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February 3, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
Gov. Bill Richardson signed a bill in Santa Fe making the state the first to underwrite $250,000 in life insurance for National Guard members. "Our troops need more than speeches and pats on the back. They need help for their families," the Democrat said. The measure passed both houses of the Legislature by unanimous vote.
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NATIONAL
January 26, 2005 | John Hendren, Times Staff Writer
Strained by ongoing military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, the National Guard has fallen nearly 15,000 troops short of its authorized level of 350,000, Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, chief of the guard, said Tuesday. The guard, which had met its authorized numbers annually since 1989, has suffered shortfalls in recruitment since last fall; last month officials unveiled changes to keep the force stable.
NATIONAL
December 17, 2004 | John Hendren, Times Staff Writer
The Army National Guard is tripling retention bonuses to counter lagging recruitment and is asking for $20 billion to replace equipment destroyed in combat as it struggles under the continuing burden of the Iraq war, the Guard's top commander said Thursday. After missing its recruitment goals over the last two months, the National Guard plans to boost bonuses to $15,000 from $5,000 for members who sign up for another six-year stint.
NATIONAL
December 4, 2004 | Scott Gold, Times Staff Writer
The chief of the National Guard said Friday that an informal inquiry at an Army base where soldiers had alleged they were being poorly trained found instead that they were being prepared "to be successful and survive their mission in Iraq." "Are they finely honed and ready to go today? No," said Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, adding that he had found some problems at the Ft. Bliss Training Complex, which straddles the border between Texas and New Mexico.
NATIONAL
September 24, 2004 | Esther Schrader, Times Staff Writer
With many soldiers who have already served in Iraq reluctant to serve again, the Army National Guard will fall short of its recruiting goals this year for the first time in a decade, senior Guard officials said Thursday. The Guard had set a goal of 56,000 recruits for the budget year ending Sept. 30, but now expected to end up with about 51,000, said Lt. Col. Mike Jones, deputy division chief of National Guard recruiting and retention.
NATIONAL
September 17, 2004 | Maria L. La Ganga, Times Staff Writer
Sen. John F. Kerry on Thursday charged that the Bush administration has been "shortchanging" members of the National Guard, many of whom have been killed and wounded alongside regular troops in Iraq. At the National Guard's annual convention here, Kerry delivered one of his most pointed critiques to date of the war in Iraq and President Bush's leadership.
NATIONAL
September 14, 2004 | Maria L. La Ganga, Times Staff Writer
When President Bush arrives in Las Vegas today to address a convention of National Guardsmen, a group of families will be there as well, intent on protesting the Iraq war and a president who they say used his Guard service to avoid combat. The protest comes a week after a controversial report on "60 Minutes II" that renewed questions about Bush's National Guard record during the Vietnam era. The demonstrators said they were not supporters of Sen. John F.
NATIONAL
September 10, 2004 | James Rainey And Mark Z. Barabak, Times Staff Writers
A day after reports that President Bush received preferential treatment during his time in the Texas Air National Guard, the controversy raged on in the presidential race Thursday as Bush's critics suggested he lied about his Vietnam-era record and defenders accused Democrats of fueling baseless attacks.
NATIONAL
September 9, 2004 | James Rainey, Times Staff Writer
George W. Bush's squadron commander in the Texas Air National Guard grounded the young lieutenant from flying when he missed a medical examination and failed to meet performance standards, according to documents made public Wednesday that revived an issue that had shadowed Bush for much of his political career. Four memos from the late Col.
NATIONAL
August 15, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wires
Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich plans to sign into law a bill that adds members of the National Guard and military Reserves to the state's Human Rights Act as a protected class. "Since the country has gone to war, the state has received a huge number of complaints by members of the Guard and Reserves, saying that they have been discriminated against," said Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn. "It ranges from problems with employers, to landlords....
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