National Guard Being Used For Routine State Functions

Marauder06

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Tried to find an existing National Guard thread to post this in, but none of them seemed to fit.

"...while calling up the Guard is easy for politicians, it's not so easy on the Guard members themselves."

To sum up this article, the Guard has been used for (or was thought about being used for) a number of very routine national and state level functions, from driving busses to unloading ships to handling public health crises. Are these good/usual uses for the Guard, or does it indicate a deeper problem in national security?

"...while calling up the Guard is easy for politicians, it's not so easy on the Guard members themselves."


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Devildoc

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I had at one point after getting out of the USN/USNR considered joining the NC NG. But the folks I knew who were in were getting called all the time about whether they could support this, that, or the other thing, and that was without the occasional hurricane or other devastating weather event. I love the state connection but it should not be seen as the Easy Button for politicians or administrators as manpower backfill for whatever need.
 
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Cookie_

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It's often a lot cheaper to activate us than it would be to fill the jobs right away.

Additionally, calling out the Guard isn’t free. It is **far** more expensive to call up a company’s worth of Guardsmen than it is to pay a similar number of bus drivers, especially when the Guard gets paid a salary and bus drivers tend to work by the hour. So even if the hourly rate of a bus driver is higher than say a National Guard private, there are still only so many bus driving hours in the day. And military benefits are extremely generous (and expensive) to boot.
This is really gonna depend on the state, but most of them don't pay active duty wages or provide benefits.
Colorado's "minimum pay" for a private was $20 a day, but I think that got changed a year or so ago to be $88.8 a day; that's based on getting $7.40 over a "12 hour workday".


When I was on SAD (State Active Duty) for fire support back in 2020, my soldiers were getting paid between $35 and $50 a day. I think I made around $70 as an E5 with 11 years TIS. I dont remember the per diem rate, and BAH was like $12 if you were single, $20ish with dependents.

Throw in that we didn't get paid for over 30 days, and that mission killed a lot of our finances.

I think I got (after taxes) right around $1200-1300 for the 18 days I was out there.
 

AWP

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As a former Guard guy with something 6 or 7 callups back in the 90's, the system is...bad. For starters, soldiers could refuse the callup, callups were voluntary. The result was that the same guys, good or bad, kept going out on state missions; in FL we had hurricanes and fires. I had so many callups in one semester that it destroyed my GPA and effectively set me back a year because of class availability and pre-reqs from one semester to the next. Even one callup during a college semester can ruin you, so yeah...guys turned it down left and right.

Maybe things are different now, but 20-ish years ago, the above happened all across the state of FL. When I went to OCS we had E-5's and E-6's with degrees paid for by the state who had zero state active duty time. They essentially took the state's money to do a portion of their job and then parlayed that selfishness into a degree and a commission... and you know that leopard's spots didn't change because of a set of bars.
 

Devildoc

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As a former Guard guy with something 6 or 7 callups back in the 90's, the system is...bad. For starters, soldiers could refuse the callup, callups were voluntary. The result was that the same guys, good or bad, kept going out on state missions; in FL we had hurricanes and fires. I had so many callups in one semester that it destroyed my GPA and effectively set me back a year because of class availability and pre-reqs from one semester to the next. Even one callup during a college semester can ruin you, so yeah...guys turned it down left and right.

Maybe things are different now, but 20-ish years ago, the above happened all across the state of FL. When I went to OCS we had E-5's and E-6's with degrees paid for by the state who had zero state active duty time. They essentially took the state's money to do a portion of their job and then parlayed that selfishness into a degree and a commission... and you know that leopard's spots didn't change because of a set of bars.

After having been in the reserve where one simply doesn't turn down orders, I was a bit taken aback of the Guard guys who would tell their CoC "nah, fam, I'm good...." and their CoC just...took it. No argument, no push-back, they would be like "Well, OK, thanks."

Then there's the weird OCS programs and commissioning, and the politics and good ol' boy stuff in some of the smaller, more rural units (I saw this when I worked as a civilian responding to CASEVAC stuff during a couple hurricanes).
 

RackMaster

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The disconnect between the general population and real world job's, is getting greater. Remote work is only making it worse, causing employment shortages across all fields.

Maybe it's time for a mandatory civil service period. Coordinate with unions and professional associations, offer a way into apprenticeships or further education.
 

Cookie_

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As a former Guard guy with something 6 or 7 callups back in the 90's, the system is...bad. For starters, soldiers could refuse the callup, callups were voluntary. The result was that the same guys, good or bad, kept going out on state missions; in FL we had hurricanes and fires. I had so many callups in one semester that it destroyed my GPA and effectively set me back a year because of class availability and pre-reqs from one semester to the next. Even one callup during a college semester can ruin you, so yeah...guys turned it down left and right.

I've never heard about call-ups being treated as voluntary, so we haven't had that problem. We have let guys and gals go for legit reasons like school or family stuff though.

To tie back into how shitty SAD pay is; we once let one of my cooks get out of a second fire support mission, because he wouldn't have made enough to pay his rent and would get "evicted" (according to his landlord) for being late again because of the first fire mission.

After having been in the reserve where one simply doesn't turn down orders, I was a bit taken aback of the Guard guys who would tell their CoC "nah, fam, I'm good...." and their CoC just...took it. No argument, no push-back, they would be like "Well, OK, thanks."

I really wonder if this is still a thing, or if we just don't have those guys/gals around for very long because the mindset is different when all your leadership is either Tabbed or have worked SOF-Support for a good while.

Then there's the weird OCS programs and commissioning, and the politics and good ol' boy stuff in some of the smaller, more rural units (I saw this when I worked as a civilian responding to CASEVAC stuff during a couple hurricanes).

The good ol' boy stuff runs statewide, especially in AGR positions. It's crazy how much it happens and nobody gives a shit.
 

Gunz

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When I was in the NC Air Guard ANG squadrons we’re handling 40%-50% of the Air Force peacetime workload. I don’t know what it is now.

Having been a prior Marine the lack of discipline and good ol’ boy stuff, particularly among the desk bound officers, took a bit of getting used to. Flight crews were more professional
 
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