign affairs, global security, interagency and intergovernmental cooperation. Emphasizing a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach, the GSG provides solutions by designing, planning and executing scenario-supported wargames and experiments addressing complex emerging security challenges.

The GSG has produced and delivered numerous reports and handbooks on best practices for civil-military, interagency, and host-country cooperation. The topics range from conflict prevention and mitigation to post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction. The team has also provided extensive support to NATO in moving toward the implementation of the Alliance’s Strategic Concept.

IPA Chief Operating Officer Robert Keeley shares a Veterans Day tribute to his grandfather:
Jay K. Rightnour, MSGT, U.S. Air Force, SEP 26, 1909 - DEC 27, 2005
     On this Veterans Day, I would like to give a shout out to my maternal Grandfather, Grandpa Jay! Grandpa Jay was born on September 26, 1909, in Johnstown, PA. At the age of 19, not wanting to work in the steel mills or coal mines, he enlisted in the Army on September 3, 1929. Grandpa only had an elementary education but did earn his GED while in the service.
     While in the Army, Grandpa was a seaman on the U.S. Army Mine Planter USAMP Schofield from SEP 1930 to SEP 1931 (USAMP's planted mines guarding approaches to coastal fortifications). He then received orders to the USAMP Graham, to which he served as quartermaster, from SEP 1931 to AUG 1932. NOTE: Naval quartermasters are responsible for navigation, whereas Army quartermasters are responsible for equipment inventory and maintenance. 
     Grandpa was promoted to Private in 1934, Corporal 1938, Sergeant 1940, and Staff Sergeant in 1940. The Army Air Corps, the precursor to the U.S. Air Force, was stood up in 1941, to which Grandpa Jay was assigned and subsequently promoted to Tech Sergeant in 1941. He was promoted to Master Sergeant in March 1942.
     While serving with the 8th Fighter Bomber Wing in 1951, Grandpa was recommended for Warrant Officer, which he turned down because he did not want to be an officer! Hooyah Grandpa! I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree after all!!
     Other notable points of interest that I could get my hands on:
• While serving with the 8th Fighter Bomber Wing in 1951, Grandpa was recommended for Warrant Officer but turned down the opportunity, not wanting to become an officer.
• The first time he re-enlisted, he received a $50.00 bonus.
• He graduated from chef/cook school in 1937.
•Became an airplane maintenance inspector in 1941ish.
• Served as NCOIC of 112 men from SEP 1945-SEP 1949.
Grandpa served in North African campaigns in 1942, and received the following service awards/medals during his career
     -American Defense Service Ribbon
     -Europe-Africa-Middle East
     -Bronze Stars for Algeria, France, Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, and Air Offensive in Europe.
     -Good Conduct
     -Four Overseas Bars
     -Two Presidential Citations
     -Certificate of Merit
     -WWII Victory Service Medal
     -Japan Occupational medal
     -Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
     -Korean Service Medal w/ 2 Bronze Stars
     -United Nations Service Medal
     -National Defense Service Medal
     Grandpa Jay was discharged on SEP 17, 1955, after 26 years of service. He died in LaPlata MD DEC 27, 2005, and is laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery, alongside my Grandmother, Mary Catherine Rightnour.
     I have fond memories of my Grandfather. One that stands out is the way he took care of his equipment. Whether it be his car, bicycle, tools, etc., he epitomized, "take care of your gear, and your gear will take care of you".
     Hooyah Grandpa, and thanks for your service. I'll be sure to stop by this weekend to ensure you have a flag on your headstone.
     SOCM Rob Keeley, USN, Ret.

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