April 11, 2003 —
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Congress today confirmed the nomination of Maj. Gen. H. Steven Blum, as the 25th Chief of the National Guard Bureau (NGB).
Congress also promoted him to the rank of lieutenant general. As Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Blum will oversee policy and the future direction for the nearly 470,000 citizen-soldiers and airmen of the Army and Air National Guard.
The assignment is for four years. General Blum previously served as Chief of Staff for North American Aerospace Defense and United States Northern Command here.
"It’s a great honor, no question about it, but it kind of caught me by surprise because I was pretty preoccupied as the Chief of Staff of NORAD and USNORTHCOM," said General Blum. "I see it as an awesome responsibility and a great honor."
He said he feels his experiences as NORAD and USNORTHCOM chief of staff will help him as chief of NGB.
"I could not have been in a better place at a better time to prepare me for the all the complex aspects of homeland defense and homeland security," General Blum said. "The National Guard will play a key role in the missions of NORAD and especially USNORTHCOM."
His responsibilities as chief of staff for NORAD and USNORTHCOM will only help him in his new job as Chief of the National Guard Bureau, he added.
"I dont feel as if Im leaving entirely, were really serving partners," General Blum said. "Guard Bureau is really a partner with the command group of NORAD and USNORTHCOM and will remain that way."