May 10, 2005 |
The war against terrorism means fewer National Guard troops may be available to fight wildfires in the drought-stricken Pacific Northwest this summer, state and Defense Department officials say. National Guard troops help during major wildfires, but nearly 60% of Montana's troops are in Iraq, all the Oregon National Guard's Chinook helicopters are in Afghanistan, and 40% of Idaho's 4,300 troops are deployed overseas, state officials say. Montana Gov.
March 25, 2005 |
The more than 400,000 National Guard and Reserve members mobilized since September 2001 will be offered the choice of military healthcare coverage for as long as eight years after they return to civilian life, officials said Thursday. Only those who remain in the Guard or Reserve after they are demobilized will be eligible, said Thomas Hall, the assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.
March 23, 2005 |
The Army is tapping into a new pool of potential recruits for the National Guard and Army Reserve by raising the maximum enlistment age from 34 to 39, officials said. The move, described as a three-year test program, is designed to help the Guard and Reserve meet their recruitment goals at a time when the Iraq war and other pressures are discouraging young people from joining.
February 3, 2005 |
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.
January 26, 2005 |
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.
December 17, 2004 |
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.
December 4, 2004 |
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.
September 24, 2004 |
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.
September 17, 2004 |
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.
September 14, 2004 |
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.