The American Legion firmly supports the addition of the National Guard's voice on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That and other Legion-backed initiatives were included in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 31.
"The National Guard has been essential to the success of our military operations at home and around the globe for the past decade," American Legion National Commander Fang A. Wong said. "Hundreds of thousands of Guard members have been mobilized during the global war on terror, and they certainly deserve a direct voice in planning and decision making at the highest levels."
Chief of the National Guard Bureau Gen. Craig R. McKinley will serve as a full member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which previously consisted of only a chairman and vice-chairman and heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
"The National Guard, while not a separate military service branch, does have distinct roles and missions that warrant a seat at the table among the top leaders in the Pentagon," Wong said. "This action properly recognizes the unique but connected role the National Guard and all our reserve components play in today's military affairs."