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."