Lieutenant General Jon A. Jensen, Director of Army National Guard, to be Keynote Speaker of The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service

Lieutenant General Jon A. Jensen, Director of Army National Guard, to be Keynote Speaker of The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service

INDIANAPOLIS (May 16, 2024) The 500 Festival announces Lieutenant General Jon A. Jensen, Director of the Army National Guard, as the keynote speaker for The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service. The Memorial Service will be held Friday, May 24, at 12:00 p.m. at the Indiana War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis. The event is free and open to the public.   

Lieutenant General Jon A. Jensen assumed the duties as Director, Army National Guard in August 2020, after previously serving as Major General in June 2017. Jensen was commissioned in 1989, after graduating from Northwest Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Business Economics. After completing The Basic School, he attended United States War College to earn his MSS in Strategic Studies. Jensen served previously as the 31st Adjutant General of the state of Minnesota and earlier as the Commanding General, 34th Infantry Division, St. Paul, Minnesota. He was dual-hatted as the Deputy Commander and Army Reserve Component Integration Advisor, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, United States Africa Command, Vicenza, Italy. He guides the formulation, development, and implementation of all programs and policies affecting the Army National Guard; a force of nearly 335,000 Soldiers in the 50 states, three territories, and the District of Colombia. General Jensen has commanded at the company, battalion, brigade, and division levels. His operational assignments include Operation Desert Spring, Operation Joint Forge, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  

He is a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College where he earned his Master’s in Military Arts and Sciences. General Jensen has earned various medals like Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal and several others. He also earned a couple ribbons like Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon.      

Joining Lieutenant General Jensen at The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service is National Commander Daniel Seehafer, Chair of the 500 Festival Board of Directors Mike Boatright, Mayor of Indianapolis Joe Hogsett, and the Adjutant General of Indiana, Major General R. Dale Lyles. 

The Memorial Service will include the joint service color guard presentation of colors and performances by the Capital City Chorus and the Indiana National Guard’s 38th Infantry Division Band. A wreath-laying ceremony and a horse-drawn caisson will be presented by the Indiana National Guard Headquarters Ceremonial Unit. Fallen servicemen and women will also be honored with the playing of the “Taps”, a rifle salute, and a flyover.  

“It is such an honor to have Lieutenant General Jon A. Jensen as our Keynote Speaker at this year’s Memorial Service,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “It’s so important that we take a moment this weekend to reflect on all the sacrifices made by the servicemen and women in our country today.” 

“I’m honored to participate in such an iconic event and humbled to represent the 325,000 men and women of the Army National Guard in honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation’s freedoms,” said Lieutenant General Jon A. Jensen, 22nd Director of the Army National Guard. 

To learn more about The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service please visit 500Festival/memorial.  

The 500 Festival Memorial Service is sponsored by: The American Legion, OneAmerica Financial, Rolls-Royce, dormakaba, Nameless Catering, exclusive radio partner 95.5 WFMS (Cumulus Media), and WISH-TV, the exclusive statewide broadcast partner.  

WISH-TV will live stream the service on WISHTV.COM with a commercial-free hour on Monday, May 27th at 10am. The entire telecast will also be posted on after the show. 


About the 500 Festival | Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500® and fostering a positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $500 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   

About The American Legion | The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans’ organization devoted to mutual helpfulness.