(Oct. 17, 2017) The leaders of the associations that represent the Army, the Air Force, the National Guard and the nation’s governors met Friday to discuss common legislative goals at the National Guard Memorial, the NGAUS headquarters in Washington, D.C.
NGAUS, the Adjutants General Association of the United States, the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States, the Association of the United States Army, the Air Force Association and the National Governors Association often work together, but this was the first time the groups have gathered to share ideas about the way forward.
The meeting was the product of several months of informal discussion at the staff and leader levels.
“What we learned, not surprisingly, is that we have far more areas of agreement than disagreement,” said Maj. Gen. Jim Hoyer, the NGAUS chairman. “And that we can deliver a far more powerful message on Capitol Hill working collectively than we can individually.”
The need to return to timely, predictable budgets was among the areas of agreement. This is the sixth consecutive year that the federal government has begun a fiscal year on a continuing resolution. It means funding at last year’s levels and no new programs.
In addition, caps on defense spending remain in place.
“The fiscal challenges here affect all of our organizations down to our most junior members and their families,” Hoyer said. “It’s not fair, it’s not right and it’s no way to defend a nation.”
The lack of benefits parity for the Guard and Reserve under mobilization authority 12304b and duty-status reform were among other issues discussed.