With the advent of the National Guard 4.0 initiative, Guardsmen are training and deploying at higher rates than ever before. However, are Guardsmen being fairly recognized for their service?
The National Guard sits in a grey area of United States Code. Some orders fall under active duty status (Title 10), which count towards Federal benefits like Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility, while other orders fall under the state Governor’s jurisdiction (Title 32), which do not count towards Federal benefits.
So, what happens when a Servicemember from the National Guard and a Servicemember from the Army Reserves both follow orders to attend the same active duty training school? While at the same school and receiving the same training the Reservist will accrue time towards their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, Transfer of Education Benefits, eligibility for full military funeral benefits, and Federal job placements. The National Guardsman, however, will accrue nothing.
This grey area can be difficult to parse out, and is causing Guardsmen to be overlooked and undervalued. We are working with Congress to champion the rights of the National Guard by addressing the vague language of United States Code that allows the Federal Government to overlook the service and sacrifice of its citizen soldiers.