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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 I believe the program is outdated, and the changes mandated in Section 1053 are a great start towards modernizing this force.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
Jan 20th, 2017
allen m. from sparks, NV signed.
Jan 20th, 2017
allen m. from sparks, NV signed.
Jan 19th, 2017
john d. from Madison, TN writes:
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I strongly support title 5. I'm a supervisor being forced to non-retain a technician because an O6, who is located at JFHQ 2 hours away and does not directly supervise this airman, refuses to extend him. He meets every requirement of the USAF to serve. He can pass his PT test, has no DAV codes/medical problems, and is a superior performer. He is simply being non-retained because he has over 20 years technician service and 30 years military service. He is 55 years old. The maximum age for the military members without waivers is 60. I also support a moratorium on non-retention of technician forces who are fit for duty until this title 5 business is concluded by congress. i excluded my name for fear of reprisal within my state which has touted 100% officer membership in NGAUS for several years.
Jan 19th, 2017
John L. from Herriman, UT signed.
Jan 18th, 2017
MICHELE H. from ALEXANDRIA, VA signed.
Jan 17th, 2017
allen m. from sparks, NV signed.
Jan 17th, 2017
David M. from Columbia, SC signed.
Jan 13th, 2017
allen m. from sparks, NV signed.
Jan 9th, 2017
David S. from Jackson, TN signed.
Jan 5th, 2017
Someone from Lafayette, TN writes:
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This is for the good of the National Guard and greatly helps our older dual status service members, that when in their greying years they are not cast out into the streets, their lively hoods cut short, because they did not pass their PT test and were not able to keep up with the twenty year olds. Let us have a safe place where if we choose we can retire with dignity and respect with a full career not cut short by missing your mile and a half by 15 seconds or because of having bad knees and bones that bore the brunt of service in the defense of our nation for decades.
Jan 5th, 2017
Someone from Lafayette, TN writes:
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I support the conversion. It offers a way for older technicians to continue their civil service without fear of non-retention or unfavorable repercussions due to PT failure or medical issues. There are plenty of technicians who are in non-deploying positions and it wouldn't affect the mission to convert them. I would gladly do it so that I can do my job without the never-ending fear of being non-retained because I am getting older or the stress of one day being booted because I cannot pass my PT.
Jan 4th, 2017
allen m. from sparks, NV signed.
Jan 2nd, 2017
ABBY N. from Christiansted, VI writes:
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I support Section 1053
Jan 1st, 2017
Someone from Lacey, WA writes:
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So many great points in all comments posted. Adding my support in brief.
Dec 30th, 2016
allen m. from sparks, NV signed.
Dec 27th, 2016
Someone from Gore, VA writes:
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I agree that NGAUS is clearly not concerned about all of its members or they would support the Title 5 positions. NGB need to support this also. Bottom line is the AG for each state will not have control over the person.
Dec 27th, 2016
Someone from Scott, AR writes:
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Making this change in my opion will not affect organizations as much as they are trying to say. I am already considered a MDay Soldier and being Title 5 will not change that. If you need Soldiers for State Active Duty mission usually the first one called are the MDay Soldiers who are not full time anyway. Just because you would not be in uniform during the work week doesn't stop you from being a Soldier.
Dec 21st, 2016
Someone from North Highlands, CA signed.
Dec 21st, 2016
from Saint Joseph, MO writes:
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When a good part of your full time force is a day away from being medically discharged, "non-retained", close to retirement age, or mandatory deployment, this conversion seems like the most logical thing to do to keep the knowledge and maintain mission readiness. It also benefits the traditional workforce as it frees up a lot of top rank. So instead of them being "staff-sergeant for life", there will be many opportunities for upward mobility. To repeal this act helps no one except the bureaucrats fighting against it.
Dec 20th, 2016
Someone from Saint Joseph, MO writes:
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NGAUS is clearly not concerned about all of its members. Glad I stopped paying dues.
Dec 20th, 2016
Someone from Saint Joseph, MO writes:
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This needs to be passed and finalized. Stop NGB from dragging its feet. Technicians are expected to work all kinds of overtime and on call when off duty without being properly compensated.
Dec 19th, 2016
Someone from Hermitage, TN signed.
Dec 19th, 2016
Someone from Rapid City, SD writes:
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We deserve protection from loss of employment due to forced retirment, or medical disqualification. This needs to happen for all title 32 technicians, not just administrative. Title 32 program blocks career progression for traditional guard.
Dec 17th, 2016
allen m. from sparks, NV signed.
Dec 16th, 2016
allen m. from sparks, NV writes:
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This needs to happen already and quit being pushed back. Good employees will lose their jobs because they get retired from the military.
Dec 15th, 2016
Carrie N. from Lansing, OH signed.
Dec 15th, 2016
Someone from Lansing, OH signed.
Dec 13th, 2016
COL Dave H. from Williamsburg, VA signed.
Dec 12th, 2016
David W. from Elgin, SC signed.
Dec 8th, 2016
Someone from Cadott, WI signed.
Dec 8th, 2016
Someone from Necedah, WI signed.
Dec 7th, 2016
Someone from Ettrick, WI signed.
Dec 7th, 2016
from Madison, WI writes:
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Title 32 was initiated for "maintenance and repairing of NG equipment". This has been soooo abused by AG's. They can take these positions and use them as they see fit. Less then half of Title 32 employees are in the job of "maintaining equipment". They are "created" positions for HQ staff, mostly consisting of high level, high salary positions. This highly abused power needs to be removed from AG's, and have some oversight. If conversion to Title 5 is the answer, so be it. 2 downsides though: 1-no more Military Leave, and 2-no more "early disability retirement".
Dec 7th, 2016
Eric R. from Alma Center, WI writes:
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Change is long overdue! A new DST has an extremely low chance of reaching retirement age under the current ties with military membership.
Dec 6th, 2016
John V. from Benton, AR writes:
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We get abused, I feel demoralized holding to the same standards without benefits as active soldiers. I'm not treated like a soldier. The work environment tends to be hostile.
Dec 6th, 2016
Verona J. from Cave Junction, OR signed.
Dec 5th, 2016
allen m. from Sparks, NV signed.
Dec 3rd, 2016
Robert J. (COL retired) K. from Buckhannon, WV writes:
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As a retired military Title 32 Technician, Active Army Officer and Traditional Guardsman I am proud of the National Guard for it's contribution to the support of the nation and their respective states, but it is time for a change. The Title 32 "Dual Status" program is out of date and needs changed. Politics plays too much of an extreme role in the longevity of these young men and woman. I highly encourage our Congressional delegations to implement the Title 5 conversion now, do not delay. The title 32 program is outdated and needs eliminated. This conversion will not only strengthen the support to the Guard for their federal mission it will eliminate the unwarranted dual status our young families are subjected to on a daily basis.
Dec 3rd, 2016
Barbara K. from Buckhannon, WV writes:
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Based on my experience as a mother of two federal technicians under the Title 32 program I highly encourage our Congressional delegation. To implement the Title 5 conversion for these young patriots. The double standard is cumbersome nerse and unfair for family members. It is definitely time for a change.
Dec 1st, 2016
Someone from Buckhannon, WV writes:
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I have been in Title 32 for 16yrs and Army National Guard for almost 21yrs, I have deployed and enjoyed my guard life but with 21yrs of the Army its a scary feeling that if they choose not to keep me in the guard anymore that I would lose my technician job, for not being retained in the military (which is Happening a lot) anymore and that's a scary thought for me and my family, as for losing readiness or state emergency ill be honest when state emergency's comes up we are the last to be asked they ask their M-day soldiers. I would like to know that my life as a technician is no longer at jeopardy because of my military career. Please let the title 5 conversion take effect it would be so wonderful.