THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE GUARD in 2017!

 

CHANGE OF COMMAND

UPCOMING

 

 

COMPLETED

 

 

 

Promotions

SGM Manuel Perez

 

Retirements


CW5 William Langford
SFC Alfred L. Silva

 

 

 

 

 

Guard News

Congress Finally Approves Veteran Status for National Guard Retirees

All retired National Guardsmen and Reservists are now only a presidential signature away from finally being recognized as veterans.

Congress approved legislation last week that would expand the legal definition of a veteran to include Guardsmen and Reservists that honorably serve 20 years. It now goes to the White House as part of a package of veterans bills.

The current definition requires a Guardsman or Reservist to have spent more than 179 days on federal active duty for other than training to be considered a veteran, regardless of how long they served.

"The current definition has long been out of date," said retired Maj. Gen. Gus Hargett, the NGAUS president. "Many of those affected underwent arduous, even dangerous, training to maintain their combat readiness. Others worked in direct support of those who did deploy. Yet our nation tells them that they aren't veterans.

"That's wrong, but we're on the cusp of righting that wrong."
NGAUS has been pushing the change for six years. It easily passed the House every session only to be killed in the Senate by fears that it would increase eligibility for some benefits, thereby raising the cost of veterans' programs.

"It took a while, but we finally convinced everyone in the Senate that we weren't seeking more benefits," Hargett said. "Guard retirees just want the honor of their nation calling them veterans."
The House and Senate actually approved the change in concept last year, but they disagreed on the specific language. This forced the two chambers to come up with and formally approve a compromise provision, which they did last week.

"This won't provide the Guard one extra dollar for better training, equipment or benefits," Hargett said, "but it is one of our most satisfying accomplishments since I've been here."