No “Independent Service,” Says Commission

The Congressionally mandated Commission on the National Guard and Reserves announced yesterday in Washington recommendations targeted to the National Guard that include giving the chief of the National Guard Bureau a fourth star and making that officer a senior advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman. However, as reported earlier, the commission does not support giving the NGB chief a formal seat at the JCS table. “We would leave intact the Title 10 reporting authorities to the Army and Air Force Secretaries and would envision that resourcing requirements would still flow to those two parent services,” Commissioner Patricia Lewis said, and added, “Our chief goal was to strengthen the role of the Guard Bureau, not create a separate and independent service.” The chairman, retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Arnold Punaro, said their recommendations put the Guard in position to work as part of an integrated team, and he is “extremely encouraged” by the “open-minded, forward leaning” reaction they’ve received from Defense Secretary Robert Gates and lawmakers. The commission must submit its final report to Congress by Jan. 31, 2008. (CNGR’s Second Report.)