Why should I join NGAGA/NGAUS?
- The US Constitution establishes a basis for the Militia, now referred to as the National Guard, and clearly places responsibility for ensuring National Guard readiness directly in the hands of Congress, not the Department of Defense.
- Congress exercises this responsibility by legislating "authorizations" and "appropriations" that provide the funding and policies for ensuring that the National Guard is "organized and armed."
- The National Guard Bureau (each state's National Guard resourcing "higher") is a T10 (Federal) organization. It cannot be an advocate for (Y)OUR "issues" (e.g., unfair policies and/or funding for - equipment readiness, personal benefits, medical coverage, education, employment opportunities) to the Congress - they are duty bound to support the President's and Department of Defense budget.
- NGAGA/NGAUS is (Y)OUR professional organization that does advocate our issues to Congress and they do with a strong and united voice. NGAGA/NGAUS strength comes from the size of its membership and you count!
- Why is there a State Association (NGAGA)?
- NGAGA is the voice for NGAUS here at home and also represents our specific (local) interests to the National Association. It has three primary objectives:
- Ensure that the GaDOD officer corps and its retirees stay informed on national level issues affecting the National Guard and advise/encourage its members to support actions to resolve them.
- Identifies specific issues affecting the GaDOD and its members here at home (e.g., force structure, missions, equipment, full-time manning, etc.) and presents those issues to NGAUS to garner national support for Congressional action and resolution.
- Provide its members with local professional forums to discuss key issues affecting the Georgia National Guard and assist building organizational unity for the Association and the Georgia Department of Defense as a whole.
What's in it for me?
- Many company grade and junior field grade officers do not know about or experienced the times when Citizen Soldiers/Airmen had a pink ID card and could only visit the PX or Commissary once a month; were only offered $10K of life insurance (only if they were at drill or annual training); no ID card for spouses (unless you were AGR); drill pay was quarterly; organizational equipment was World War II, Korean or Vietnam War vintage; GI Bill and other education benefits were not offered; TRICARE benefits were only offered to AGRs - there are many more examples, but the take-away is that we have come a long way and had to fight for ALL of these changes and NGAUS led the way!
- Department of Defense budget cuts are coming and history teaches us they often look for easy solutions to budget problems through reducing organizational, personnel and benefit funding for reserve forces.
- We understand cuts need to be made during these tough economic times, but lets make sure this time that the administration and members of Congress take a holistic view on these cuts and ensure that they are equitable across the services and components - NGAUS will make sure that the National Guard perspective is considered for these types of decisions.
- Want examples of bad proposals being discussed right now? (there are many but here are just a few):
- Your drill pay cut by half to make it more "equitable pay for similar service" as the active component. Do you think you deserve ½ of your pay for your service?
- Your veteran status in jeopardy. Retire from the National Guard, but not earn the title of "Veteran of the Armed Forces" unless you have served on Title 10 active duty beyond training purposes – this will exclude them from Title 38 (Veteran's Benefits). No education benefits? Sound equitable?
- Your unit cut from the force? Significant force structure cuts for the Air National Guard and uncertainty for the Army National Guard.
Why should I attend the NGAGA Annual State Conference?
- Not one cent of our Association dues goes towards paying any costs associated with the Annual State Conference. NGAGA partner contributions are used to host this event for its members.
- This is (Y)OUR Association's unified forum (Army and Air) to present/identify/discuss national and state level NG issues and vote on the priorities we want voiced (fought for) at the national level.
- Professional Development:
- This is the only annual event for the Georgia Department of Defense where the entire officer corps (and retirees) of both the Georgia Army National Guard and Air National Guard come together in one location to meet professionally and socially.
- Hear directly from the senior leadership team of the Georgia Department of Defense about the current state and future developments of both the Army and Air National Guard. It's also an opportunity for you to meet and talk with them in a social setting as well.
- Meet senior leaders and/or peers of other major commands in the Army and Air National Guard and learn about what they do and/or potential future opportunities for you or your career.
- Many vendors that support the military come to the annual conference and display information booths for our officers to visit. Here you can learn about a wide array of things ranging from future military systems to new education programs offered by higher learning institutions.
- Organizational Unity:
- Commanders often use this event as a means to be able to discuss unit operations or issues collectively with their officers and/or families that our geographic dispersion makes difficult to accomplish during the course of the year.
- Activities are planned for spouses and children. It's a great environment for them to make new friends and also talk about topics/issues that affect them by being a spouse of a Citizen Soldier/Airmen. They often learn about benefits, adjusting to military life or find answers to problems they share with other spouses.