National Guard Gets Seat at the Big Boys Table

Posted by on Jan 05, 2012 at 8:50 am
Gen Honore

In a move that has the entire military community scratching their heads and asking WTF, the National Guard has now been given a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Those who have served are probably doubled over in laughter right now or at least blinking hard to re-read that statement but welcome to Liberaland.

The National Guard Bureau’s top officer is now a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A provision in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law Dec. 31 by President Obama, adds the Guard leader to the nation’s highest military advisory group.

Of course, people are going to wonder why the hell the opinion of some guy pounding on a computer in his jammies, well actually sweatpants, should matter. How about the opinion of the other members of the Joint Chiefs along with the Secretary of Defense?

During the Nov. 10 hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the six four-star generals voiced opposition to the proposal, saying it would create needless confusion and reduce their authority.

“There is no compelling military need for this change,” Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said at the time.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also opposed the measure, telling reporters in October that membership on the Joint Chiefs should “be reserved for those who have direct command and direct budgets that deal with the military.”

I am not demeaning the role the National Guard has played in our current conflicts, I have had to discard my memories of dealing with them during my time in service since the Guard has changed immensely since then, but at the end of the day the National Guard remain an armed force based at the state level and for the most part under the control of the governor of those respective states and not a national force.

This move makes absolutely no sense, has no rhyme or reason to it and other then making some lucky general a happy guy is about as useful as batteries for chemlights.

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3 Responses to “National Guard Gets Seat at the Big Boys Table”

  1. Will on 5/05/12 at 12:54 pm

    I’ll just make a few points that I think are worth considering:

    1. The National Guard makes up around half of our Nation’s defence but only gets approx 18% of the budget to do the same tasks.

    2. Even though The Marines fall under The Dept of the Navy, they have a seat on the JCS . So how is that different from the NG falling under the Army and Air Force.

    3. The National Guard is not a state-centric organization anymore. The majorityof the equipment and training standards are funded by and required by the Pentagon and Big Army/Big Air Force. It is as important to the National Guard that they have a say in how the money is spent as it is to any other branch, especially if the NG is to continue as a tactical reserve rather than the strategic reserve that was originally indended.

    4. What do the other members of the JCS have to say about it? They are political animals, no different from any other politician. Of course they don’t want another member on the JCS as that means less power and control for themselves.

    5. I don’t see how having a dedicated voice for half of the force can be a bad thing.

  2. jctsma on 5/05/12 at 9:44 pm

    Maybe he’s trying to get de facto control of the only independent – and armed – forces in the country, thereby taking control from the governors – for some reason . . .