NGAUS Applauds Bill to Elevate NGB Chief to the Joint Chiefs of Staff

October 4, 2010

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Nearly 45,000 National Guard officers are supporting bills introduced in the House and Senate last week that would elevate the Guard’s top officer to a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The leaders of more than 45,000 Guard men and women are backing legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Rep. Nick Rahall, both D-W.Va., which would make the chief of the National Guard Bureau a full member of the Pentagon’s senior-leadership team.

A formal role in final resource decisions is part of an ongoing National Guard Association of the United States legislative push that two years ago elevated the NGB chief to a four-star general and made him an advisor to the secretary of defense.

The Guardians of Freedom Act of 2010 would complete the National Guard empowerment effort.

“Over the past nine years, Guard men and women have overcome decades of underfunding to respond to more missions in more places than at any time in our nation’s history,” said retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr., the NGAUS president. “They need a permanent seat at the table. They have earned a permanent seat at the table. This is simply the right thing to do.”

As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the NGB chief would be able to more forcibly advocate for the resources the Guard needs to complete both its missions abroad in support of the Army and the Air Force and its no-notice missions at home in support of local and state authorities.

“Our legislation will strengthen this crucial partnership by making sure the National Guard has an equal voice at the Joint Chiefs of Staff as our nation prepares to respond to emerging domestic concerns and foreign threats,” said Rockefeller.

Rahall’s version of the bill in the House is H.R. 6377; Rockefeller’s companion bill in the Senate is S. 3931.

“As the last Guard troops return home from Iraq and from the front lines in Afghanistan to the flooded main streets in storm weary cities and towns, and to disaster areas in every corner of our Nation, they answer the call of duty,” said Rahall. “They deserve a seat at the head table when decisions are made affecting their lives, missions and resources.”

About NGAUS: The association includes nearly 45,000 current or former Guard officers. It was created in 1878 to provide unified National Guard representation in Washington. In their first productive meeting after Reconstruction, militia officers from the North and South formed the association with the goal of obtaining better equipment and training by petitioning Congress for more resources. Today, 132 years later, NGAUS has the same mission.

Internet Availability: This document and other Guard and NGAUS news and information are available at www.ngaus.org.

SOURCE National Guard Association of the U.S.

Source: newswire

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