NGAUS is thoroughly engaged with the Trump administration, as well as Members of Congress and staff despite closure of Congressional office space, during the COVID-19 national emergency. The legislative staff has been in consistent contact with numerous offices to ensure the Trump administration provides robust authorities for state-led National Guard response to COVID-19. We are also continually engaging with Congress to include additional National Guard-related funding in supplemental COVID-19 legislation.
The legislative staff has been at the forefront of educating federal points of contact on the importance of authorizing Title 32 orders for all National Guard servicemembers responding to COVID-19. Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Roy Robinson, the NGAUS President, sent letters to President Trump and Congressional leadership regarding this issue on March 19.
Under Title 32, Guardsmen serve full-time and receive equivalent benefits, service credit, and protections as federal active duty servicemembers. This includes access to TRICARE, GI Bill accrual, and early retirement credit. Title 32 status is federally-funded with Department of Defense approval and missions are performed under the command and control of the Governor.
Additionally, H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, was signed into law by President Trump on March 28. It provides significant levels of funding sought by NGAUS to continue robust National Guard COVID-19 response, including nearly $1.0 billion for the Army National Guard and over $500.0 million for the Air National Guard.
NGAUS is committed to constant engagement and advocacy to ensure federal support for the National Guard continues, especially during this national emergency. The legislative staff remains in contact with the Trump administration and Congress to strongly encourage movement of National Guard servicemembers in all states responding to COVID-19 to Title 32 orders.