Hoeven: Senate Passes Amendment Putting National Guard Head on Joint Chiefs of Staff

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this evening said a measure he cosponsored to make the Chief of the National Guard Bureau a statutory member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has passed as an amendment to the Defense Reauthorization Bill, which is now on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

The Senator was a cosponsor of the National Guard Empowerment and State-National Defense Integration Act, which more closely incorporates the nation’s 450,000 National Guard members into the country’s military force structure. With its expanded role in America’s national and homeland security defenses, the National Guard should have a seat at the table where the highest level military decisions are made, he said.

          “As the governor of North Dakota for more than a decade, I saw firsthand – both at home and in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo – the unique role the soldiers and airmen of our National Guard play in our nation’s defenses,” Hoeven said. “The National Guard’s responsiveness, professionalism and complete dedication to duty were always evident, even under the most demanding circumstances. Whether it was fighting floods or fighting terrorism, the men and women of our National Guard more than demonstrated their critical role in the nation’s defenses and they deserve to be represented accordingly.”