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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 I believe the program is outdated, and the changes mandated in Section 1053 are a great start towards modernizing this force.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.
Public Comments
2 days ago
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.
Nov 25th, 2017
JANET B. from Bellflower, CA writes:
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As a WG, I think it's nice for others to go to Title 5 while I have to stay in a dual status. Good for them I guess. For those who don't know, those positions converting into Title 5 are mostly office jobs which is great for those Officers who work at OTAG. Just like anything, Officers or those in higher positions are always care of their own. That's nice. While the blue collars, who do most of the work get pushed aside. There should be a fair set of positions on GS, WG, WS, WL and make this fair. FAIR is equality across the board. I'm and disappointed and disgusted in this system. Then you wonder why you lose people to the AGR system.
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!!
Oct 2nd, 2017
Logan from Versailles, KY writes:
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It is an outdated Act that would have minimal effect on the Force. The benefits outweigh the bad and the technician and the Guar would both benefit. It comes down to resistance to change and the unknown.
Sep 23rd, 2017
Issac S. from Hattiesburg, MS writes:
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Title 5 will never happen-because its the Guard that is paramount, governors and officers must have their thumb on people. Dual status is a tool that accomplishes that. Dual status is a Guard bureaucracy put in place to rob soldiers of active duty benefits and pay while holding them to active duty standards. The big picture: getting out of the guard and retaining federal job does not benefit the *******s in control.
Sep 12th, 2017
Someone from Bismarck, ND writes:
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Stop the title 5 Repeal. If you want to reduce fraud, and give technicians due process in EEO proceedings pass Title 5 immediately!!
Sep 7th, 2017
Someone from Elkton, MD writes:
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Does anyone know if I am currently a T32 DA civilian DS on the bottom of my SF52, when I convert will I still be a DA civilian? I get a child care subsidy that I cannot afford to lose (I am not near a base so they pay a huge chunk of my bill ). My HRO has no answers or I get mixed info.
Sep 7th, 2017
Someone from Browns Mills, NJ writes:
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The repeals need to seize and allow Technicians the right to due process as any other citizen through Title 5. Title 32 should have been ended years ago. Through the years, times have changed and many old laws need to be updated or just redone altogether. Stop the repeals and the discrimination against the same people that stand for our rights.
Sep 6th, 2017
Someone from Toms River, NJ writes:
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Just like other federal employees, dual status technicians need protection afforded under title 5. I strongly oppose any modification or amendment to the section 1053 of 2016 defense bill.
Aug 29th, 2017
Someone from Monaca, PA writes:
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I'm depending on the transition to title 5 along with so many others. We want this. The amount of experience this will retain would be immeasurable. If we don't transition, I'll lose my technician job as I won't be keeping my military position. My supervisor who is right near retirement said if this goes through, he would stick around longer. As the two full timers in our career field on base and most experienced in our work, that will be a mess trying to keep the office running when nobody knows how to keep the ball rolling if we're gone.
Aug 28th, 2017
Someone from Albuquerque, NM writes:
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There are enough Title 32 technicians that would gladly volunteer to convert to Title 5. These conversions should be given to those that want them and would affect them positively. All other title 32 positions should be converted to AGR status. Many of the title 32 technicians I work with don't get paid a high enough at their GS level to afford to buy a new wardrobe for the title 5 conversion. Most of the shops would benefit more by allotting more AGR slots, instead of converting to title 5.
Aug 15th, 2017
Justin S. from Klamath Falls, OR writes:
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I've been in the military for more than 20 years, and a Title 32 technician for less than half of that. Please don't allow the Title 5 bill to be repealed, and don't allow it to be watered down by decreasing it from the 20% originally passed. If anything, it should be increased! When Title 32 technicians are deployed the remaining technicians have to make up the work, putting a greater burden on those remaining behind. The military requirement does not make sense, we already have plenty of positions being filled by Title 5 in the active duty Air Force, why should it be so different in the Guard? Removing the requirement for military affiliation will also make it much easier to recruit highly skilled personnel into jobs where the civilian workforce currently outpaces the military workforce - such as in Information Technology. Some of the best IT personnel may not be fit for military duty, but they can still serve their country by working as a Title 5 employee. We could gain a considerable edge by being able to open IT positions to those not suited to military service. We know our "frienemies" (China and Russia, to name two) have state sponsored hacker units and we are falling dangerously behind when it comes to cyber readiness. This transition to Title 5 won't hurt readiness, if anything it will HELP readiness!
Aug 15th, 2017
Someone from Philippi, WV writes:
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I have over 20 years of service and over 15 years as a title 32 technician. I agree with so many of the comments to not stop title 5 and to NOT reduce it. It is only about control. There is no one looking out for the little guys. There are so many of us that have experience in our technician jobs and when we leave to do military duty, it hurts the guard in other readiness ways such as support. I know many persons who would choose to stay but some will eventually get out. Every guardsman is not a technician so how is that going to devastate readiness by some people getting out of the guard? When you're body or circumstances change and you can no longer meet military requirements, how is it fair that you lose your full time income as well. This is a no brainer, please keep the conversion going!
Aug 14th, 2017
Someone from Lugoff, SC writes:
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If you are a politician and you also served in the armed forces, you should be fighting for us. We will remember your VOTE!
Aug 10th, 2017
Someone from Jefferson, OR writes:
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I've served in the military for over 20 years now. I am also a title 32 DS technician. I have been a technician well over a decade. It's scary to know if I can't keep my military membership I am forced out of the technician program. The QRB is a secretive but highly political board that can potentially remove a military member without cause. I enjoy the guard and I don't think everyone will jump ship from the military if they get converted. I am senior NCO and if I do decide to get out in a few years that opens up a slot for the next E-6 (p) keeping the upward mobility going. It's scary to know that I still have 15 years to go before retirement and I still have to maintain my military membership for the entire time.
Aug 10th, 2017
Someone from Klamath Falls, OR writes:
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I have served 9 years active duty Air Force – 2 years title 32 AGR and now on my 20th year as a dual status title 32 air technician / E7. Based on my experience I believe that title 5 conversion would provide greater stability and continuity. I think that dual-status title 32 technicians who are converted to title 5 are more likely to stay in the National Guard as Drill Status Guardsman (DSG) For those with 20 or more years of military service who would like to retire their military position and keep their civilian position it would be a win-win. The National Guard would not loose valuable experienced personnel and have more room for the younger DSG’s to progress upward. As for managerial control concerns that some people have addressed – My best supervisors (when I was Active Duty) were title 5 (one in particular was retired AF) It seems that some people are not looking at the big picture, unfortunately the same people that are opposed to the conversion. Ironic politics… Again: More Stability, Continuity, and better Retention rates (military and civilian) will result from conversion to title 5….
Aug 8th, 2017
Someone from San Juan, PR writes:
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They keep postponing the conversion. Now the 2018 NDAA is moving the conversion to October 1, 2018. For the 2019 NDAA it will read October 1, 2019 and so on.
Aug 6th, 2017
Someone from Durham, NC writes:
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It seems that the Senate and Congress would like to hear the voices of the smaller people, the title 32 guys. We are the backbone of the states and the grunts of the AGR, and Technician world. WE do all the heavy lifting for poor work conditions, expensive healthcare, and still asked to maintain our M-DAY status. WE do more than the AGR Staff. I have worked at the USPFO CIF for what seems a life time. I have seen people come and go. I have seen a lot of good people, but have seen more than enough of bad leadership to last three life times. Get rid of title 32, make us title 5. Allow us the opportunity to obtain our retirement goals, allows us the opportunity to spend with our families. The TAGs and Governors are worried about the readiness of the states. That’s an unfair assessment, I have seen six soldiers deploy from the warehouse alone leaving four people to operate a SSA and CIF, operations were devastated. I have seen soldiers who were technician call up on state active duty and again operations for the rest of the state came to a screaming halt. The state would benefit from the title 5, operations for the states readiness in fact would be better. Technicians would be able to retire and support their families. Please, pass title 5, let’s finally think about the little guy for once.
Jul 28th, 2017
Someone from Buckhannon, WV writes:
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Leave the Title 5 conversion at the 20% on 1 October 2017. They have already had one extension from 1 January 2017. It has nothing to do with readiness. It has all to do with control. The AG's and governor's are losing their control over us and they do not like it. With the delays that they are trying pull is only causing a bigger gap in our trust with the command structure. We need the Title 5 to go through now with no more delays. I feel that those in Congress are no being told everything. Those making the decision on another delay should be talking to those that it most affects to get their side of the controversy. Do not always believe what you hear. There are always two sides to every story. The Army and Air Reserves have been Title 5 for many years and it has worked. We cannot let DoD, NGB, the governor's and AG's get away with this travesty,
Jul 27th, 2017
Someone from Elizabethtown, PA writes:
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Please vote to pass the Title 5 conversion. I have been hoping for this since i heard about it. It would be so helpful for the people who still have the expertise when their body can't do what the military requires.
Jul 27th, 2017
Jacob W. from Fishers, IN signed.
Jul 26th, 2017
Someone from Otwell, IN writes:
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Active duty bases all have Title 5 (competitive) civil service running the day to day activities of the base and supporting military members. The Title 5 competitive conversion of 20% will NOT adversely affect the NGB/State mission. It is absurd to suggest that the military operations of the 54 States and territories is some how different than the active component in respect to day to day operations. If it works for every active duty base in the US, then how will it not work at the State level?
Jul 26th, 2017
Someone from Nampa, ID writes:
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The 2018 NDA portion of the Title 5 conversion shows that the House bill reducing the conversion rate from 20% to 4.8 % annually. The bill should remain at 20%. This is measure to put the brakes on the inevitable and drag the cost savings of the conversion down the road.
Jul 26th, 2017
Someone from Nampa, ID writes:
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The reason the governors want to keep Title 32 Technician is so they can pay their state technicians out of the discretionary portion of the title 32 funding. They do not have the budget in place to keep those State Military technicians.
Jul 26th, 2017
Someone from Noblesville, IN writes:
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Please make Title 5 happen. It is so demoralizing to hear of the pushback after years of being told we are going Title 5. I have no intension of leaving the National Guard and I know very few who plan too. Title 5 will mean stability and allow for fair processes to occur. Please make this happen. Also, It would be nice to no longer have to maintain the uniform you are not paid to maintain or no longer see the rank on your chest that the AGR Soldier right next to you is making quite a bit more then you are for the same job. As a civilian, it is just that, a civilian.
Jul 25th, 2017
Alicia T. from Colchester, VT signed.
Jul 25th, 2017
Someone from Fuquay Varina, NC writes:
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Title 5 needs to happen. There is no justifiable reason why it should not go forward. It would be nice to know that after 20 years of service to the National Guard, (I've done 11 years with an OIF and OEF deployment, and I plan on staying for 20 years) I would able to retire and retain my civilian position. Plus, it would be nice to have access to Tri Care, get re-enlistment bonuses, and have a fair appeals process just like any other Federal Employee that happens to be in the National Guard. Only makes sense. I guess that's why this is such a ridiculous concept to some people, it makes sense!
Jul 25th, 2017
Someone from Wichita, KS signed.
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