Showing posts with label #COVID-19. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #COVID-19. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

🎥 IMOA - Imagine Pacific Original Article: (VIDEO)🎥 "Ending the Stigmatic Role of the National Guard: A Call for Change"

🎥 IMOA - Imagine Pacific Original Article: (VIDEO)🎥

 "Ending the Stigmatic Role of the National Guard: A Call for Change"


Experience the National Guard's transformation in a split-screen animation. Historical images seamlessly evolve into a contemporary force. It emphasizes key points, setting the stage for a compelling narrative.
📅 Evolution of the National Guard:

Depicting the National Guard's shift from a part-time reserve to a vibrant, dynamic force. Each era unfolds with representative imagery, narrating the Guard's evolution.
🦠The COVID-19 Pandemic:

The article portrays National Guard heroes in action during the pandemic - distributing vaccines, conducting tests, and aiding healthcare systems.
⚖️Challenges and Disparities:

Witness the disparities between active duty and National Guard benefits. Scales and side-by-side comparisons use animated elements to spotlight these differences clearly.
🔄Proposed Solutions:
Experience a paradigm shift advocating for reform of career status rules. Watch as positive change unfolds, echoing a brighter future for National Guard members.
🤝Conclusion and Call to Action:
The National Guard remains a ready and reliable operational force. A call to action is made with the need for change that will inevitably make the Guard more ready, reliable, and resilient. inevitably


Friday, November 3, 2023

IMOA: Ending the Stigmatic Role of the National Guard: A Call for Change



Imagine Pacific Original Article

"Ending the Stigmatic Role of the National Guard: A Call for Change"

By James E. Faumuina, MBA, MPA

Editor - Imagine Pacific Pulse


Abstract: This article presents a compelling argument for a paradigm shift in the perception and treatment of the National Guard. It advocates for the recognition of the National Guard as a steady-state operational force with equivalent daily requirements for response and operational readiness as the active duty, particularly in relation to its unique Title 32 mission. The argument highlights the disparity in treatment between National Guard members and active duty members in terms of retirement benefits. It points out that National Guard members engaged in full-time Title 32 missions, which are authorized by federal law, should be given the opportunity to accumulate retirement benefits in a manner similar to active duty members. The argument questions why certain National Guard positions are not considered for retirement benefits when they may involve less hazardous or non-direct defense-related tasks compared to active duty positions. It suggests that if there is enough funding to support retirement benefits for active duty members without extensive scrutiny, the same opportunity should be extended to National Guard members to encourage their long-term commitment to service. In analyzing the challenges posed by current career status regulations, the article contends that all service members who can reach 20 TAFMS (Total Active Federal Military Service) should be entitled to do so.

The National Guard has played an indispensable role in the United States military, evolving from a part-time strategic reserve to becoming a force that effectively addresses contemporary challenges. However, the prevailing perception of the National Guard as primarily a strategic reserve has created barriers that hinder its full potential and restrict opportunities for its members. This article argues for a fundamental shift in the perception of the National Guard and advocates for its recognition as an operational regular force. Furthermore, it proposes that Guardsmen should be entitled to retire, if eligible, with a 20-year active duty retirement. It prompts readers to consider why institutional safeguards and gatekeeping procedures prevent rather than enable Guardsmen from attaining this right.

The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a significant turning point, highlighting the invaluable contributions of the National Guard in responding to crises (NCLS, 2020). Guard members have been at the forefront, providing essential support in testing, vaccine distribution, and aiding overwhelmed healthcare systems. The nature of the Guard's capabilities has evolved beyond the traditional categorizations of part-time versus full-time service. Their vital role in protecting the nation's well-being renders these outdated perspectives obsolete, as enlistment in the National Guard is now solely based on voluntary means. Retaining highly skilled and qualified warriors has become a pressing concern for the military branches, as experienced leadership is a scarce and coveted resource. Therefore, the retention of human resources, including experienced Guard members, should be treated with the same importance as other resource conservation methods.

The National Guard's indispensability stems from the constitutional requirement for the separation of military and civilian affairs and the management of the state. Posse Comitatus, established to prevent the military from being used as a means of domestic political will, ensures that federal forces are forbidden from enacting domestically militarily unless federalization occurs. Governors serve as the de facto commanders-in-chief of their respective states at times of emergency. In the event of a state of emergency declaration by the Governor, the respective Guard Adjutant General serves as the State’s Commander General. (FEMA, 2017). Moreover, in the recent pandemic response, the National Guard played an integral role in executing this essential homeland defense mission, including protecting national borders, and critical infrastructure, and responding to emergencies and disasters as they are mandated to do by regulation (DODI, 2017). Consistently over the years, these responsibilities have demanded continuous readiness and immediate response capabilities, necessitating the recognition of the National Guard as a force with a capacity that requires its Guardsmen to perform active duty far beyond the set 2 weeks a year, 14 days a year known as the required commitment edict for the reserve forces of the military.

Title 32 missions, authorized by federal law, grant the National Guard the authority to undertake specific continuous missions, such as cyber defense, counter-drug operations, and disaster response (U.S. Department of Defense, 2020). These missions often require full-time engagement and specialized skills that only the National Guard can provide. Guard members who are fortunate enough to attain one of the few treasured active duty positions under the Active/Guard and Reserve (AGR) program are granted equivalent privileges as the active duty uniformed members serving under Title-10 (federal) status.

There is a robust operational mission being conducted by the National Guard actively every day. However, underneath this vested importance is a conventional logic limiting Guardsmen that needs to be challenged. The Guard encompasses any and every AFSC/MOS (Air Force Specialty Code/Military Occupational Specialty) as active duty. In contrast, there are unique missions in the Guard that require niche units like the CERFP. As it stands today, not every Guardsman in these programs can attain a 20-year retirement unless they are in the AGR program. It is unjust that every Active Duty member can attain 20 years of service, regardless of whether their jobs involve hazards or direct defense of the homeland, while Guardsmen, specifically in programs like the CERFP, are being forced to cut their orders when they approach the cut-line of 18 years, at which time they would be entitled to receive a 20-year retirement.  

It is a fruitless and dangerous debate to compare positions based on perceived importance, and that is not the intent of this argument. A more productive rationale would be to consider how the active duty finds it sufficient, without any need for justification, for every position to warrant retirement without scrutiny. If there is no issue with granting this privilege to Active Duty members, then why can't Guardsmen, with the caveat they can attain 20 years of active duty, enjoy the same benefit? What is the harm in a Guardsman piecing together their Active Duty service in order to reach a 20-year Active Duty retirement?

It all revolves around the concept of “sanctuary” and how it is used as a tool to hinder Guardsmen from attaining the same rights and privileges that every active duty member has in obtaining an active duty retirement. As mentioned earlier with the CERFP, a preventative practice being conducted is the curtailment of orders based on proximity to 20 TAFMS (Total Active Federal Military Service) when they get close to sanctuary, essentially preventing them from ever attaining the coveted 20 year active duty retirement. (U.S. Department of Defense, 2019). This practice of creating barriers to attaining 20TAMFS restricts Guard members from attaining career status and the associated benefits.

By enabling Guardsmen to reach 20 TAFMS, regardless of their part-time or full-time status, and based on mission requirements and resource availability, we can effectively address and alleviate the challenges and inequities they face. This proposed change to the career status rules not only addresses the inherent injustices within the system but also enhances the operational readiness of the National Guard. This paradigm shift also aligns with the evolving nature of military operations and the need for flexible and integrated forces to tackle contemporary challenges. Recognizing the full-time commitment of Guard members will go a long way in ensuring they have access to the necessary resources, support, and career opportunities, enabling them to maintain the highest levels of readiness and effectiveness.

In conclusion, the time has come for a transformative shift in the way we perceive and treat the National Guard. The Guard, once considered a strategic reserve, has proven itself to be an indispensable force in our modern world. The COVID-19 pandemic and the tragic wildfires in Maui have demonstrated the vital role Guard members play in safeguarding our nation's well-being and security. They are no longer simply part-time soldiers but dedicated professionals, ready to respond to crises at a moment's notice.

This article has attempted to make a case for recognizing the National Guard as an operational regular force. It argues that Guardsmen, engaged in full-time Title 32 missions, should have the opportunity to accumulate retirement benefits, just like their active-duty counterparts. It questions why certain Guard positions are denied retirement benefits, even when their roles may be less hazardous or defense-related than active-duty positions.

The solution is simple: we must reform the career status rules to allow Guardsmen, based on mission requirements, to reach the 20-year active-duty retirement threshold. This change addresses not only the inherent injustices within the system but also enhances the National Guard's operational readiness. Again and again, the National Guard has served as a linchpin of our national security and community resilience. It goes without saying that they deserve the same rights and privileges as their active-duty counterparts. This paradigm shift will not only ensure the Guard's long-term commitment to service but also provide the necessary support and resources to maintain the highest levels of readiness.

The time has come to recognize and invest properly in the Guard's proven value and unwavering reliability. This is not just a call for change; it's a call to acknowledge the unwavering commitment and sacrifices made by citizen soldiers who take on the mantle of Guardsmen. To ensure a strong, agile, and effective National Guard that is prepared to meet today's demands, and those that will be even more demanding in the future, a radical systems revision is needed and unabashedly long overdue.

James is the owner of Imagine Pacific Enterprises and the Editor of Imagine Pacific Pulse (IMPULSE). He is a retired Lt Col, Hawaii Air National Guard. Former medical administrator, planner, program manager, and operations officer. Graduated from the USAF Air War College and is a graduate student at the University of Hawaii studying Disabilities Studies and Diversity. He can be contacted at 

Keywords:#NationalGuard, #paradigmshift, #recognition, #operationalforce, #Title32,#COVID-19,# pandemic,#careerstatus,# homelanddefense,#20-yearretirement,#equity,#readiness,#citizensoldiers,# systemschange,#IMOA,


NCLS. (2020). National Guard Response to COVID-19. Retrieved from [insert URL]

U.S. Department of Defense. (2019). ANGI36-101, Air National Guard Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Program. Retrieved from [insert URL]

U.S. Department of Defense. (2020). U.S. Code Title 32, Chapter 1 - Organization. Retrieved from [insert URL]


(2) Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA)

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