National Guard — June 2012
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Added Help: Reserves to Assist With Some Domestic Disasters

New authority in the fiscal 2012 defense authorization act allows the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps reserves to be called to duty in response to natural disasters or emergencies in the homeland.

Except for a crisis involving a weapon of mass destruction, the reserves historically have been prohibited from providing a domestic response, Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, the Army Reserve chief, told reporters last month.

That job was reserved for the National Guard, which state governors could call up as needed to support civil authorities.

If additional forces were required, as when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, active-component service members became the federal default force.

That’s long been a frustration to Stultz, who saw no sense in bypassing local reserve members simply because they operate under federal Title 10 authority and not state Title 32 authority.

“In a lot of cases, there were reservecomponent soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who were close at hand with the capabilities needed, but didn’t have the authority to act,” he said. “Finally, we got the law changed. This new legislation says that now we can use Title 10 reserves.”

For these forces to be used, the law specifies that the president must declare an emergency or disaster and a state governor must request the assistance.

Stultz clarified what has not changed under the law. Civil authorities will remain the first responders. And when they need military support, National Guard forces will be the first to step in when called by their state governor.

“We are not trying to change any of that,” the general said.

But now, when a situation also demands a federal response, reserve forces can step in to assist for up to 120 days.

Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., the commander of U.S. Northern Command, and his staff are evaluating their federal response plan to take advantage of these new capabilities, Stultz said.

Stultz said he’s gratified by almost universal support for the new legislative authority.

“Everybody is on board, from the governors to the adjutants general to Army North to NORTHCOM saying this is going to be a good thing,” he said.

Panetta Orders New Measures For Flying Troubled F-22 Raptor

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has ordered the Air Force to take additional steps to mitigate risks to F-22 pilots, George Little, the acting assistant defense secretary for public affairs, said last month.

Beginning in 2008, a few pilots experienced hypoxia-like symptoms when flying the aircraft, Little told reporters at a Pentagon news conference.Hypoxia is a deficiency of oxygen.There have been a total of 12 cases of these hypoxia-like symptoms affecting F-22 pilots.

Little said the secretary has directed the Air Force to expedite the installation of an automatic backup oxygen system in all of the planes.

In addition, all F-22 flights will remain near potential landing locations to enable quick recovery and landing should a pilot encounter unanticipated physiological conditions during flight.

Finally, Panetta directed the Air Force to provide him with a monthly progress report as the service continues the search for the root cause of the problem.

These steps are in addition to the measures the Air Force is already taking to determine the root causes of the hypoxia-like symptoms pilots have experienced.

The secretary’s directions take into account the need for determining the cause of the problem, while still allowing the military to use the unique capabilities provided by the F-22 Raptor.

“The root cause of hypoxia-like events has not been determined,” Little said. “It is possible … that it could be attributed to the oxygen system in the airplane—thus the installation of a backup system. But it could have other causes, too, and the Air Force is aggressively looking at other factors that could be contributing.”

Two Air National Guard wings fly the F-22—Hawaii’s 154th Wing and Virginia’s 192nd Fighter Wing.

Help for Unemployed Veterans: Program Offers Paid Training

Unemployed veterans ages 35 to 60 can apply for up to 12 months of paid training through a new program sponsored by the Department of Labor and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

VA officials said the population the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program will serve is particularly in need.Of about 900,000 veterans who are Unemployed, nearly two-thirds are between ages 35 and 60, according to the Labor Department.

The program, which began last month, provides 12 months of training assistance equal to the monthly full-time payment rate under the Montgomery G.I. Bill-Active Duty program, which currently pays $1,473 per month.

Participants must be enrolled in a community college or technical school program approved for VA benefits. The program must lead to an associate degree, noncollege degree or certificate.

To qualify, a veteran also must:

Be unemployed on the day of application; č Have a discharge that is not dishonorable;

Not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program;

Not receive VA compensation for being unemployable;

Not be enrolled in a federal or state job training program; and

Pursue a program that leads to employment in one of 210 occupations designated as high demand by the Labor Department. The list of occupations, available on the VA website, includes jobs in construction, machine operation, transportation, preschool education, health care and many other fields.

The program will fund up to 45,000 participants between July 1 and Sept. 30, and an additional 54,000 participants from Oct. 1, 2012, through March 31, 2014. Labor officials said the department will offer employment assistance to every veteran who completes the program.

Army Plans for MRAP's Future While Awaiting JLTV's Arrival

The Army is in the process of refining a long-term plan for its fleet of 20,000 mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles.

Some of the MRAPS will be placed in brigade combat team configurations for as-needed troop transport and route clearance missions. Some will be put in storage facilities. And others will be kept for training purposes, according to Army officials.

Now that the war in Iraq is over and plans for an Afghan drawdown are underway, the Army is outlining a long-term plan for the vehicles to place roughly 60 percent of them in storage or prepositioned stocks and 30 percent of them with units. The remaining 10 percent will be used for home-based troop training.

In addition, a small number will be divested, officials said.

The MRAP plans are a key part of the calculus of the Army¡¦s overall fleet strategy which plans to incrementally field the next-generation Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.

Now in development, the JLTV is a high-tech light tactical vehicle that Should begin fielding by 2016.

It is being engineered with MRAPlike protection at a much lighter weight.

Overall, MRAPs only represent about 7 percent of the Army’s wheeledvehicle inventory.

By contrast, the Army plans to have JLTVs make up roughly one-quarter of its total tactical wheeled-vehicle fleet, officials said. The Army plans to acquire as many as 50,000 JLTVs by 2035, they said.

Obama Order Protects Students From Unscrupulous ‘Bad Actors’

President Barack Obama signed an executive order in late April designed to crack down on bad actors that prey on service members and veterans considering higher education.

Obama called it vital protection to brave men and women who are often bombarded by schools that provide false or misleading information about things like interest rates on loans, credit transfers and job placement.

The order, he explained in a radio address, will make it easier for military members and veterans to make informed decisions about financial aid and paying for college, and also takes a number of steps to fight deceptive practices by some institutions.

Obama recognized the sad truth that some unscrupulous people are “less interested in helping our men and women in uniform get ahead and more interested in making a buck.”

They game the system, he said, Bombarding potential students with high-pressure tactics and steering them toward high-interest loans and misleading credit transfers and job placement programs.

“That’s appalling. It’s disgraceful,” he said. “And even though the vast majority of schools do the right thing, we need to guard against the bad actors who don’t.”

The executive order will make it tougher for those who try to prey on service members and veterans. It will ensure they get the straight facts and make it easier to file complaints, he said.

The result, the president said, will be more security for service members, veterans and their families.

Welsh Nominated to Serve As Air Force Chief of Staff

President Barack Obama has nominated Gen. Mark A. Welsh III as the next Air Force chief of staff.

“He’s a command pilot who’s flown more than 3,400 hours during the course of his career, and he’s got a distinguished record that includes multiple combat missions during Operation Desert Storm,” Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said last month during a Pentagon press conference.

The secretary said that as CIA director, he worked closely with Welsh, where he was an associate director for military affairs.

“Over the course of our time working together, I developed a deep appreciation for his wisdom and his counsel,” Panetta said. He added that as a former Air Force Academy commandant, Welsh “has the right leadership qualities and distinguished background to follow his extraordinary predecessor, [Gen. Norton A. Schwartz].”

If confirmed by the Senate, Welsh will succeed Schwartz, who the secretary said will retire this summer.

Welsh is currently commander of U. S. Air Forces in Europe; commander of the NATO Allied Air Component Command in Ramstein, Germany; and director of the Joint Air Power Competency Center at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Vermont TAG Confirmed for Deputy Post at NORTHCOM

The adjutant general of Vermont was confirmed by the Senate last month to be the deputy commander of U. S. Northern Command.

Lt. Gen. Mike Dubie, who served as adjutant general since 2006, was also given a third star to go along with his new duties. He is the third National Guard general to be assigned as deputy commander of the combatant command.

The first National Guard general Officer to serve as deputy commander at NORTHCOM was retired Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, a former chief of the National Guard Bureau.His successor was Lt. Gen.Frank Grass, whose previous assignments had included deputy director of the Army National Guard.

Dubie commanded the 447th Air Expeditionary Group at the Baghdad International Airport and served as director of staff for the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, Balad Air Base, Iraq.

New, Lighter ABU Available This Month

The new Rip-stop Airman Battle Uniform, featuring a lighter nylon-cotton blend, will be available at 16 warm-weather U.S. bases and through the Army and Air Force Exchange Service online beginning this month.

The wear policy for the light-weight RABUs will be exactly the same as for the ABUs.

The only difference between the ABU and the RABU is the material, which is the same as the old summerweight Army Battle Dress Uniform.

The RABU will replace the old, heavier ABU.

The clothing sales locations to receive the uniforms first are: Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.; Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.; Eglin AFB, Fla.; Goodfellow AFB, Texas; Holloman AFB, N.M.; Joint Base Andrews, Md.; Joint Base Charleston, S.C.; Keesler AFB, Miss.; Kirtland AFB,N. M.; Luke AFB, Ariz.; Mac- Dill AFB, Fla.; Maxwell AFB, Ala.; Moody AFB, Ga.; Nellis, AFB, Nev.; Patrick AFB, Fla.; and Tinker AFB, Okla.A plan for worldwide distribution is currently in development, officials said.

ESGR Freedom Award Finalists Announced

Local government agencies, companies large and small, and a church comprise the 30 employers selected as finalists for the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

The award is the highest recognition the Defense Department gives to employers for exceptional employee support.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, the DoD agency that coordinates the program, will announce the 15 recipients of the award early this summer. They will be selected by a board comprised of senior military officials, business leaders and past award winners.

The finalists are: Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Bismarck, N.D.; Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill.; Centerline Mechanical LLC, Cave Creek, Ariz.; Citi, New York; City of Edina Police Dept., Edina, Minn.; Cranston Public Schools, Cranston, R.I.; Crystal Springs United Methodist Church, Crystal Springs, Miss.; Delta Air Lines, Atlanta; Don Gorman Electric, LLC, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gary Jet Center, Gary, Ind.; Humana Inc., Louisville, Ky.; Intel Corporation, Santa Clara, Calif.; Iostudio, Nashville, Tenn.; Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson, Bismarck, N.D.; Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Kalamazoo, Mich.; Kent County Levy Court, Dover, Del.; L-3 Communications, New York; Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles; LPI Printing and Graphics Inc.,

Stoneham, Mass.; Nationwide Insurance, Columbus, Ohio; Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, Newberry,S. C.; Nyemaster Goode, Des Moines, Iowa; Port of Seattle, Seattle; Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque,N. M.; Siemens Corporation, Washington, D.C.; Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan LLC, Raleigh, N.C.; Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tenn.; Town of Camden Police Department, Camden, Maine; Uniform Color Company, Holland, Mich.; and Verizon Wireless, Basking Ridge, N.J.

A ceremony to honor the 15 recipients will be held in Washington, D.C., in September.Past recipients have met privately with the president, vice president and defense secretary.

Retired Major Elected VP of AAAA Chapter

A retired Mississippi Army National officer and current NGAUS corporate member was elected last month to serve on the board of directors for the Magnolia Chapter of the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA).

Retired Maj. Geoffrey Yoste also will serve as the chapter’s vice president for industry affairs.

“I’m honored the membership elected me to this position, and together with my fellow board members, I will strive to grow our membership and increase support and involvement with our corporate partners,” Yoste said.

AAAA supports the Army aviation community soldiers and their families through scholarships, recognitions, events and information.

The Magnolia Chapter focuses on Army aviation in Mississippi.

Yoste heads Yoste Strategic Partners LLC, an Oxford, Miss., consulting firm that works primarily with firms that do business with the Guard.

National Parks Offer Free Entry to Troops

Service members and their families will be able to enter all of America’s national parks free of charge for a year under an initiative announced last month.

The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Annual Pass, which normally costs $80, is now available to service members and their dependents at no charge.

The pass allows the holder and passengers in a single private vehicle access to some 2,000 sites that charge per vehicle.

At sites where entrance fees are charged per person, it covers the pass owner and three adults age 16 and older.

The free pass will be made available for activated members of the National Guard and Reserves, but not for military veterans or retirees, whom officials said have other opportunities for free or reduced admission.

Military personnel can get the passes at any national park or wildlife refuge that charges an entrance fee by showing their military ID. Family members also will be able to obtain their own passes.

—Compiled from staff and Pentagon reports

Magazine Archives

Below is an excerpt as it appeared in the July 1958 issue of NatioNal GuardsmaN, as this magazine was known at the time. It’s part of a series of relevant articles from the publication’s more than 65 years of archives.

New Titles, New Confusion

Just when the average soldier had mastered the Army’s enlisted rank structure—seven pay grades, three kinds of Privates, and an imposing array of Specialists and Sergeants— approval of a military pay raise added two new elite grades and brought some long-discarded Sergeant’s titles out of retirement.

The new grades, pay-wise, are E-8 and E-9. The highest, E-9, will carry a title discarded before World War II, Sergeant Major. An E-8 will be one of two familiar titles, First Sergeant or Master Sergeant, as appropriate.

As in the past, the Master Sergeant’s “stripes” will consist of three chevrons above, three rockers below, while the First Sergeant wears the same “three up, three down” plus a diamond-shaped lozenge in the center.

Something new has been added for the Sergeant Major—a star in place of the diamond in the center of the cluster of stripes.

Next in line, as E-7s (formerly the highest pay grade), will be the men with three stripes and two rockers on their sleeves, to be called Sergeant First Class or Platoon Sergeant, according to their new assignment.

Grade E-6, now entitled Sergeants First Class, will now be known as Staff Sergeants, another time-honored Army title dropped during post-World War II reorganization. As before, their chevrons will consist of three stripes and one rocker. And finally, the E-5s will be called Sergeants and reintroduced after an absence of several years will be the “buck sergeant” insignia, three stripes with no arc below the chevron.

There’ll be no change in the pay grades, titles, or insigne of Corporals and Privates.

The new pay grades took effect 1 June but it will take longer to change over to the new rank insignia. New stripes will be issued “on an evolutionary basis as replacement … is required,” says a DA announcement.

Promotions into the two highest pay grades will be phased over four years, the announcement says further, with initial promotions limited to personnel chosen for First Sergeant and Sergeant Major positions.

Guardsmen Attend New Army Flight Medic Certification

Army National Guard medics are among those now taking part in a pilot program designed to revamp the training received by Army flight medics.

Taught at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the program provides flight medics with additional paramedic and critical care training and certifications.

“A paramedic provides a higher level of care,” said Master Sgt. Kym Ricketts, the Army Guard chief medical noncommissioned officer. “It’s advanced, prehospital medical care.”

Currently, to be a flight medic, a soldier must be a qualified combat medic and be in a flight medic slot, but since flight medics operate under different conditions, those requirements are changing to reflect that.

“The medics need additional training as flight medics as they do a higher standard of care and in a different environment than a line medic on the ground,” Ricketts said.

As part of the pilot program and proposed changes, soldiers go through three phases of training specific to flight medic duty.

“The first one is the flight medic phase,” Ricketts said, adding that it can be waivered in lieu of on-thejob training. “Phase two is the nationally registered paramedic [course], which is the longest phase, and phase three is the critical care transport piece.”

The push for making changes to flight medic requirements came from a number of elements, including a study done on a California Army National Guard Medical evacuation unit that deployed to Afghanistan with full-fledged paramedics in flight medic positions.

“[The study found that with] flight paramedics in the back of an aircraft, there was a 66 percent higher survivability rate than with a straight [combat medic] that wasn’t paramedic trained,” Ricketts said.

In addition, proposed changes to the flight medic requirements also mean that graduates of the program walk away with national certification as paramedics. That provides additional benefits including a greater flexibility with integrating with local, state and other agencies in a disaster situation, she said.

“A citizen-soldier can do their wartime mission as well as their peacetime mission of taking care of their community,” Ricketts said, adding that those certifications are the same received by civilian paramedics.

But the important part, she said, is simply providing the best care possible.

“The benefit is the best battlefield medicine and care that a soldier can get,” she said.

“With the forward surgical teams that are out there, casualties are actually having surgical intervention on the ground at the point of injury,” Ricketts said.

“Combined with these medics that are able to have this training … the [casualty] will be getting the best standard of care.” The pilot program wraps up later in the year and will then go through a review process.

—By Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy

Sound Bites


“If we didn’t have that sword of Damocles hanging over our head, we would be in much better shape.”

—Gen. Lloyd Austin, Army vice chief of staff, on possible defense cuts due to sequestration, Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, May 10


“[T]hat’s the great thing about the National Guard.It can take you places you’ve never dreamed of going to.”

—Staff Sgt. Tommy Wolford, West Virginia National Guard, “Three National Guardsmen instructing mine safety in Mongolia,” The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette, May 11


“Until we see Google creating the major software platforms for our Navy ships and subs and Apple designing the Pentagon’s iFighter, we’ll know our acquisition problem hasn’t been fixed.”

—Arthur Herman, American Enterprise Institute “The Pentagon Vs. Defense: We’re getting less for more $,” New York Post, May 7


“If members try to restore their favorite programs without regard to an overall strategy, the cuts will have to come from areas that could impact overall readiness. There is no free lunch here. Every dollar that is added will have to be offset by cuts in national security.”

—Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, Pentagon press conference, responding to House Armed Services Committee action that increased defense spending, May 10


“[T]he State Partnership Program, dollar for dollar, may be one of the most efficient and effective programs that we have at our disposal as combatant commanders.”

—Adm. James G. Stavridis, commander, U.S. European Command, “Eucom’s State Partnership Program Becomes Global Model,” American Forces Press Service, May 16'


“Never underestimate the influence of the National Guard.”

—Sen. John McCain, ranking member, “SASC NDAA Freezes Air Guard Cuts,” AOL Defense, May 24