Since 2001, the National Guard has answered the call both domestically & overseas. The last 10 years of war as well as disasters such as Hurricane Katrina have demonstrated to our country that the National Guard is an indispensable member of our national defense and disaster response forces. Like other military forces, the Guard has been challenged by long-term & multiple deployments to front lines in Iraq & Afghanistan, yet they are not currently represented in the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). Becoming a permanent member of the JCS will further enhance the ability of the National Guard to perform both its state and federal missions by ensuring that the Chief of the National Guard Bureau is at the table when important homeland defense and disaster response issues are being addressed.
Response to Petition
By Christine E. Wormuth
Thank you for signing the petition “Give the National Guard a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” On December 31, 2011, the President signed the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which made the Chief of the National Guard Bureau a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with the specific responsibility of addressing matters involving non-Federalized National Guard forces in support of homeland defense and civil support missions. The President looks forward to continuing to work with the Chief of the National Guard Bureau in his new role as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and appreciates the contributions of our National Guard across the 50 states and four U.S. territories. He also deeply values the dedication and sacrifices that all members of the Armed Forces, their families, and veterans make for our Nation's security.
In this video, Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting, explains the important role Chief of the National Guard Bureau Gen. Craig R. McKinley plays as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
Christine E. Wormuth is Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Defense Policy