Adjutants General Climb on Bandwagon

More than two dozen Adjutants General arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday to support legislation designed to increase the power afforded the National Guard. Among other actions, it would make the head of the National Guard Bureau a four-star general with a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Saying the Guard is “no longer a strategic reserve” of Cold War days, Maj. Gen. Roger Lempke, president of the Adjutants General Association, explained at a press conference that the Guard’s new role as an “operational reserve” subject to frequent duty requires greater input from the Guard in planning and shaping the military. Retired Brig. Gen. Steve Koper, president of the National Guard Association, lamented the “institutional bias” against the Guard within DOD, saying the “defense of this country can no longer suffer this dysfunction.” According to the Boston Globe, former Defense Secretary Melvin Laird—a key proponent of the 1970s shift to a Total Force approach—has agreed to talk with Pentagon officials, many of whom are none to keen on the legislation.