Saturday, November 11, 2023

⚔️ IMEA: Guarding Sanctuary: Addressing Equity for Guard in Retirement Parity⚔️

 Imagine Pacific Envisioned Analysis (IMEA): 

⚔️ Guarding Sanctuary:

 Addressing Equity for Guard in Retirement Parity⚔️  

💭 I. Imagine...

Visualize a future where National Guard members achieve retirement benefits and parity equivalent to their active-duty counterparts.

💡 II. Imagined Endstate:

Envision a future where Guardsmen engaged in full-time Title 32 missions have the opportunity to accumulate retirement benefits on par with sister services without concerns about being denied sanctuary after 18 years of active duty.

💥 III. What's the Case:

Despite many who have full-time commitments and niche specialized skills, some Guardsmen in Title 32 missions face disparities in securing active-duty retirement benefits compared to their active-duty counterparts. This inequity obstructs their long-term commitment to service and denies them their rightful retirement benefits.
🔎 IV. Consider This:

Explore the unique missions under Title 32 of domestic operations and homeland defense, and how Guardsmen engaged in these missions that are hazardous, year-round and often require multiple active duty tours to accomplish.

Examine the practices and policies that prevent these same Guardsmen from attaining sanctuary or the ability to retire on with an active duty retirement, and how there are obstacles for Guardsmen to attain a 20-year active-duty retirement if they are able to accumulate enough time to retire with an active duty retirement. can

Discuss the imperative of recognizing the National Guard as an operational regular force and granting Guardsmen parity in retirement benefits, disability payments, pension reception, and access to medical care based on their mission requirements. Imagine a future where every Guardsman enjoys parity across all aspects of their service benefits.

📚 V. Research This:

U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2023). VA Disability Benefits: Actions Needed to Address Challenges Reserve Component Members Face Accessing Compensation.

Faumuina, J. E. (2023, November 1). Ending the Stigmatic Role of the National Guard: A Call for Change. Imagine Pacific Pulse.

Micronesian veterans struggle to get care. (May 28, 2023). The New York Times

🌍 VI. Impact on Equity:

Addressing equity in retirement benefits for National Guard members ensures that they receive the same rights and privileges as their active-duty counterparts. This paradigm shift recognizes the contributions and sacrifices made by citizen soldiers and provides the necessary support and resources to maintain the highest levels of readiness and effectiveness.

📊 VII. QR Reader Survey:

We invite readers to participate in our QR Reader Survey to better understand the importance of retirement benefits equity for National Guard members. Your insights will contribute to our ongoing advocacy for this cause.

📢 VIII. Call to Action:

We call upon policymakers, military leaders, and the public to advocate for and support changes that ensure equity in retirement benefits for National Guard members engaged in Title 32 missions. This is a matter of fairness and recognition for their dedicated service.

• Leaving a comment on the Imagine Pacific Pulse(

• Raising awareness about this issue within your social circles and utilizing the provided QR codes to share this IMEA.

🤝 Conclusion:

In conclusion, recognizing the National Guard as an operational regular force and addressing disparities in retirement benefits 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, a radical systems revision is needed and long overdue to guarantee their equitable retirement benefits and support their long-term commitment to service.


Friday, November 10, 2023

🏝️ IMSPARK: Pacific Paradigm Shift: Community-Centric Tourism Revolution🏝️

🏝️Imagine... Pacific Paradigm Shift: Community-Centric Tourism Revolution🏝️

💡 Imagined Endstate:  

By 2030, the Pacific Islands embrace a new era of tourism, prioritizing local communities. Visitors engage in authentic, participatory experiences, ensuring a mutually enriching journey.

📚 Source: :

McKinsey & Company. (2023). Travel Unleashed: The AI-Powered Odyssey.

🔗 Link:

Read the full article here

💥 What's the Big Deal: 

Imagine a tourism transformation in the Pacific! 🌏A paradigm shift is underway, where AI and digital innovation drive tourism that enriches both travelers and local communities.👥  Learn how advanced technology and AI are empowering tourists to engage meaningfully with local culture and environment,🌺 fostering a deeper, more participatory, and community-centric experience in the stunning Pacific Islands.💙 Join this journey towards a future where every traveler becomes a positive force for the Pacific's prosperity. 

#tourism,#AI,#PacificIslands,#Innovation,#EconomicDevelopment,  #IMSPARK

Thursday, November 9, 2023

🔄 IMSPARK: Unlocking Operational Evolution: The Zero-Basing Philosophy🔄

🔄 Imagine... Unlocking Operational Evolution: The Zero-Basing Philosophy🔄

💡 Imagined Endstate: 

Revolutionizing Business Operations utilizing zero-based method to cost-cut and transform at the same time.

📚 Source: 

Fomin, D., Frazier, S., & Mignerey, C. (2023, September 26). Unlocking operational evolution: The zero-basing philosophy [Audio podcast episode]. In McKinsey Podcasts. McKinsey & Company. 

🔗 Link:

More Information Here

What's the Big Deal:

 💥 What's the Big Deal:

Zero-basing is shedding its cost-cutting image to become a transformative philosophy.🚀 It empowers leaders to reshape resource allocation, fosters continuous adaptability, and fuels new business endeavors. 🌟 This evolution is not about cost reduction but optimizing investments for growth. 💰 Zero-basing is more than just a tool for reducing costs.💼 Instead, it's a dynamic philosophy that provides leaders with unparalleled visibility into their operations, investments, and resources. This expanded perspective on zero-basing is reshaping organizational growth strategies. 


Wednesday, November 8, 2023



Ref "2023 ASTHO Fall Reading List




Why it’s worth reading


I'm Glad My Mom Died

Jennette McCurdy's memoir delves into the struggles of a former child actress and her relationship with her overbearing mother.

Exploring the challenges and pressures faced by former child actors and their relationships with their parents in the entertainment industry.


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Susan Cain's book explores the role of introverts in a society that emphasizes extroversion.

Shifting the narrative on introversion and highlighting the contributions of famous introverts to society.


You Could Make This Place Beautiful: A Memoir

Maggie Smith's memoir examines the end of her marriage and her experience dealing with secrecy, anger, and forgiveness.

Using personal heartbreak as a lens to examine the expectations of womanhood, gender roles, and power.


A Communications Playbook for Public Officials

A guide authored by ASTHO CEO Michael Fraser and Robert R. Johnson, Jr. on effectively managing communications and media.

Equipping public officials with over 70 tips and a structured approach for handling communication challenges.



Javier Zamora's journey from El Salvador to the U.S. as a child.

Exploring the harrowing experiences of young migrants and their quest for a sense of belonging in a new country.


Remarkably Bright Creatures

A story of an unlikely friendship between a woman and an octopus, told by Shelby Van Pelt.

Delving into the themes of trauma, healing, and uncovering the truth in a unique relationship.


True Biz

Sara Nović's novel focusing on students at River Valley School for the Deaf.

Exploring the lives of deaf students and their personal challenges, emphasizing connection and resilience.


The Only One Left

Riley Sager's mystery novel about the Hope family and a survivor's untold secrets.

Unraveling a family murder mystery with unanswered questions, secrets, and a suspenseful narrative.


The Light Pirate

Lily Brooks-Dalton's story set in a deteriorating Florida due to climate-related catastrophes.

Examining the impact of climate change on individuals as they adapt to a changing world.


The House in the Cerulean Sea

A tale of Linus Baker overseeing extraordinary children at the Marsyas Island Orphanage by T.J. Klune.

Exploring the magical world of children with extraordinary abilities and the responsibility of their caretaker.


Tuesday, November 7, 2023

🧠IMSPARK: Healing Hearts and Islands: Tackling Depression in the Pacific Communities🧠

🧠 Imagine... Healing Hearts and Islands: Tackling Depression in the Pacific Communities🧠

💡 Imagined Endstate:

By 2030, in the Pacific Islands, innovative mental health and community-focused interventions reduce the prevalence of depressive symptoms, leading to healthier and happier island communities.

📚 Source: 

Zhang ZJackson SLGillespie CMerritt RYang Q. Depressive Symptoms and Mortality Among US Adults. JAMA Netw Open.2023

🔗 Link:

Read the full article here

💥 What's the Big Deal:

The Pacific Islands🏝️are embracing a novel approach to mental health, aiming to reduce the prevalence of depressive symptoms and enhance the overall well-being of their communities.🌺This comprehensive study explores the impact of depressive symptoms💙 on mortality and underlines the importance of addressing this issue. It's time to heal hearts and islands,👥 fostering resilience and vitality in the Pacific.🌏 Discover how these communities are working together to create brighter, more prosperous futures. 


Monday, November 6, 2023

🌊IMSPARK: Bridging the Digital Divide for Veterans with NITA🌊

🌊Imagine…Bridging the Digital Divide for Veterans with NITA🌊

💡 Imagined Endstate:

Veterans across the nation have equitable access to the digital resources they need, empowering them to thrive in healthcare, education, employment, and community involvement.

📚 Source:

National Telecommunications and Information Administration. (2022, May 17). Notice of Funding Opportunity: State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program.

🔗 Link:

Read More

💥 What's the Big Deal:

Through this grant program it has the potential to ensure digital equity can become a life-changing force for veterans. The program works to expand access to crucial digital services 🌐, empowering them to find employment 💼, become active members of their communities 🏘️, obtain high-quality healthcare 🏥, and make positive contributions to society. This guide is a vital tool in bridging the digital divide for our heroic veterans 🦸, making it a significant and impactful endeavor. It empowers them to unlock better healthcare, access enhanced educational opportunities, improve their job prospects, and increase their community involvement 🤝, ultimately enabling them to thrive in every aspect of their lives.


Sunday, November 5, 2023

🏝️IMSPARK: Inclusive Data for Health in U.S. Island Areas🏝️

🏝️Imagine... Inclusive Data for Health in U.S. Island Areas🏝️

💡 Imagined Endstate:  

Comprehensive data from all U.S. island areas are included in federal public health datasets, enabling informed policies and programs that address health disparities and improve health outcomes in these regions.

📚 Source:

ASTHO. (2022). Bridge to Equity: Inclusive Data for Health in U.S. Island Areas.

🔗 Link:

Read the full report here

💥 What's the Big Deal:

For the first time, comprehensive data from all U.S. island areas have found their way into federal public health datasets. 📊 This significant step is reshaping the landscape of healthcare policy, 🏥as it will foster more informed decisions and initiatives in these often underserved regions. 🤝Discover how inclusive data 🌊are the bridge to health equity and a brighter future for U.S. island areas. U.S. island areas, despite their picturesque landscapes, often grapple with unique and, at times, severe healthcare disparities.


Saturday, November 4, 2023

🔀IMATRIX: Transforming Organizations🔀


🔀IMATRIX: Transforming Organizations🔀

📚 Source: 

Guggenberger, P., Maor, D., Park, M., & Simon, P. (2023, April 26). The State of Organizations 2023: Ten shifts transforming organizations.

🔗 Link:  

Shift Number

Shift Title


Illustration of Real-World Implementation


Increasing speed, strengthening resilience

Rapidly adapting to changing market conditions

Swift response to shifting consumer demands


'True hybrid': The new balance of in-person and remote work

Implementing flexible work arrangements

Adoption of a hybrid work model for employees


Making way for applied AI

Integrating AI-powered tools for process optimization

Use of AI in predictive maintenance for machinery


New rules of attraction, retention, and attrition

Redesigning employee engagement strategies

Innovative employee benefits and retention programs


Closing the capability chasm

Developing in-house skills or partnering for needed expertise

Collaboration with universities for skill development


Walking the talent tightrope

Balancing workforce diversity and skill requirements

Diversity and upskilling initiatives


Leadership that is self-aware and inspiring

Fostering a positive organizational culture

Leadership development programs and inclusive culture


Making meaningful progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion

Advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives

Diversity-focused hiring and inclusion programs


Mental health: Investing in a portfolio of interventions

Providing employee mental health support programs

Comprehensive mental health support for employees


Efficiency reloaded

Streamlining operations and optimizing resource utilization

Lean manufacturing principles and supply chain optimization




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)

Thursday, November 2, 2023

🌟 IMSPARK: Addressing Challenges Reserve Component Members Face Accessing VA🌟 Compensation

 🌟 Imagine...Addressing Challenges Reserve Component Members Face Accessing VA🌟 Compensation

💡 Imagined Endstate: 

Member of the Reserves and National Guard attaining the same level of parity when it comes to VA claims as the sister services through the Department of Defense.

📚 Source:

U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2023). VA Disability Benefits: Actions Needed to Address Challenges Reserve Component Members Face Accessing Compensation.

🔗 Link:

Read the full report here

💥 What's the Big Deal:

Reserve component members, including those from the Reserves and National Guard, face challenges in accessing VA disability compensation. The approval rates for their claims have been significantly lower than those for full-time active-duty military members. Gaps in guidance, documentation, and data sharing have contributed to these challenges. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) approved 11 to 20 percent fewer initial disability compensation claims from members of the reserve components—the Reserves and National Guard—than the active components (i.e., full-time active-duty military) each year from 2012 through 2021, the most recent data available. VA and Department of Defense (DOD) officials were unaware of this difference. Reserve component approval rates remained lower across characteristics such as military rank and age, but the size of the difference sometimes varied. This report calls for improved guidance, efficient documentation practices, and better data management to ensure that reserve component members can access the compensation they deserve for service-related disabilities.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

IMSPARK ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) - (VIDEO)

👪 Welcome to IMSPARK! Explore the paradigm shift in Hawai'i's families with "ALICE Without Malice." 👪 (VIDEO)

💡 Imagined Endstate:
Picture a Hawai'i where ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families break free from financial constraints, creating a brighter and more equitable future for all.

📚 Source:
Dive into this enlightening episode based on a July 2023 article from Hawaii Business Magazine, exploring the struggles of Hawai'i's middle class and the nonprofits aiding their financial stability.

💥 What's the Big Deal:
In a state notorious for its high cost of living and where 44% of residents struggle to meet basic needs, Hawai'i's ALICE population is forging innovative paths to overcome economic challenges. Witness stories of resilience, creativity, and community support as individuals defy the odds to achieve homeownership, entrepreneurs turn trash into treasures, and families navigate adversity to secure a better future. Even in paradise, living paycheck to paycheck can be daunting. Experience their journey through the impact of COVID-19, igniting their passion to advocate for systemic change, including affordable childcare, paid family leave, and higher minimum wages, all driven by the power of community solutions.

🌱 #ALICE #EconomicMobility #GenerationalPoverty #WealthEquity #InclusiveLiving #CostOfLiving #IMSPARK 🏡

 🧠 Imagine a Future of Thriving and Creative ADHD Minds in the Pacific🧠 💡 Imagined Endstate:  A Pacific region will embrace and support t...