A bipartisan amendment to the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act would open the doors for Guardsmen to be assigned to civil-works positions.
Current law blocks many service members from also receiving pay from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil-works authorizations, including National Guard officers and enlisted members and warrant officers from all components. The amendment would expand the pool of eligible uniformed personnel to include Guardsmen with valuable technical expertise.
The amendment was introduced by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D. NGAUS fully supports the legislation.
Authors behind the amendment believe it would update existing law to bring it more in line with today’s highly technical, well-educated force, while also helping to fill a shortfall in civil-works positions.
Historically, only 60-70% of authorized USACE uniformed civil works positions are filled by the Army in part due to a lack of eligible personnel.
If passed, the amendment would authorize pay and allowances for a wider pool of service members, including Guardsmen, who would work on any number of public-works projects, to include river and harbor improvements and flood control.
In addition to filling USACE personnel authorizations and increasing civil-works mission execution, the resulting increase in technically trained engineer soldiers would also help build future partner capacity and bolster future disaster response missions.