Technical difficulties prevented delivery of the Oct. 31 issue of Washington Report to more than half of the NGAUS e-newsletter's 42,000 subscribers last week. The association’s contracted email marketing platform has corrected the problems. Last week’s content — including links to the association's most recent stories and all of the last newsletter's In Brief entries — are included below:
Lawmakers: Provide Guard, Reserve Parental Leave Parity is available here.
Guardsmen, Reservists Get Fewer VA Claims Approved is available here.
NGAUS Staffer Honors Fallen Guardsman, Completes 240th Marathon is available here.
OFFICE VISIT Retired Brig. Gen. J. Roy Robinson, the NGAUS president, hosted Lt. Gen. Patrick E. Matlock, the Army deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and training; Lt. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, the Army National Guard director; and Maj. Gen. Joe F. Jarrard, the National Guard Bureau director of operations, for a tour of the National Guard Memorial the afternoon of Oct. 31. The group's visit to the association’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., included a stop at the National Guard Memorial Museum and an office visit.
AGAUS FALL MEETING The adjutants general of the 54 states, territories and the District of Columbia conducted their annual fall meeting as part of the Adjutants General Association of the United States at the National Guard Memorial, the NGAUS headquarters in Washington, D.C., Oct. 31. The agenda included the selection of the group's priorities for the next 12 months. Maj. Gen. John C. Harris, Jr., the adjutant general of Ohio, is the organization's elected president. More information about AGAUS is available at www.agaus.org.
NGEDA CONFERENCE The National Guard Executive Directors Association's annual meeting is set for Jan. 15-19, 2024, at the Fort Pontchartrain Detroit, a Wyndham Hotel in the Michigan city. Each year, the group meets in the host city of that year’s NGAUS conference to share information and to plan for the big event. There is also a special group rate at the hotel, which is next to the Huntington Place Convention Center, the site of the association's 146th General Conference & Exhibition Aug. 23-26, 2024. More information about the NGEDA meeting, including a tentative agenda, is available at www.ngeda.org.
CONGRESS LAST WEEK The Senate was in session last week. Last week was also supposed to be a "District Work Week" for the House, but the process to elect a new Speaker during most of October took precedence over all other work in the lower chamber. House members on Capitol Hill are now playing catch up. Both chambers remain behind on the federal government's annual defense and spending bills.
HOUSE SPEAKER After three weeks of close-door meetings and failed floor votes, House Republicans chose a Speaker of the House Oct. 25. Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., now holds the top spot in the chamber. Johnson is also second in line to the presidency after Vice President Kamala Harris. The Republican lawmaker is additionally a former member of the House Armed Services Committee. Johnson received a NGAUS Charles Dick Medal of Merit in 2021 for his support of the Louisiana National Guard.
SUICIDES The number of National Guardsmen who died from suicide decreased 18% from calendar year 2021 to 2022, according to Defense Department data released Oct. 26. An annual Pentagon report on military suicides showed a 12% drop in Reservists taking their lives, while active-duty suicides increased 3%. Ninety-seven Guardsmen (82 Army and 15 Air) committed suicide in 2022 compared to 120 (105 Army and 15 Air) in 2021. Guardsmen and Reservists who died from suicide in 2022 were largely enlisted, male, white and under 30 years old. DoD's full report on military suicides for calendar year 2022 is available at www.dspo.mil/Portals/113/Documents/ARSM_CY22.pdf.
JET FIGHTERS DEPLOY F-16 Fighting Falcons and personnel from the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 119th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrived in U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility last week to bolster the nation's presence in the Middle East, according to an Oct. 24 Air Forces Central press release. The move comes as threats to American forces in the region continue to grow. The exact location of the F-16s wasn't disclosed. U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria have been attacked by militant groups 23 times in the past two weeks, a Pentagon official said Oct. 30.
GUARD LAWMAKER Rep. Jeff Jackson, D-N.C., one of three currently serving National Guard officers in the House of Representatives, plans to leave Congress after his first term ends, the lawmaker announced Oct. 27. Jackson said he plans to run for North Carolina's attorney general position next. Jackson made last week's announcement after North Carolina's legislature finalized a new congressional map that redrew his Democrat-leaning district to one strongly favoring a Republican candidate.
42-YEAR-OLD AIRMEN The Department of the Air Force lifted its maximum age limit for initial entry into the service and the Space Force from 39 to 42 years old on Oct. 25, according to The Air Force Times. The change is the latest in a long series of efforts to expand the talent pool for both services during the continuing recruiting shortage. The shift also applies to both officers and enlisted service members. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations mandates 17 years old and 42 years old as the minimum and maximum ages for enlistment, respectively. Air Force officials reportedly indicate the service hopes the change will add about 50 recruits a year.
— By NGAUS Staff