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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.

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.

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.

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 I believe the program is outdated, and the changes mandated in Section 1053 are a great start towards modernizing this force.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.

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.

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.

Thank you for your attention to this very important matter.

Post Public Comments

Public Comments (544)
Jul 17th, 2017
Allen A. from Shafter, CA writes:
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Just being a duel status Technician you have already committed yourself and your family to making the Army National Guard a paramount service. By changing to Title 5, Commanders and AG’s will have the added Institutional knowledge and resource to train up and coming soldiers. In my 30+ years as an Army Technician I never met a good Technician that didn’t enjoy training soldiers. And I was involved with many states. Over the years I saw many Technicians not make the QRB because the Commander was more concerned with his promotion than what was “Good for the Guard”. And the Technician had no recourse for appeal. Let’s get this change done. Allen Anderson MSG (USA retired)
Jul 17th, 2017
Damon L. from Boise, ID signed.
Jul 17th, 2017
Marc S. from Lawrence Township, NJ writes:
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This conversion is in order to support one of the most dedicated work forces. Leaders should not withhold our basic rights to due process and job security. Let the Title 5 conversion take affect as mandated by the NDAA. Certain leaders feel that it will have an adverse effect on readiness but this reliance of the technician work force was never a sustainable model to begin with. Not to mention it is down right unethical to utilize this work force to meet missions that clearly fall outside the scope of our position descriptions.
Jul 10th, 2017
Brandon K. from Norwood, NC signed.
Jul 7th, 2017
Someone from Melrose, NY writes:
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Let T5 go through. We deserve job security past 20 years of service!
Jul 6th, 2017
Brian L. from San Luis Obispo, CA writes:
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I firmly believe as a CANG 17 year Title 32 technician. Conversion of Title 32 technicians to Title 5 will increase strength and readiness and will allow current dual-status technicians to support the war effort beyond their 60th birthday when they are forced to retire from the service. THIS IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!
Jul 6th, 2017
Someone from Flowood, MS writes:
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I sure find it funny that NGB and the AG's don't want to change, but all the Technicians do? Time for a change!!!
Jul 3rd, 2017
Shawn K. from Louisville, KY signed.
Jun 30th, 2017
Michael K. from Lagrange, ME writes:
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I urge you to refuse efforts to change the law, as it was passed last year, on this issue. Any arguments for change are about 'control,' not readiness. Conversion of Title 32 technicians to Title 5 will increase strength and readiness and will allow current dual-status technicians to support the war effort beyond their 60th birthday when they are forced to retire from the service.
Jun 30th, 2017
Michael K. from Lagrange, ME writes:
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As the other comments explain, this conversion will INCREASE readiness, not decrease readiness.
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