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Stop the Title 5 Repeal!

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The FY16 NDAA contained Section 1053, a bi-partisan provision that ordered the conversion of no less than 20% of all National Guard (NG) Dual Status technicians (DSTs) from Title 32 to Title 5 employment to begin on January 1, 2017. The National Guard Bureau (NGB), the Adjutant Generals Association (AGAUS), the National Guard Association (NGAUS), and the Council of Governors (CoG) strongly opposed the law and called for its outright repeal citing unsupported claims of increased cost and reduced readiness. Senator John McCain, SASC Chairman, and Senator Jack Reed, SASC Ranking Member, strongly rejected the calls for repeal, and Section 1053 was ultimately included in the 2016 defense bill. <br />
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After repeal efforts failed, opponents of Section 1053 asked that language be included in the FY17 NDAA to delay conversion until at least October 1, 2017, under the guise that: 1. It would align the conversion with the beginning of FY18; and, 2. It would allow leaders some time to ensure a smooth transition for affected employees. The House and Senate Armed Services Committees (HASC/SASC) agreed to the proposal as presented, and included draft language in the FY17 NDAA to delay the conversion. <br />
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Supporters of Section 1053 warned HASC/SASC, and other members of Congress that calls to delay were merely a veiled attempt to give NGB, AGAUS, NGAUS, and CoG one more crack at repealing Section 1053 in the FY18 NDAA. It appears the warnings were justified as Section 1053 opponents are renewing their push for a full repeal of Section 1053 now, rather than later, during the election season, through the lame duck session, and before the FY17 NDAA is even signed. For the reasons stated below, I strongly urge you to oppose any effort calling for the repeal of Section 1053.<br />
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The NG DST program is over 100 years old. I believe the program is outdated, and the changes mandated in Section 1053 are a great start towards modernizing this force. The new law streamlines administration, cuts overall operating costs to the US Government, and allows technicians access to due process.<br />
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Concerning due process, technicians do not enjoy the full due process protections guaranteed to other federal employees because current law limits appeals of adverse employment actions to their respective State Adjutants General. As such, these employees cannot appeal to an arbitrator, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Office of Special Counsel, or even Federal Court, which means they are also not protected as under Federal Whistleblower laws. The result is a program that is often susceptible to fraud, waste, and abuse, and is the only program in the federal government where the person who fires you also hears and decides your appeal.<br />
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The changes required by Section 1053 are the start of much-needed reform. The law is based on the independent report prepared by the Center for Naval Analysis at the direction of Congress in section 519 of the 2012 defense bill. It takes a conservative approach and gives National Guard and State authorities the ability to provide input on how the transition should occur, including how best to maintain these employees under the control of State AGs, all while affording them the rights enjoyed by every other federal civilian employee. Section 1053 will allow these employees an opportunity to reach full civilian retirement age, provide access to federal appeal rights, and simultaneously correct other inconsistencies that only affect this small but much-needed workforce.<br />
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Thank you for your attention to this very important matter.

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Public Comments (581)
Nov 19th, 2017
Someone from Martinsburg, WV writes:
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One can still be Title 5 and serve the function of a dual status employee, this whole thing is being blown out of proportion by all the pols. Title 32 technicians have always been the sole of the boot for years, work 20 years, get non-retained and your*****is grass. Title 5 would protect us from that, non-retain me now and I still get to keep my full-time job.
Nov 3rd, 2017
issac s. from Hattiesburg, MS writes:
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dena my heart goes out to you, but the system holds you hostage by design. Its a cruel but effective way of getting active duty devotion at half the pay and benefits. Because of this most people who get disgusted just med out and go 60/40 when in reality they could continue to work. What a taxpayers waste!
Nov 2nd, 2017
Dena J. from Plainview, AR writes:
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I would love my job to go title 5. I would love to retire from the guard at 20 years, which is only 2 years from now. but if I do this I would lose my full time job. I've deployed twice over seas and activated once. I have 3 kids and I ready to be a mom not worrying about deployments. But right now as it stands my job is duel role.
Oct 26th, 2017
Kimberly S. from Saint Augustine, FL writes:
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Stop Title 5 Repel - I have deployed twice while employed as a dual status Title 32 Federal Technician. During which my husband was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus and vascular disease. Because Title 32 can't enroll in Tricare health insurance, a military benefit - we enrolled his healthcare under his employer. However, his health steadily deteriorated in 2015 and I had to enroll him in my Federal insurance - The problem is when dual status NG's deploy, you have to switch your family members from Federal insurance to Tricare and then back again. "Reality Alert" - He's a dialysis patient, you can't do that!!!! Title 5 allows no interruption of insurance. Military Career Advancement - Rank and MOS have to be job compatible, you have to quite your federal job if it's not compatible. There is an extremely high turnover where I work. Title 32 policy allows for a corruption in the hiring process - often job descriptions are so specific only one or two people can apply. Title 5 allows eligibility to be based off of qualifications not compatibility RETENTION BOARD - Dual Status does not play a role in the decision to retain a military member after 20 years. I really think that the motivation behind the repeal is to force senior leadership into retirement to open up rank advancement for junior leaders - Title 5 allows for fair employment eligibility I am approaching my 20 military years, 19 years as a federal technician - I am in a situation where I just can't take a chance of not being retained. Title 5 allows federal retirement
Oct 25th, 2017
Someone from Wetumpka, AL writes:
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We're an operational force now. The strategic title 32 model needs modernized. This is a step in the right direction. If we're to be operational, convert all high ops tempo positions to AGR and convert the DS 32 positions to title 5 to manage the day to day grind at the home station. The active military has high year of tenure for a reason and that's to manage the force for upward mobility on a 20 year model. Having us serve 30-40 years, bogs down the whole thing causing stagnation.
Oct 17th, 2017
Jarrod D. from Scott Depot, WV signed.
Oct 11th, 2017
Someone from Bismarck, ND writes:
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The argument that conversion to Title 5 hurting readiness is a total lie and total B.S.! If a Dual Status Tech is converted to Title 5 AND they decide to leave the military someone else will take their spot in the military. Readiness is not hurt at all because your number of Soldiers stays the same. My military job was not the same as my Technician job before I retired. When I left the military, someone else took my slot. In addition, they hired a civilian to replace my technician job. Did not affect readiness at all. Note that everyone against this is either the TAG, or a power hungry career Officer or Senior NCO. Don't drink the Cool Aid, pass the repeal!!
Oct 11th, 2017
Someone from Bismarck, ND writes:
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The argument that conversion to Title 5 hurting readiness is a total lie and total B.S.! If a Dual Status Tech is converted to Title 5 AND they decide to leave the military someone else will take their spot in the military. Readiness is not hurt at all because your number of Soldiers stays the same. My military job was not the same as my Technician job before I retired. When I left the military, someone else took my slot. In addition, they hired a civilian to replace my technician job. Did not affect readiness at all. Note that everyone against this is either the TAG, or a power hungry career Officer or Senior NCO. Don't drink the Cool Aid, pass the repeal!!
Oct 2nd, 2017
Issac S. from Hattiesburg, MS writes:
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these tech jobs are superfluous. The guard doesn't give a hoot about providing jobs to non-guard people, regardless of how well they can do the job. Its a mistake getting hung up on the false notion that somehow it would " make sense"
Oct 2nd, 2017
Motivated D. from Frankfort, KY writes:
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Readiness!!! How does converting a few DS Technicians affect readiness? The converted Technicians will either stay in the Guard or get out. The Soldiers/Airmen that decide to leave the service will allow promotion opportunities for others. Most ARNG Technicians do not work in the same Guard Unit that they serve as a M-day Soldier in. Therefore, the whole readiness argument is garbage! Also, everyone likes a sense of security for their family. Let’s use me as an example. I am 42 years old and have served 23 years in the Marine Corps and Army National Guard. I have been a Technician for 11 years. Let’s say that the Guard decides that I have been in long enough and involuntary releases me through a QRB. I am out two jobs!! I have 18 years until I can receive some retirement benefits and as a 42 year old, what do I really bring to the table for potential employers? We hear how our government loves their veterans...let’s see!!
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