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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 I believe the program is outdated, and the changes mandated in Section 1053 are a great start towards modernizing this force.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
Apr 25th, 2017
Derek S. from Olivet, MI signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Wayne B. from Santa Rosa, CA signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Someone from Herriman, UT writes:
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The Title 32 technicians have been getting the shaft since the program started. Please consider keeping the conversion terminology on the books and force the conversion. The Guard needs this more than leadership is willing to admit.
Apr 25th, 2017
Maryah O. from Ward, AR signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Thomas E. from Sun Prairie, WI writes:
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T5 will increase retention of experienced personnel.
Apr 25th, 2017
EDGAR G. from Oak Lawn, IL signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Someone from Oakley, CA signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Joel B. from San Miguel, CA signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Someone from Joliet, IL writes:
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Keep the Law I'm sick and tired of having to worry about getting retained
Apr 25th, 2017
Someone from Mattoon, IL signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
joseph d. from Metairie, LA signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Sean M. from Epping, NH writes:
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The National Guard needs as much oversight as possible, from outside of its organization. As a 15 year member of the National Guard I can say from experience that the right of appeal in the National Guard currently is a closed process, with outcomes decided before hearings in many cases. Oversight from outside the organization is not only common sense, it is long overdue. NH State Representative Sean Morrison
Apr 25th, 2017
Lupe R. from Pasadena, TX signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Someone from Ballston Spa, NY signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Someone from Decatur, IL signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Janice C. from Round Rock, TX writes:
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Please don't allow the repeal. Ask the Techs. Survay us
Apr 25th, 2017
Scott E. from San Jose, CA signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Someone from Decatur, IL writes:
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Do a survey for the whole technician program and I guarantee the results would favor title 5. Anyone that is lucky enough to become a technician with only a couple years in may be in favor of the repeal but I don't want to have my job hanging in front of me every QRB hoping I have a job every year. 32 years in the gaurd is not a realistic goal for me, at 20 I would only have 13 years technician and no hope for having a decent retirement and starting all over again at a new job doesn't sound like a good retirement plan either.
Apr 25th, 2017
Someone from Mason, MI signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Someone from Ovid, MI signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Someone from Kalkaska, MI signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Cory B. from Aledo, IL signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Someone from Decatur, IL signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Leticia M. from Palmdale, CA signed.
Apr 25th, 2017
Someone from Grayling, MI writes:
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They need to get it repealed ASAP!!! The Federal Technician program is already one of the HUGE wastes of taxpayers money. The only way to control the lack of work is to hope that the individuals get cut by the guard. If they move to title 5, we will be overwhelmed with not only those that refuse to work or do their job; but also can't even meet the minimum requirements of the guard (which is not very high to start with). This title 5 is a great idea for a few, and very helpful..........But, the vast majority of "us" will take advantage of it and it will do nothing except for hurt taxpayers more!
Apr 25th, 2017
Travis K. from Stockton, CA signed.
Apr 21st, 2017
Someone from Cheyenne, WY writes:
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Follow through on the Title 5 conversations and the overall work force will be happier and more productive than they are right now. Also you won't have the readiness issues that their trying to use as a scare tactic.
Apr 20th, 2017
Amnerys M. from Humacao, PR signed.
Apr 20th, 2017
Eric D. from Tucson, AZ writes:
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We wear the uniform everyday and get absolutely nothing for it. No retirement points and no equal pay to the rank we are wearing. Get rid of the uniform for air techs. Plain and simple. They want it as a control tool but we need to speak up now!
Apr 18th, 2017
Someone from Helena, MT writes:
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It's all about control. It's to bad the people who make the laws don't ask the people who do the work for their input. I have 28 years in military and 20 as a technician and subject to QRB every 2 years. It seems to me that the QRB process has been abused to the extent that those in charge use it as an attrition tool to open up dual status positions? I would like to work past 60 and keep my dual status job, feel like I earned it and not only that I am certainly qualified most likely more than anyone else? Wouldn't that be a good thing and keep the experienced people you already have? I like the idea of 20 / 20 as a way to begin the conversion. Those with 20 years military and 20 years dual status should be automatically converted to Title 5 in first wave, with the rest to follow to 100% conversion.
Apr 17th, 2017
Someone from Kew Gardens, NY signed.
Apr 17th, 2017
Someone from Caguas, PR writes:
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We need title5, make justice for those who give more than a weekend a month. That was our decision, we thank the opportunity, approving is a form of retribution.
Apr 17th, 2017
Someone from Brainerd, MN signed.
Apr 15th, 2017
Someone from Latham, NY signed.
Apr 13th, 2017
Someone from Humacao, PR writes:
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Do justice to technicians.
Apr 6th, 2017
Someone from Oakland, CA writes:
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please vote NO on H.R. 1777.
Apr 6th, 2017
Charlandis N. from Shreveport, LA writes:
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Stop the repeal! This is good for the technicians!
Apr 1st, 2017
allen m. from sparks, NV signed.
Mar 30th, 2017
Someone from Salem, OR writes:
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I agree with one of the other posts... I find it appalling that NGB, NGAUS, AGAUS and CoG have not even bothered to ask us, Title 32 Technicians how we feel about it. Our NG workforce has changed dramatically since 1968. Since 2001, our OPTEMPO is nothing like it was before. I personally do not believe that converting to Title 5 will have the impact on readiness that they are saying. There might be a sting initially of those that are already retirement eligible and get out immediately, but there will be people that have a few more years on their enlistments that will stay in. In fact, I think it would assist in allowing members to have more opportunities to achieve rank. As it stands now, if you are a tech and you are in the only E7 slot, guess who gets to get promoted? Nobody.... until that guy/gal retires. That could be 15 -30 years from now. So it would actually improve retention because there would be more upward mobility, more often. And they say retention is one of their number 1 priorities? Hardly. Don't even get me started on the bonus payback, not authorized for technicians BS. How can you give an active duty soldier a bonus and employ them fulltime, but deny a NG a bonus because they are employed fulltime? Does that make sense to anyone?
Mar 30th, 2017
Ian G. from Los Angeles, CA writes:
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As a federal technician myself with 15 years in the military but only 5 years as a technician i think it woulnd be very hard for me to serve 20 more years in the military on order to be eligable for my technician retirement. I dont think it is fair for any soldier who has served his country 20 years but get forced out of his career and livelihood due to the retirement, eqrb, or any other reason of honorable separation from the military. I shouldnt loose my job because i retire from the military. I and everyother soldier in the technician program should have the same opportunity to have a long and successful career as any civilian who has never served in the military.
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