Grass Fields Questions on Facebook

NGAUS Washington Report

(Dec. 17, 2013) The role of the National Guard, aviation force structure and training tactics were just a few of the topics Gen. Frank J. Grass tackled during his first ever Facebook Town Hall Friday.

Grass, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, and Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell Brush, the senior enlisted advisor to Grass, sat down on the Guard’s 377th birthday to answer questions via social media. They talked with Guardsmen, Guard spouses, Guard supporters and others.

The discussion opened with Grass wishing the Guard a happy birthday, and thanking Guardsmen and supporters for all they do each day.  Then the questions began.

The defense budget was an overriding theme of the online conversation.  With both shrinking funds and a shifting landscape with regards to our nation’s wars, Grass touched on many different variables that could have an impact on Guard readiness.

In response to a question on new training techniques, Grass said that simulation is used by the Guard all the time. He said this type of high-tech training will not completely replace hands-on drills, but will become even more important as budgets continue to shrink.

He also touched on changing force structure.  Grass said he has “serious concerns” about discussions to move Guard aviation assets to the active component and exchange Lakotas for Black Hawks. He stressed that Guard interests are represented in discussions on a Total Force solution.

As things continue to shift and the nation adjusts its defense priorities, Grass said the role of the Guard remains the same.

“The nation relies on the National Guard each and every day to do three things: fight America's wars, protect the homeland, and sustain enduring global partnerships,” he said. 
“Sustained National Guard capability provides the U.S. Army and Air Force with a hedge against uncertainty, especially in these budget constrained times. We don't see this changing.”

Read more on his Facebook page at