Army Secretary Rips Guard Furloughs

NGAUS Washington Report

(July 16, 2013) Secretary of the Army John McHugh warned last week that sequestration continues to threaten military readiness.

"The furlough will have a degrading effect on the readiness of the Guard. That's inescapable," McHugh said during a visit Friday to the District of Columbia National Guard.

National Guard "dual-status" technicians are being furloughed as the Pentagon attempts to save money. NGAUS opposes the furloughs and supports legislation in the House to stop them.

Furloughs are affecting every unit, camp, post and station, both here and abroad, McHugh said, indicating that the impact is severe on the Guard, the active component and the Army Reserve.

McHugh expressed his admiration for the dedication of the men and women of the Guard, who continue to march on despite the furlough.

"They're focused on mission, proud of contributions to team efforts," he said. "These great leaders are working to meet those challenges and the mission will go forward and challenges will be met effectively."

McHugh visited the D.C. Guard Museum in the basement of the armory, where uniforms and weapons of Guardsmen were on display dating from the Revolutionary War. He also toured the Guard's interactive learning center and its motor pool, meeting with soldiers and airmen.

The secretary has a particularly unique role to play in the D.C. Guard, as it is the only Guard command he has been authorized by the president to mobilize. Most recently, he authorized the mobilization of D.C. Guardsmen in October during Hurricane Sandy, which impacted surrounding areas.