Nation’s Governors Call for Discontinuation of Legislative Proposals Denying Governor Authority over National Guard

WASHINGTON – Today, 53 Governors from U.S. States, Commonwealths and Territories sent a letter to Secretary of Defense (DOD) Lloyd Austin calling for the discontinuation of legislative proposal (LP480) that would weaken or eliminate Governor authority over the National Guard and threaten readiness and operational efficacy of their units.

According to the letter: “As Governors representing 53 states and territories, we are writing to express our strong opposition to Legislative Proposal 480 (LP480) submitted by the Department of Defense to the Senate Armed Services Committee. This legislation disregards gubernatorial authorities regarding the National Guard and undermines over 100 years of precedent as well as national security and military readiness.

“Ensuring the National Guard is adequately equipped with the resources and capabilities to serve as the operational combat reserve for national security missions and to support domestic emergencies is among the National Governors Association’s highest priorities. It is imperative that Governors retain the authority laid out in the Unites States Code (U.S.C.) Title 32, Section 104. LP480 undercuts this critical authority by allowing a transfer of covered space units from the National Guard to the United States Space Force without abiding by Title 32 or Title 10.

“Specifically, section 18238 of Title 10 states that there should be no removal or withdrawal of a unit of the Air National Guard without consultation and approval from Governors. Additionally, section 104 of Title 32 states there is to be no change in the branch, organization, or allotment of National Guard units within a state or territory without the approval of its Governor. 

“Legislation that sidesteps, eliminates or otherwise reduces Governors’ authority within their states and territories undermines longstanding partnerships, precedence, military readiness and operational efficacy. This action also negatively affects the important relationships between Governors and DOD at a time when we need to have full trust and confidence between the two to meet the growing threats posed by the era of strategic competition as well as natural disasters. LP480 also poses a threat to the careers of state-based service members who will be forced to choose between state service or continuing in their current field at a time when there are already significant recruitment challenges. An action like this will violate the trust of the brave women and men who have volunteered to serve our states and our nation.”

The full letter can be found here, and for Governor interview requests, please contact NGA’s Communications Director Eric Wohlschlegel at