I turned the channels around and came upon CSpan. There was my general, Maj Gen Reese, Oregon National Guard, talking to a commission. I’ve heard on the news yesterday that the Army wants more access to the National Guard troops for deployment.
I listened to the three Generals on the t.v. and they adedquately articulated my concerns. One is that I want to volunteer, but nobody else wants me to volunteer. Instead of calling up individuals, call up units. Another was that while we technically are on a 1 in 6 deployment schedule, we are not gone for a year… we are gone for 18 to 20 months due to train up time before the actual mobilization. The mobilization training had at Ft Polk was, to put it mildly by all the NCOs in my unit in Iraq, completely useless. By the time the unit finishes it’s training it could have been half-way done with their tour in Iraq/Afghanistan.
I agree. Streamline our current training now, give us SGTs the time, resources, and equipment we need to do the training we need, and cut out the useless and tactically outdated training at the mobilization stations.
Another thought brought up by the generals at the commision hearing is that we, the Guard, also have the mission of taking care of our home states. That means that while we were flooding here in Oregon, I had gas in the truck, four sets of radios charged, and I was ready to go out there and do my part to help out. I really wish that there was a volunteer list for such instead of having to get paid. I’m sure that budget considerations sometimes keep us from being called up to help out. On the other hand, if a guy misses work to go across the state to help in a disaster, he’s not providing for his family. So I see the point.
I’ll go over again, but for Goddess sake… don’t send me to a six month training at Ft Polk, or Ft Bliss. Waste of my time.