Indiana’s highest-ranking military officer to speak at 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce

Indiana’s highest-ranking military officer to speak at 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce

Thu, 2013-05-16 09:36

INDIANAPOLIS (May 16, 2013) – The 500 Festival announced today that Major General R. Martin Umbarger will be the featured speaker at the 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce.

It’s an honor for the 500 Festival to kick off an exciting Memorial Day weekend by recognizing Indiana’s men and women who’ve fallen in service of this great nation. The 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce, is scheduled for Friday, May 24 at noon on the north steps of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in downtown Indianapolis. The event is free and open to the public.

As the Adjutant General, Major General Umbarger’s primary focus is to lead the Indiana Army and Air National Guard, the Indiana Guard Reserve and State employees all totaling more than 15,800 personnel. Umbarger began his career as an enlisted soldier for the Indiana Army National Guard in 1969 and was commissioned as Second Lieutenant, Infantry Branch in June 1971 after graduating from the Indiana Military Academy as a Distinguished Military Graduate. Prior to his current assignment, Major General Umbarger served as the Deputy Commanding General (Reserve Component) United States Forces Command. Other notable assignments include the Assistant Division Commander for Training, 38th Infantry Division (Mechanized).  He also served as Commanding General of the 76th Infantry Brigade (Separate), which executed a very successful Deployment and Rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center. Umbarger directed the pre-mobilized training, deployment and redeployment of virtually all units of the Indiana Army and Air National Guard in support of the Global War on Terrorism.  He previously served as a member of the Secretary of the Army’s Reserve Forces Policy Committee and he currently serves on the Secretary of Defense’s Reserve Forces Policy Board.

The 500 Festival Memorial Service will also include the joint service Color Guard presentation of colors. Performances will include the Indiana National Guard’s 38th Infantry Division Band and the Capital City Chorus.

A wreath-laying ceremony, dedicated to the memory of all Hoosiers in all wars and conflicts who sacrificed their lives in defense of the nation, will take place while the names of those Indiana service members who have fallen within the past year are read aloud.

A special horse-drawn caisson will be presented by the Indiana National Guard Joint Force Headquarters Ceremonial Unit.  The caisson carries the remains of the fallen service member, while the caparison horse trails behind.  This rider-less horse, with boots reversed in the stirrups, represents that a leader has fallen and will ride no more. A ceremonial flyover will conclude the service.

The 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce, is sponsored and supported by Rolls-Royce, OneAmerica, The American Legion, radio partner WFMS 95.5 FM and TV partner WNDY-TV, who will be telecasting the event commercial-free.

To learn more about the 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce, visit

The mission of the 500 Festival is to advocate and celebrate the spirit, heritage and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®. Through social, cultural and educational events and programs, the 500 Festival enhances the quality of life for all citizens of our communities.

The 500 Festival, a not-for-profit volunteer organization, was created in 1957 to organize civic events celebrating the greatest race in the world. Over the past 56 years, the 500 Festival has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the nation.

Last year, more than 500,000 Hoosiers and visitors participated in nearly 50 events and programs throughout the month of May. Whether they were athletes running the Mini-Marathon, fourth grade students participating in the Education Program, families enjoying the state’s largest festival for kids or spectators being dazzled by one of the nation’s premier parades, they were there, celebrating the legacy.


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