The federal government fails to honor obligations to National Guard members

The National Guard troops protecting the Capitol were activated under Title 32 of the U.S. code, a subsection referred to as 502(f) orders, which are typically utilized to deploy the National Guard in response to natural disasters. These 502(f) orders were also used to deploy the Guard to the southern border, and more recently, in response to COVID-19.

While the former President Trump claimed he declared a state of emergency for Washington following the events of Jan. 6, no actual declaration of a national emergency materialized. Congress, concerned by the apparent lack of legal authority to provide benefits, reached out to the Defense Department for clarity on what benefits those National Guardsmen would actually receive.

As it often does, the failure to compensate and provide for Guardsmen and reservists hinges on funding, rather than malice. DoD regularly touts its intention to be a “good steward of taxpayer dollars,” and then decides to cut orders short for the reserve components, or works with the armed services committee to develop new deployment authorities that save money on bothersome personnel costs. Unfortunately, the taxpayer tends to stay on the hook, as Congress must continually correct these injustices while allowing DoD to avoid spending money on the less glamorous parts of our national defense, like the troops.

militarytimes The federal government fails to honor obligations to National Guard members