Military & Veterans News
Braley Works to Ensure Iowa National Guard Gets Resources to Conduct Scheduled Drills PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 09:47

Congressman: The Guard deserves the funding they need

Washington, D.C. – As a budget shortfall potentially threatens the Iowa National Guard’s September training exercises, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today pushed the House Appropriations Committee to approve a reallocation of funds that would allow the Guard to hold its scheduled drills.

A high participation rate in previous training exercises this year, along with higher than expected training costs, has contributed to a $2.4 million budget shortfall in the Iowa National Guard’s budget. If that shortfall is not addressed, it could jeopardize Guard drills scheduled for September. It is expected that the National Guard will submit a reprogramming request that will allow them to transfer money between accounts, allowing the proposed drill to go forward as scheduled.

"It's important that the Iowa National Guard has the resources they need to conduct their scheduled exercises—and that members of the Guard who rely on income from this training aren't exposed to unnecessary financial hardship," Braley said. "The Iowa National Guard has done a tremendous service to our state, both domestically and abroad, and it's important that they have the funding they need."

 

Braley’s letter to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee urges them to approve any reprogramming request made by the Guard that would allow them to carry out their currently scheduled exercises.

“After all the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in uniform, we should do everything in our power to ensure that the National Guard has the funds required to carry out their scheduled training sessions,” Braley wrote.

Braley has been a consistent advocate for Iowa's National Guard. This year, he repeatedly fought proposed cuts to the Iowa National Guard, citing their work on behalf of Iowans in the aftermath of natural disasters and in combat deployments outside the United States. In December of 2012 he joined Rep. Tom Latham in efforts to block cuts to the Des Moines Air National Guard.

A copy of Braley’s letter is available below.

 

September 4, 2014

 

The Honorable Rodney Frelinghuysen              The Honorable Peter Visclosky

Chairman                                                           Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Defense                                Subcommittee on Defense

Committee on Appropriations                            Committee on Appropriations

H-405 Capitol Building                                       1016 Longworth HOB

Washington, DC 20515                                      Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Visclosky,

It has come to my attention that The National Guard has an approximate $101 million funding shortfall for the remainder of the fiscal year, with the Iowa National Guard’s portion of the shortfall totaling roughly $2.4 million. This has raised the possibility of canceling scheduled training drills for the month of September.

The possibility of cancelling drills is extremely troubling and would lead to a loss of income for Guard members—many of whom rely on the income for basic necessities. After all the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in uniform, we should do everything in our power to ensure that the National Guard has the funds required to carry out their scheduled training sessions. I urge you to remedy this issue by swiftly approving any reprogramming request submitted by the National Guard.

Thank you for your consideration on this important matter and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Bruce Braley

 
Military Retiree Appreciation Day Oct. 25 at Rock Island Arsenal PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Theresa R. Fitzgerald   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 07:28
FORT McCOY, Wis. - A military Retiree Appreciation Day will be held Saturday, Oct. 25 at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill. Retirees from all branches of the armed forces and their family members are eligible to attend. The event begins at 7 a.m. and concludes at 1 p.m.

Retiree Appreciation Day is an opportunity for all armed forces retirees, spouses, widows, and/or guests to receive updated information about retiree entitlement programs.

Photo identification is required for all personnel to access the installation.

Pre-registration is required and must be accomplished by Oct. 10. The registration form, available online at http://www.mccoy.army.mil/Services/ACAP_Documents/2014_RAD_REGISTER.PDF, contains detailed information about the event. Direct any questions to 563-508-5123 or 563-445-0191.

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Adjutant General addresses Soldiers' concerns regarding fiscal constraints PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Saturday, 06 September 2014 08:36

SPRINGFIELD, IL (09/04/2014)(readMedia)-- The Illinois Army National Guard conducted a town hall-style meeting at Camp Lincoln, in Springfield, Illinois on Sept. 4 to address issues related to the postponement of September drill training and other fiscal constraints.

The town hall was also broadcast via the internet to reach Soldiers and families who could not attend in person.

"As a traditional Guardsman for 35 years, I am well aware of how changes in drill dates and uncertainty affects many of us who depend on our drill checks, and who must balance our family life and jobs with our military commitments" said Daniel Krumrei, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard.

A panel of other leaders from the Illinois Army National Guard including the director of training and the chief fiscal officer joined Krumrei to answer questions about pay and retirement issues related to the postponement of September's weekend drill training.

Last week the Illinois Army National Guard cancelled most travel, military professional development courses and non-critical training events planned for the month of September in response to a national-level projected budget shortfall for the remainder of the federal fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

The budget shortfall is affecting the Army National Guard of all 54 states and territories. The National Guard Bureau intends to ask Congress to reprogram appropriated funds from other areas in order to address the shortage to support September's drill training. The Illinois Army National Guard moved the September drill to the end of the month, allowing time for congressional action.

The budget shortfall is largely due to fewer mobilizations, higher than expected training attendance and historically high graduation rates at schools. The National Guard is committed to resolving the issue with the least impact on its citizen-Soldiers while ensuring the force is ready for missions at home and overseas.

"Our number one priority is our Soldiers and families," Krumrei said. "We will strive for as much stability as possible as we adjust to these fiscal constraints and ensure we continue to be ready to help our neighbors, protect our state and defend our nation."

For more information, contact the Public Affairs Office at 217-761-3569 or ng.il.ilarng.list.staff-pao@mail.mil

 
News Release from the Illinois Korean Memorial Association PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Karen Le Seure   
Saturday, 06 September 2014 07:55

The Illinois Korean  Memorial Association has published a booklet, “ A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE KOREAN WAR”. It has a tear proof cover, actual headlines, photos from Department of Defense, peace talks, maps, American Commanders & more, all from 1950-53 era. 

A must for any teacher who wants to hold a class, or a student who wants to write  a paper on the Korean War. To receive a copy, send $10 check or money order to Illinois Korean Memorial Association, P.O. Box 8554, Springfield, Illinois 62791.  100% of all funds go to the book project to send this booklet to Illinois schools & libraries at no charge.

 
National Guard examines its past, future PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 14:05

National Guard Association of the United States meets in Chicago

SPRINGFIELD, IL (08/27/2014)(readMedia)-- Story by Sgt. 1st Class Rob Fafoglia, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

CHICAGO – More than 3,500 people attended this year's National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) conference in Chicago, Aug. 22 through 25. The conference is a yearly event aimed at focusing the nation's attention on the needs and accomplishments of the Army and Air National Guard.

"(NGAUS) mission is to tell the story of the Guardsmen and to represent us around the nation, to let folks understand how important the Guard is to their communities, to our nation and to our respective states," said Daniel Krumrei, the Illinois National Guard Adjutant General.

The association was created in 1878, making it the oldest military organization of its type. Its primary purpose is to educate Congress about the training and funding requirements of the National Guard.

"Militia officers from the North and South came together . . . in order to create a unified voice before Congress," said John Goheen, the director of communications for NGAUS and retired National Guardsman. "They decided going alone as individual states, requesting money for better equipment and training, wasn't working, that they needed to unite and work together. That's why they created NGAUS and our mission remains unchanged to this day."

Goheen acknowledged some may look at NGAUS and other associations like it in a negative light, because they deal so heavily with politics.

"We are absolutely a lobbying organization," said Goheen. "What people need to understand is that we give the Guard a voice in Washington. Most military organizations (such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association) are about taking care of veterans. We are about readiness. We're working to get Soldiers and their commanders the equipment they need, the training they need, to be ready to go and support a mission, whether it's for their governor or an overseas combat deployment."

Goheen said NGAUS is responsible for many of the structures and services some guard members may take for granted.

"It was this association that worked with Congress to create drill pay," said Goheen. "It was this association that worked with Congress to create the retirement program. It was this association that worked with Congress to provide the states with military construction dollars and equipment. Just about anything that is in an armory or a base, it's not a stretch to say NGAUS has its fingerprints on it."

The annual conference serves as a business meeting for members from every state. It includes guest speakers, award presentations, social events and mixers for participants, events for spouses and other family members and a tradeshow for sponsors and vendors.

Every year, the conference rotates among the states. This year belonged to Illinois, and Krumrei said the state has been planning and working on this event for years. He said one of the benefits of attending the conference, besides the wealth of information, is a chance to experience what each state has to offer.

"This is a great opportunity for Illinois," said Krumrei. "The governor had the opportunity to address the convention. For the city of Chicago, besides the convention business it brings, this really is the diamond of the heartland. Every response I have received is that people are grateful for the opportunity to be in Chicago. The architectural tours, the food, the sights, the experiences; everybody I have talked to has had a wonderful time here."

In addition to reviewing numbers, talking about unit issues and sightseeing, the conference offers participants a chance for professional development, something Krumrei said is invaluable. Some of the topics discussed include: fiscal responsibility and the upcoming challenges the military faces, sexual assault and harassment prevention and training, suicide awareness and prevention, and the changing military environment, as it shifts from warfighting to issues on the home front.

"We have the opportunity to meet with the other states and to share best practices," said Krumrei. "We get together on a variety of levels, company grade officers, warrant officers, general officers and adjutants general, for professional training to develop those relationships. It also gives us an opportunity to spend time with many of the vendors that help provide for the safety and the security of our Soldiers and our Airmen."

Krumrei said it is important for servicemembers to take advantage of the opportunities and services provided by organizations such as NGAUS, even if they are unable to attend a conference or event. He focused specifically on education.

"It is important to take every opportunity to engage in every educational aspect of their professional development as Soldiers or Airmen," said Krumrei. "Those opportunities will continue to exist. It will be a difficult fiscal time and situation to do that in, but for those who choose to continue their education, they need to take advantage of every opportunity that's available to them."

Krumrei also emphasized the importance of Soldiers and Airmen getting involved and making their voice heard.

"This is one of the largest NGAUS conventions in several years," he said. "It's my hope that every Air Guardsman and Army Guardsman will reach out and be a part of their professional association, because that's what professionals do; they associate with one another, they learn from one another, and they share best practices. I encourage all of our servicemembers to be a part of their state associations, the national association for the enlisted, for professionals and for officers."

 
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