NGAUS Washington Report
(July 16, 2013) The NGAUS president planned to tell an influential group today to stem the fiscal crisis affecting the government and the Pentagon by growing the National Guard and shrinking the active-component force.
Retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr. told a Reserve Forces Policy Board panel, “By maintaining a larger portion of the force in the National Guard, the Defense Department gains a larger, less expensive force that provides the best value for our nation supporting both domestic emergency response and overseas deployments.”
Hargett was to speak this afternoon to the board’s Task Group, which was created to investigate the costs associated with preserving a strong reserve component. The Reserve Forces Policy Board is an independent advisory board to the defense secretary.
The fiscal challenges the nation faces, Hargett told the panel, “present opportunities for us to re-examine the Guard and Reserve’s contributions in relation to our active-duty counterparts to determine how best to meet the nation’s emerging defense needs.”
Explaining how the Guard has been reshaped during more than 10 years of war, Hargett made the case for adequate equipping and funding for both the Army Guard and the Air Guard. Doing so would give the nation a force ready to accept the responsibilities and challenges to keep the nation secure.
He used the board’s own study which found the cost associated with reserve-component members to be far less than those of active-component troops.
He said, “Creating this new force will require thoughtful leaders, like this board, to challenge convention, facilitate experimentation, and help overcome bureaucratic resistance to new ways of thinking.”