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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 I believe the program is outdated, and the changes mandated in Section 1053 are a great start towards modernizing this force.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
Oct 10th, 2016
Someone from Hanscom Afb, MA writes:
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I agree with this. We have lost so many people who were highly qualified and skilled. They had to leave their federal job because their military service had come to an end. When most of these people left their skills and knowledge left the organization and many times those skill set and knowledge were not replaced
Oct 10th, 2016
Dustin R. from Fort Worth, TX writes:
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As a Military Tech that is currently looking at losing all forms of income, this is a long overdue change. I have served in the Army for the past 22 years and as a Mil Tech for the past 8 now my state adjutant general is forcing me to retire from the Army and thus lose my Mil Tech well before I have the time needed to retire.
Oct 10th, 2016
Alexander t. from Alvarado, TX signed.
Oct 10th, 2016
Someone from Caldwell, ID writes:
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This is too important to ignore
Oct 10th, 2016
Someone from Helena, MT writes:
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Title 5 conversion for the National Guard would modernize a now broken system. Once the dust settles after conversion, I think the status quo will stabilize and will not be a detriment to the readiness of forces.
Oct 10th, 2016
Someone from Morganton, NC signed.
Oct 10th, 2016
Chadwick W. from Hampton, FL signed.
Oct 9th, 2016
Donald S. from Bossier City, LA signed.
Oct 9th, 2016
Brett W. from Roselle, IL signed.
Oct 9th, 2016
Someone from Urbandale, IA signed.
Oct 9th, 2016
Tom S. from Norman, OK writes:
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Please stop the repeal.
Oct 9th, 2016
Nathan W. from Paola, KS signed.
Oct 9th, 2016
Someone from Marshfield, MO signed.
Oct 9th, 2016
Lonnie M. from Columbus, OH signed.
Oct 9th, 2016
Jeff M. from Harrodsburg, KY writes:
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Stop the repeal.
Oct 9th, 2016
Someone from New Philadelphia, PA signed.
Oct 9th, 2016
Francis C. from Palmyra, PA signed.
Oct 9th, 2016
Deann R. from Ward, AR signed.
Oct 9th, 2016
Someone from Princeton, IA writes:
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I accepted a technician job after being laid-off and I love my new job. However, I also have 17 years in the military prior to starting as a technician. I don't feel it's fair I have to serve another 20 to 30 years just to provide services for a job that has nothing to do with my military responsibilities. I don't think my body could handle another 20 years either. But I am good at my job and am fully capable if doing it and don't think it's fair I lose my job and family's livelihood if I am QRB'd out. I should not be punished after serving for such a long time. Therefore, I fully support this conversion so I can continue to serve.
Oct 8th, 2016
Ricky B. from Bienville, LA writes:
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I'm so fed up with Congress making these issues so complicated and tied up with other issues so this or that group can slip something by!!!! This is a yes or no issue!!! No !!! These technician's jobs shouldn't be changed from 32-5!!!
Oct 8th, 2016
Gerald P. from Whitinsville, MA writes:
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10 yrs as a dual status tech and I am looking at medical retirement from the guard. The title 5 conversion would save my civilian job.
Oct 8th, 2016
Jeremy W. from Mendon, UT writes:
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Title 5 works for other branches of service and they still maintain their readiness standards, the National Guard should be the same. To many technicians on dual status get removed from tech status prior to retirement age or 20yrs of technician service due military related issues and then have no retirement to job in the civilian sector because of the dual status program.
Oct 8th, 2016
Someone from The Colony, TX signed.
Oct 8th, 2016
Someone from Willow Spring, NC signed.
Oct 8th, 2016
Chris A. from Columbia, SC writes:
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Signed
Oct 8th, 2016
Amber B. from Stockton, CA signed.
Oct 8th, 2016
Peter G. from Graham, WA writes:
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This would give parity to federal employees, it would retain experience and skill to allow the guard to better respond to state emergencies.
Oct 7th, 2016
Someone from Jacksonville, AR writes:
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Stop the repeal.
Oct 7th, 2016
Someone from San Antonio, TX signed.
Oct 7th, 2016
Someone from Albuquerque, NM signed.
Oct 7th, 2016
Someone from Bigelow, AR writes:
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The repeal needs to fail.
Oct 7th, 2016
Someone from Helena, MT signed.
Oct 7th, 2016
shaun f. from Barnegat, NJ signed.
Oct 6th, 2016
J T. from Vincentown, NJ signed.
Oct 6th, 2016
Margaret W. from Mount Pleasant, MI signed.
Oct 6th, 2016
Someone from Charlotte, MI writes:
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Please let this title 5 pass. It will be better for the Federal government and for the National Guard! STOP THE REPEAL!!!
Oct 6th, 2016
Jon K. from Kingsland, TX signed.
Oct 6th, 2016
Dale D. from Rochester, WA signed.
Oct 6th, 2016
Someone from Lawton, OK signed.
Oct 6th, 2016
Someone from Leesville, SC signed.