Ever since 9/11 and the start of OEF and OIF all I have been hearing about is how the National Guard and Active Duty stand side by side. That there is no telling the difference between the two and how the two train and have the same level of expertise and professionalism. I spent 9 years on Active Duty and now 9 years in the National Guard and I can honestly say that the National Guard of today is as good if not better than many Active Duty units I have been in or seen.
So if these two components are supposed to be equal and if we all believe that “the weekend warrior is dead” then why are they not both treated the same in retirement? Why are Reserve Component soldiers still having to wait until the age of 60 to collect retirement? National Guard soldiers should be allowed to start collecting retirement pay as soon as they are retired. There are a lot of people “talking the talk”, now it is time for them to start “walking the walk”.
Besides the fact that this is just the right and fair thing to do, it may also help young NG soldiers stay longer. If you tell a 20 something year old NG soldier that they need to spend 20 years in, and if they do they can collect retirement at age 60 is like trying to tell most of us what a trillion dollars looks like. Most of us cannot imagine what that looks like, and most 20-something year old soldiers cannot imagine living to the age of 60. They are still invincible and living for the moment at that age. However if you tell these young soldiers that in less than 20 years they can collect their retirement, I am sure retaining soldiers in the NG may not be such an issue as it is now.
Join me in writing the President, the Secretary of Defense and all of your Congressmen and Senators to push a change to the current policy and allow the hard-working members of the Reserve Component to be fairly recognized and compensated as their active duty â€œbrothers in armsâ€.