Find a Security Clearance Job!


US House Armed Services Committee






 JULY 18, 2001

          Mr. Chairman, Congressman Snyder, Committee Members, I am honored to appear before you today. On behalf of over 350,000 soldiers today, I extend my appreciation for your continuing support.

           My first priority is providing for the readiness of our units and your support has made a difference. As we sit here today, we have 14,900 soldiers from the Army National Guard deployed from their homes. Over 2,100 are deployed in the Balkans and in Southwest Asia. The rest are on training missions and operational exercises around the world. Last year we responded to 512 missions in 64 countries in support of The Army. We have deployed to 87 countries already this year, committing approximately 2,523 man-years to the theater Commanders-in-Chiefs for stability and support operations, representing an increase of 27 percent from this time last fiscal year.

The Army National Guard plays an increasingly significant role in the National Military Strategy, with six of our divisions currently included in the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan. Fulfilling our obligation to this strategy and ensuring we are ready when called is paramount.

          Following the lead of the 49th Armored Division, Texas National Guard, six more Army National Guard divisions are scheduled to assume command of the Stabilization Force mission in Bosnia, with the 29th Infantry Division, Virginia National Guard scheduled to deploy October 2001 through April 2002.

           Every State, Territory and the District of Columbia has supported missions in the Balkans. While I remain concerned with the length and frequency of deployments and their impact on units, families and employers, we have concluded a mobilization attrition analysis that indicates that at the macro level, current deployment activity does not adversely impact retention.

          As a result of the dramatic increases in our utilization, we have developed programs that address the changing needs of our members, their families, and their employers; our Guard Family. Family Readiness Programs and Quality of Life initiatives are essential to help soldiers maintain a balance among family commitments, work, and military requirements, to ensure readiness and maintain unit strength.

           The Army National Guard surpassed its recruiting goals and finished Fiscal Year 2000 with personnel end strength at 353,045. This number is 3,045 above the objective of 350,000. By combining recruiting, attrition management and retention functions into one Strength Management Philosophy, we have created a partnership within our units by building trust and cooperation between the recruiting force, the full-time support force, and unit leadership. I report today that the ARNG will achieve our paid end strength objective for the Fiscal Year 2001.

           This success raises concern as we look toward closing out this year and entering Fiscal Year 2002. As the Prior Service market continues to decline, we have made up that shortfall in availability with increased Non-Prior Service accessions. This increase in Non-Prior Service soldiers strains already limited initial entry training seat availability and increases demand for bonus and incentive program funding.

           We also continue to address our shortage of Company Grade Officers. We are working with Cadet Command to increase the number of Reserve Officer Training Corps graduates flowing into our units and encouraging the Adjutant Generals to increase the number of lieutenants commissioned through their State Officer Candidate School Programs. We must look for creative ways to address the shortfall of lieutenants and remove dis-incentives such as loss of Student Loan Repayment Program eligibility upon commissioning.

           My greatest concern is lack of sufficient Full Time Support in our units. Over time, Full Time Support authorizations as percentage of requirements have steadily declined. We are currently at only 57 percent of Full Time Support requirements. Full Time Support personnel fill vital positions in the units. They provide stability and institutional knowledge at every organizational level. They are particularly critical in that portion of the work force that supports the unit's administrative, payroll, supply, training, maintenance, and recruiting and retention efforts. Full-Time Support personnel provide the training, administration, technical, functional and military expertise required to make a unit function more efficiently and effectively.

For 364 years, the Army National Guard has been an essential component of America's military. The future will demand an ever-increasing operations tempo and the Army National Guard must anticipate the requirements of today's world while we plan for tomorrow's challenges. Your continued support will ensure that we maintain our momentum and meet those demands.        

House Armed Services Committee
2120 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Join the mailing list