Stop the Title 5 Repeal!

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 I believe the program is outdated, and the changes mandated in Section 1053 are a great start towards modernizing this force.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

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Public Comments (592)
May 3rd, 2018
Someone from Bismarck, ND writes:
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I'm guessing you wanted to be non-retained in your military position through no fault of your own. That way you would have qualified for an early FERS retirement. Now those people who abused the system will no longer get a early FERS retirement for some made up disability that gets them non-retained by the military. I am so glad they closed that flaw so no more abuse. I am seen so many higher ranking officials in our organization claim a fake disability very late in their careers just to get an early FERS retirement under the old Title 32 system. Glad that SCAM has been closed. Work like the rest of us Federal employees until you qualify for the retirement.
Apr 11th, 2018
Someone from Essex Junction, VT writes:
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I just wish it was optional. I've been forced into title 5. I didn't ask for it. Now I'm the only one in the building wearing civvies. I feel so unimportant without my stripes. I'm so out of place it's depressing. It's like I've lost my identity.
Jan 4th, 2018
Someone from Bismarck, ND writes:
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I noticed a lot of complaining about being a Title 32 Dual Status Technician. I felt exactly the same way and decided to do something about it. I applied for Title 5 Federal Jobs outside the National Guard and finally was selected. I created by own destiny and transferred to a federal agency and became a Title 5 FERS employee. Give yourselves some credit. You don't have to wait for some lawmakers in D.C. make you a Title 5 federal employee. You all have the skills and knowledge to get selected for a Title 5 position outside the National Guard yourselves. Take charge of your own future and apply on USA jobs and become what you want, a Title 5 FERS Employee.
Jan 3rd, 2018
Mark H. from Gretna, LA signed.
Dec 29th, 2017
Someone from Roan Mountain, TN signed.
Dec 23rd, 2017
Thomas J. from Hattiesburg, MS writes:
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it ought to be illegal to be forced to impersonate an active duty soldier while working as a federal technician
Dec 14th, 2017
Someone from Fort George G Meade, MD writes:
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Stop the repeal and convert the Military Technician positions from Mil Tech to date just as was proposed into the NDAA 2016. These positions and people have already been made aware of the change, so whatever else you do, honor your intentions in making this change a reality!!!
Dec 7th, 2017
Clinton V. from Aurora, CO writes:
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I demand due process when being forced out with non-retention of military status. Equal coverage under Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) when appealing suspension or furlough without pay. I dread being a Title 32 Technician and approaching my 20th year in the United States military. Every year after my 20th, I'll only be able to enlist for one year, and be subject to retention screening. Convert the front line maintainers (eg. Aircraft/Ship maintainers, Military police and Security Forces) BEFORE the "noners" (eg. medical, command staff, "paper pushers"). We will still stand up to fight for our country. We want real protection and rights that any General Salary or FERS employee enjoys, and frankly, may take for granted. It seems the quick answer at my location is to make us all AGR. Yay, no over time (cough "comp time") with our vastly aging weapon systems.
Dec 1st, 2017
Someone from Bozrah, CT writes:
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End dual status now and lets get the T5 conversion done
Nov 27th, 2017
WB W. from Columbus, OH writes:
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I am thankful for my Dual-Status Position. However, I've seen to many people loose their membership in the Guard and therefore lose their full-time employment. Look, I work in IT and the position has nothing to do with being fit to fight. So what if I've gained a few pounds and can't run two miles anymore? But now, I'm scared that at 20 years I will not be retained and lose my job that provides for 3 kids and a wife. I'm sure that my organization and supervisors would agree, the experience that I have is not easily replaced on the Technician side. If I can perform my full-time job, I should not be punished because of the I can't keep up in the Military. And don't tell me that's what I signed up for. My organization has Dual-Status, Non Dual-Status and State employee's all working together with very similar functions. Being a member of the Guard has nothing to do with the position.

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