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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 I believe the program is outdated, and the changes mandated in Section 1053 are a great start towards modernizing this force.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
Mar 30th, 2017
Someone from Burbank, CA writes:
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As a dual status Federal Technician I support the stop to repeal title 5.
Mar 30th, 2017
Roy s. from Cape Coral, FL signed.
Mar 30th, 2017
Someone from Carolina, PR signed.
Mar 28th, 2017
M B. from Houston, TX writes:
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Houston
Mar 28th, 2017
M B. from Houston, TX writes:
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Houston
Mar 28th, 2017
Someone from Saint Joseph, MO signed.
Mar 24th, 2017
Kristen A. from Crete, IL signed.
Mar 24th, 2017
Someone from Windham, NY signed.
Mar 22nd, 2017
Brandie A. from Twin Falls, ID signed.
Mar 22nd, 2017
Someone from Hansen, ID signed.
Mar 22nd, 2017
Robert A. from Twin Falls, ID writes:
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Its crap the military can kick you out after 20 years of service because of budget contrastinsts and that person loses his or her full time job becauses of it, even though that person is more the fully capable of continuing there Tech job..
Mar 22nd, 2017
Someone from Lingle, WY writes:
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We get to keep experts in their field that have done their service on the military side. People are walking away form good jobs and not considering good jobs because they done want to have to serve in military status maybe for 35-40 years. Give the option "if you serve 20 years on the military side you can op to title 5"
Mar 22nd, 2017
Someone from Riverton, WY signed.
Mar 21st, 2017
Someone from Casper, WY writes:
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Do your homework and call your state representatives in Congress and the House. If you are a technician then you have seen the ills of a dual-status position. We must rally together and support either making us civilian employees where we can be afforded the rights of a civilian, or make us AGRs where we can partake in the same benefits of Active Army. But, if you stay silent, we will continue to be tasked as AGRs with less benefits than our M-Day counterparts and less pay and protection than a federal civilian. Arm yourself with knowledge and be prepared to rebuff the readiness, cost, and control argument of senior state leadership and others opposed to this transition.
Mar 21st, 2017
Jacob T. from Skowhegan, ME signed.
Mar 16th, 2017
David D. from Saratoga Springs, UT signed.
Mar 16th, 2017
james v. from Roy, UT writes:
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maybe more flexible with soldiers who can no longer serve in the guard
Mar 16th, 2017
Someone from Orem, UT writes:
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AGs and other military leaders are not happy with this new law because it will take some control out of their hands, and if they do something extremely wrong, to answer for their actions. We dual-status federal employees, should not be treated in any manner differently than other fellow federal employees. Moreover, many good dual-status employees with great skills, lost their jobs due to "wear and tear" that comes with age, not being able to keep up with the young soldiers entering the force, but as a consequence leaving a void of experience, wisdom, skills and abilities unmatched by their replacements. The new force needs to focus on abilities, knowledge and skills, and not on the old mindset that was implements decades ago. To add on this, there is a lot a fraud, abuse and waste of tax payers by leadership, and with this new reform, AGs and subordinates will have to be walking on egg shells and do everything by the book and not "my way or the highway".
Mar 16th, 2017
Someone from Cheyenne, WY writes:
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Title 32 dual status positions severely limit the talent pool our state can draw upon for administrative positions. Additionally, we constantly face retention and training issues as departments have become "revolving doors" as Soldiers and Airmen separate, retire or take AGR positions or promotions else ware in the state. The reduction in emergency responsiveness cited by NGB, AGAUS, the NGAUS, and the CoG is a farce. If I am performing my Title 32 administrative function, it is illegal for me to be ordered to go fill sand bags or fight fires unless I am placed on state active duty orders. I can still be placed on state active duty orders if I am a Title 5 civilian. It is frustrating to be held to the same standards and expectations as my AGR counterparts. Commanders do not think about what status you are in because you are in uniform and therefore they believe you are AGR. I've been directed to perform duties outside of my PD multiple times. I don't receive the pay and the benefits but I get all of the taskers and the additional duties. Furthermore, Title 32 enables higher ranking officers and SNCOs to intimidate and pressure lower ranking personnel to bend and/or break the rules if it is convenient for the superiors. The lower ranking member has to deal with the fear of reprisals and discharge in his or her military career. The conversion to Title 5 would help decrease this horrible practice. Lastly, why hasn't anyone from NGB, AGAUS, the NGAUS, and the CoG polled Title 32 employees and asked what they want? I find it ridiculous that leaders haven't sought the opinions of the very workforce that the conversion would impact. The are most likely fearful of the resounding support for the conversion.
Mar 15th, 2017
Someone from Cheyenne, WY writes:
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I've been in the guard 7 years and think converting to title 5 is a step in the right direction. All the fuss is about control....Period. I believe at the end of the day there will be less turnover and a healthier NGB. The arguments of limiting the response in emergencies is false. 20 percent of support type function jobs would be too easy to convert for even a dumb enlisted guy like me. Convert Oct 2017 Don't let the generals or governor's bully you! Don't even bother to compromise to lower than 20 percent.
Mar 14th, 2017
Someone from Camarillo, CA writes:
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As a title 32 technician I have all of the burden of wearing the uniform with none of the benefits. We fall under the UCMJ since we are forced to wear the uniform, however, we are considered to be in a civilian status. So we are only considered military when it is convenient, most often for punishment purposes. I have seen many Civilian technicians lose their job due to being discharged from the military regardless of how well they have performed their civilian duties. This transition needs to happen. The argument that readiness would be reduced is such a ridiculous and outlandish claim and has no merit. If anything, readiness would be improved. If a title 5 employee left the military, they would continue to work and support the mission at home while at the same time opening up a new slot for a new military member to join the unit. The only reason the above agencies are fighting this bill is because they lose power over their members. Any other argument they have is not supported by any sound evidence.
Mar 10th, 2017
Joe P. from Gulfport, MS writes:
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I have been in the Military for 33 years. The guard is worried about end strength but they continue to have retention boards. Yet they fight to keep the conversion from happening. I say let it happen. I would leave the guard tommorow but I can't because I am dual status. I would retire from the guard and it would allow for other soldiers to move up. They shuld look at the big picture and allow those of who want to convert to do it now.
Mar 9th, 2017
Camp s. from Hattiesburg, MS writes:
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we are civilians being forced to adhere to active duty standards for half the pay and benefits. very few techs can make retirement age because of the "have to be in NG to hold job", We are faced with no other choice but to cover up and hide injuries or other issues that would kick you out of the guard in order to keep our job. Just because you cannot stay in guard does not mean you cant perform the federal technician duties. No other federal job in existence shafts you out of not being able to retire like the DUAL STATUS TECHNICIAN does! So, you end up with a system that forces you to seek medical discharge and disability.
Mar 9th, 2017
Camp s. from Hattiesburg, MS writes:
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we are civilians being forced to adhere to active duty standards for half the pay and benefits. very few techs can make retirement age because of the "have to be in NG to hold job", We are faced with no other choice but to cover up and hide injuries or other issues that would kick you out of the guard in order to keep our job. Just because you cannot stay in guard does not mean you cant perform the federal technician duties. No other federal job in existence shafts you out of not being able to retire like the DUAL STATUS TECHNICIAN does! So, you end up with a system that forces you to seek medical discharge and disability.
Mar 8th, 2017
Someone from Elgin, IL writes:
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we all believe repeal is wrong
Mar 8th, 2017
David S. from Jackson, TN signed.
Mar 7th, 2017
Someone from Queens Village, NY signed.
Mar 7th, 2017
Someone from Hattiesburg, MS writes:
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A NG positions need to and probably will be converted to Title 5 or AGR. Let's break it down like this... Almost all your higher up GS positions are filled by LTC, COLs, generally LTC's are GS12 or GS13's and COL are GS13's to GS15's. So by default, even if your education and experience exceed that of the LTC or COL you will not be afforded the opportunity to even apply for said job because they will put a rank restriction on it "Restricted to current on board federal tech in the grade of O5 or O6". Not to mention you can't really enforce the standards, say you are a middle grade supervisor, if your weekend boss who is the COL and GS14 at USPFO calls you and tells you to make it happen. If you tell him/her to "pound sand" you might get away with it for that week but come time for your OER you can bet that you are doomed.
Mar 6th, 2017
Someone from Los Angeles, CA writes:
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Title 5 would be great for technician across the board.
Feb 15th, 2017
Someone from Cheyenne, WY writes:
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Backfill for deploying Title 35 employees is generally expensive, disruptive and ineffective for the first 3-4 months while this temporary employee learns what is expected of him/her. Make the technician workforce Title 5, keep the experience in-house, don't force talent out because they served and were used/abused by their service and then thrown away (Med Board) by the Armed Forces.
Feb 14th, 2017
Someone from Douglasville, GA signed.
Feb 13th, 2017
Someone from Topeka, KS signed.
Feb 10th, 2017
Someone from West Hartford, CT signed.
Feb 10th, 2017
allen m. from sparks, NV signed.
Feb 9th, 2017
Someone from Sioux Falls, SD writes:
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The current and expected future optempo of our National Guard makes the expectation of staying in the military until age 56-60 (normal civilian retirement eligibility) unrealistic. This is related to many of the other comments I have read. Because of this, many of our folks are being forced out of their full time positions even though they have served honorably for many years. It is the only situation I know of in which your full time job is contingent on you keeping a part time job and ironically, the requirements for the part-time job are often much more stringent. Add to that the fact that if you are released medically from the military, it automatically qualifies you to receive a civilian medical retirement even if you are fully medically qualified to perform the civilian job. Although this is necessary because of the circumstances, it amounts to a taxpayer ripoff. If you read the NGAUS counter to this, most of it has been addressed in the new 2017 NDAA and most of the rest is simply inaccurate. For example, a counterargument is that the governors have less personnel to respond to state emergencies. This is simply not true as nothing in this conversion has any effect on numbers of military members. Technicians are not activated as civilians, they are activated in their National Guard military capacity. If a technician retires from the military under this authority they will be replaced by another military (often younger and better able to handle the physical demands of an emergency) and that person will be subject to a call-up by the governor. Virtually all of the resistance to this is either from a misunderstanding of the truth or a misrepresentation of the truth.
Feb 8th, 2017
VM from Greenwood, MS writes:
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With the modern reduction of the armed forces and as a DS I am looking at least five years left in the Guard to hit my 20, only 10 on the FED side. I think it's unfair that I should have to worry about getting kicked out because I decided to serve my country for the full 20 years, follow orders and leave my family for deployments and worry if I my body can take it for another 20, which barely anybody will see 30+ years anymore unless you are a GO. It's a slap in the face for a dedicated workforce. I support Title 5.
Feb 6th, 2017
Someone from Maple Shade, NJ writes:
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With due process long overdue, this modernization of the Federal Technician Workforce is beyond needed.
Feb 6th, 2017
from Somerset, NJ signed.
Feb 6th, 2017
from Browns Mills, NJ signed.
Feb 5th, 2017
Someone from Halethorpe, MD signed.