INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana's Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, received a letter of recognition from the Slovak Republic during a ceremony in Washington at the country's embassy, Jan. 31, 2013.
Peter Kmec, the Slovak Republic's U.S. ambassador, presented the Letter of High Recognition of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs for the Slovak Republic for the general's extraordinary and professional achievement to the European country.
"The relationship between Indiana and Slovakia has been one of the great pleasures during my term as adjutant general,” said Umbarger. “I have reaped a harvest of goodwill and success after nearly 20 years of hard work of very committed professional warriors. Two volunteer military forces, separated by thousands of miles, have shared much and gained even more.”
Since 1994, Indiana and Slovakia have partnered, exchanged ideas, tactics and procedures as part of the National Guard's State Partnership Program, which paired American states with former Eastern Bloc and Middle Eastern countries. In 2011, Indiana and Slovakia began forming specialized teams that mentored and advised Afghan troops in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Ambassador Peter Kmec said that for nearly two decades, the Indiana National Guard has developed both a partnership and friendship with the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic, and that they were instrumental for the Slovak Armed Forces preparation for NATO membership. He said Umbarger received the award in recognition of his personal contribution to cooperation between Indiana and the Slovak Republic.