MOAA Sponsors Congressional Event to Discuss National Guard and Reserve Priorities

March 10, 2017

On March 8, MOAA, along with partners in The Military Coalition, sponsored an event with the House National Guard and Reserve Caucus. The meeting, hosted by Reps. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.), brought together leaders from the Guard and Reserve community to share their priorities with members of Congress and military and veterans' service organizations. 

The Chiefs of the National Guard Bureau, Army National Guard, and Navy, Army, and Air Force Reserves, as well as the commander of Marine Forces Reserve and the director of Reserve and Military Personnel for the Coast Guard Reserve were all in attendance. 

Lt. Gen. Charles Luckey, USAR, said the Army's war plans include the rapid use of the Guard and Reserve forces. He explained, “We are looking at different combat environments where every domain will be contested so we need the Guard and Reserve capabilities to match those of active duty. The rear is not the rear anymore, and it's not secure.” 

Lt. Gen. Rex McMillian, USMCR, echoed, “The next fight is coming, and it's sooner than you think.” 

All the services emphasized the need for a ready and capable reserve force that can provide strategic capabilities to the active duty component. Section 12304b of Title 10 allows the service secretaries to use selected reserve forces without the need for an emergency call-up by the president or secretary of defense. The orders give the services needed latitude but also create a problematic benefits gap. 

Reservists activated under 12304b orders do not receive creditable service towards the Post-9/11 GI Bill or pre-deployment health care, benefits they otherwise would receive when called up under traditional orders. 

12304b orders also require the services to plan for their use years in advance. Such long-term planning significantly restricts the services' capabilities to effectively use the authority, something that is not conducive with the current demands of Guard and Reserve forces. 

“12304b orders can be useful tools for an operational reserve,” says Lt. Col. Aniela Szymanski, USCMR, MOAA Government Relation's director of National Guard, Reserve, and Veterans Benefits, “but Congress needs to fix them so servicemembers get the benefits they deserve.” 

Last year, DoD submitted to Congress legislative proposals to resolve the disparity in 12304b orders, but those proposals were not included in the final FY17 defense bill. 

On March 7, Palazzo introduced H.R. 1384, a bill to resolve the inequity existing between these different types of active duty orders.  


Take Action Now: Resolve Inequities Between Active Duty Orders

Write to Congress today and encourage your representatives to support H.R. 1384. 


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