Thanks to the legislative efforts of NGAMA and the other members of NGAUS, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau is now a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley became a member of the Joint Chiefs on December 31, when President Barack Obama signed into law the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act which included this language.

The language that gives the Chief the boost in status in the Pentagon was the primary focus of the NGAUS and NGAMA legislative efforts in 2011. NGAMA members responded to Legislative Alerts and contacted their members of Congress urging the passage of the legislation.  The victory was hard fought. Every member of the Joint Chief s testified against the change before the Senate Armed Services Committee. But our coordinated effort prevailed.

“The Guard finally has a seat at the table,” said retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr., the president of NGAUS. “This does not mean the Pentagon culture with all of its historic biases against the Guard will evolve overnight. After all, this is a move every member of the Joint Chiefs opposed.

“But at least now, the Guard will have a voice among the president’s military advisors, one that can’t be ignored or excluded from the discussion. It’s a huge victory for the Guard. More importantly, it could be a catalyst for the type of change needed to defend the nation in the tough fiscal environment ahead.”

The legislation also requires that National Guard general officers be considered for command of the Army North and Air Force North.

Thank you to all our members who responded to the Legislative Alert. Your efforts proves the strength of our organizations and our ability to get things done in Congress. Happy New Year!