NGAUS: Recent Reports Mischaracterize Guard Service and Compensation

09 Jul, 2012, 12:47 ET from National Guard Association of the U.S.

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Guard Association of the United States today released the following statement by retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr., the association president:

"Last month's report of the Defense Department's 11th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation, and subsequent media coverage, paints a false picture of National Guard service and compensation.

"The QRMC report correctly states that Guardsmen receive four days of military pay for a two-day, weekend training assembly, and that this compensation is more than an active-duty service member receives for two days of duty.

"But the report fails to recognize that Guard service is a part-time job that requires more than a part-time commitment.

"Most Guardsmen put in more than two days a month. They have to in order to be professional, physically fit soldiers and airmen. And most officers and noncommissioned officers spend time almost every day on Guard matters. They have to in order to take care of their personnel and to ensure their units meet the same standards as active-component outfits. 

"This service beyond drill weekends comes with no added compensation and at the expense of family and civilian careers. So, in reality, it's often four days of pay for the equivalent of seven or eight full days of service and to be ready to respond at a moment's notice to a multitude of state and national emergencies.  

"In addition, drill pay includes none of the allowances for housing and subsistence that those on active duty enjoy. And while Guardsmen must maintain medical readiness, they must pay for their own medical coverage. They also receive no paid leave. 

"The QRMC was right in calling for reforms to the decades-old Guard and Reserve compensation systems. This is long overdue. The report includes some great ideas, including an early retirement program, and is a good starting point for further discussion.

"But the recommendation to cut drill pay to streamline compensation systems is a failure to understand the fundamental realities of Guard service."      

About NGAUS: The association includes nearly 45,000 current or former Guard officers. It was created in 1878 to provide unified 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 educating Congress on militia needs. Today, 134 years later, the militia is known as the National Guard, but NGAUS has the same mission.

SOURCE National Guard Association of the U.S.