2014-02-28 National Governors Association

National Guard

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The nation’s governors strongly oppose the potential cuts to the Army National Guard advocated by the U.S. Army’s fiscal 2015 budget request.

For more than a decade, our National Guard has demonstrated it is a cost-effective, operational force that is critical to our national security at home and abroad.

As commanders-in-chief, we appreciate the need to reorganize, restructure and modernize the military to meet new threats and economic realities. All sectors of the military need to be involved in meeting the targets set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the realities of having fewer forces engaged abroad. In doing so, however, the Army Guard’s operational capabilities and 350,000 end strength level must be preserved.

The Army’s proposed cuts suggest a pre-2001 strategic reserve construct. Governors are extremely proud of the role that the National Guard plays in protecting this nation and its citizens. The modern National Guard is a highly experienced and capable combat force and an essential state partner in responding to domestic disasters and emergencies. A return to a pre-9/11 role squanders the investment and value of the Guard and discredits its accomplishments at home and as an active combat force.

Two years ago we opposed similar efforts to dramatically cut personnel and equipment from the Air National Guard. Congress subsequently chose not to impose the cuts and called for a National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force. That commission recently concluded that the Guard is a cost-effective and invaluable force that should be a critical component of the total force structure. The commission’s conclusions and the ongoing Army debate strengthen the case for a similar independent review of the Army’s future force structure and active and reserve component mix.

We respectfully request that you reconsider proposed cuts to the Army National Guard and changes to the Guard’s combat aviation capabilities and that you work with us to fashion solutions that provide a scalable, cost-effective force that best serves the interests of our nation.

Sincerely,

Governor Mary Fallin, Chair
Oklahoma

 

Governor Terry Branstad
Co-Chair, Council of Governors
Iowa

Governor Martin O’Malley
Co-Chair, Council of Governors
Maryland

Governor Robert Bentley
Alabama

Governor Sean Parnell
Alaska

Governor Jan Brewer
Arizona

Governor Mike Beebe
Arkansas

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
California

Governor Dannel Malloy
Connecticut

Governor Jack Markell
Delaware

Governor Rick Scott
Florida

Governor Nathan Deal
Georgia

Governor Eddie Baza Calvo
Guam

Governor Neil Abercrombie
Hawaii

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter
Idaho

Governor Pat Quinn
Illinois

Governor Mike Pence
Indiana

Governor Sam Brownback
Kansas

Governor Steven L. Beshear
Kentucky

Governor Bobby Jindal
Louisiana

Governor Paul LePage
Maine

Governor Deval Patrick
Massachusetts

Governor Rick Snyder
Michigan

Governor Mark Dayton
Minnesota

Governor Phil Bryant
Mississippi

Governor Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon
Missouri

Governor Steve Bullock
Montana

Governor Brian Sandoval
Nevada

Governor Maggie Hassan
New Hampshire

Governor Chris Christie
New Jersey

Governor Susana Martinez
New Mexico

Governor Pat McCrory
North Carolina

Governor Jack Dalrymple
North Dakota

Governor John Kasich
Ohio

Governor John A. Kitzhaber, M.D.
Oregon

Governor Tom Corbett
Pennsylvania

Governor Alejandro Javier Garcia Padilla
Puerto Rico

Governor Lincoln Chafee
Rhode Island

Governor Nikki R. Haley
South Carolina

Governor Dennis Daugaard
South Dakota

Governor Bill Haslam
Tennessee

Governor Rick Perry
Texas

Governor Gary Herbert
Utah

Governor Peter Shumlin
Vermont

Governor Terry McAuliffe
Virginia

Governor John de Jongh, Jr.
Virgin Islands

Governor Jay Inslee
Washington

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin
West Virginia

Governor Scott Walker
Wisconsin

Governor Matthew Mead
Wyoming