Army National Guard 4.0

October 27, 2017 

Current conflicts have proven beyond any doubt the National Guard has a vital role to play in the nation's security and warfighting capability. With no end in sight for the Guard to support these requirements, the Army National Guard introduced a new concept called ARNG 4.0. MOAA was invited to its rollout to Congress this week. This is what you need to know.

The Army is going to have a smaller active duty force. In fact, the active duty Army is the smallest it's been since World War II. A large proportion of capacity for the Army will depend on the Guard and Reserve. Interoperability between the Guard and active duty is vital and must happen now. To accommodate that, the National Guard needs a new model including a new standard of readiness. The Army calls this ARNG 4.0 because it is the fourth evolution of the Guard and means the force is ready to deploy immediately instead of after 18 months. 

NG Roll out
LTG Kadavy ARNG, Congressman Tim Walz (D - Minn.), and LTG Luckey USAR brief MSO's on Guard 4.0

 

This translates into an increased number of training days for most units. Units such as the Stryker brigade combat teams and Apache units will rotate into the Army's National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., every four years instead of every five years. This is something the Guard has never done before. 

It also means higher training standards. When asked about how this affects recruiting and retention statistics, Lt. Gen. Timothy Kadavy, director of the Army National Guard, noted Guard retention is at 115 percent but new accessions might pose a problem. Kadavy said the Guard has had a historic imbalance of resources between retention versus recruiting. 

The Army National Guard is very aware the operational tempo of its soldiers cannot be so aggressive it jeopardizes their civilian employment. The Army wants its soldiers to be “ready for war, but not so ready that they can't keep a civilian job,” so it's relying on military service organizations like MOAA to ensure Congress is incentivizing employers to hire and retain Guard members and ensuring the Army can provide proper support to those soldiers. 

Some incentives include tax credits for employers and lifting the five-year cap on the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Currently, USERRA establishes a Guard or Reserve member can be absent from their civilian employment for up to five years of cumulative time and retain their position or a similar one. Beyond five years, however, their jobs are not protected. MOAA has supported legislation that protects employment rights of Guard and Reserve members, as well as those that incentivize recruiting and retention, and will maintain these goals into 2018. 

 

 

 

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