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 I believe the program is outdated, and the changes mandated in Section 1053 are a great start towards modernizing this force.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
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.
Nov 29th, 2016
Someone from Helena, MT writes:
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It seems to me that some "middle ground" could be found here? In order to appease both sides of the argument. How about a 20 \ 20 plan. 20 years in the military and 20 years as a dual status technician, the incumbent gets to convert if he \ she wants to? It's a way to get the "ball rolling". New hires are all Title 5.
Nov 20th, 2016
Eric B. from Romeoville, IL signed.
Nov 17th, 2016
allen m. from Sparks, NV writes:
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Too many qualified individuals are lost due to being non-retained at retention boards and unable to keep their jobs. Most technician jobs require a minimum of E5 to qualify for and we are unable to reach full federal retirement age before being forced out of the guard. Wearing a uniform has no benefit at all to the technician force and only serves to let AGR's attempt to force tasks on us that is illegal.
Nov 16th, 2016
Jose H. from Santa Maria, CA writes:
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It is time that our country take care of our Soldiers that have risked and done so much for us to be given the chance to have their position changed to title 5 and have the same rights as anyone else. One is not doing our nation a favor by getting rid of Soldiers that are the experts in the field when they retire. I am tired of seeing all the good people leave. Its time for change!
Nov 16th, 2016
Someone from Memphis, TN signed.
Nov 10th, 2016
Someone from J B P H H, HI writes:
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Don't allow repeal of law, system is outdated, and should have been improved years ago from a train, and maintain force, to a full blown operational force (Total Force Integration wth Active Duty). Personally I prefer they move technicians into the law enforcement/fireman retirement system (25 yr retirement) it would definitely fit in todays environment, but hey Title 5 is fine...and its about time.
Nov 8th, 2016
Someone from Bolingbrook, IL signed.
Nov 7th, 2016
David W. from Long Prairie, MN signed.
Nov 6th, 2016
Someone from Austin, TX signed.
Nov 2nd, 2016
Reinaldo C. from Barranquitas, PR signed.
Nov 1st, 2016
John B. from Las Vegas, NV signed.
Oct 31st, 2016
Someone from Albuquerque, NM writes:
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I became a technician later in my military life. I will reach my 20 way before even touching the retirement age or being close to it on the technician side. We get paid far less then ADOS and AGR for doing the same job. The program is outdated and it is due for a change to be able modernize.
Oct 30th, 2016
Someone from Dauphin, PA writes:
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It is time for the technician force to be title 5 where applicable. It has been far too long that we are treated as AGR Soldiers and not afforded the benefits of or being one. We deserve the proper respect and representation that our union cannot offer right now because of the hierarchy we fall under. As an expecting mother being allowed to take 12 weeks off WITHOUT PAY is unconscionable while expecting mothers that are AGR are afforded the same twelve weeks off WITH PAY and benefits and accruing time off is unbelievable. It is impossible for me (or anyone for that matter) to take the time off from work as needed to stay home with my new child or if there is a family emergency and not be covered. I, like many families, am the only income in my household and this is just not feasible. We need to be converted to title 5 in order to better perform our duties and be able to communicate equally with those entities we deal with in order to make the mission happen and take care of Soldiers and also be able to take care of our families.
Oct 30th, 2016
Someone from Reading, PA signed.
Oct 27th, 2016
Someone from Elgin, SC signed.
Oct 27th, 2016
Someone from Salem, OR writes:
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Don't allow them to delay a well thought out program and much needed change. It all about power and nothing about readiness or the health of the guard employee systems.
Oct 26th, 2016
Someone from West Jordan, UT signed.
Oct 25th, 2016
Someone from Carolina, PR writes:
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I've been a full time technician for more than 10 years, still have many years to reach my minimum retirement age. I have some medical conditions that prevent me from being in the military, but I can do my civilian job perfectly. If I loose my military status I will loose my civilian job and I won't be able to provide for my family until I find a different job. I totally support the Title 5 status.
Oct 25th, 2016
Someone from Juncos, PR signed.
Oct 21st, 2016
Someone from Florence, SC signed.
Oct 20th, 2016
Luis V. from Ceiba, PR signed.
Oct 20th, 2016
Someone from Rio Grande, PR signed.
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