The National Guard Association of the United States, or NGAUS provides states and its members unified representation before Congress. The NGAUS legislative department is basically a lobbying branch of the association. It seeks modern equipment, training, missions and personnel benefits exclusively for the Army and Air National Guard by lobbying Congress and the Executive Branch.
In addition, NGAUS works with the National Guard Bureau (NGB), state associations, the Adjutants General Association of the United States (AGAUS), the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), and industry representatives. Also critical to this process are the Congressional Action Contact Officers (CACOs) in each state. They meet once a year in Washington for a legislative seminar and serve as the “main point of contact” in each state for time-sensitive legislative issues.
As a member of NGAUS, I can attest that the NGAUS legislative efforts have contributed consistently to the continued resourcing and readiness of the National Guard. A few examples of these achievements are:
- During the late 90’s and into the 21st Century, many of NGAUS’ efforts were directed at congressional “adds” for equipment, full-time manning, military construction and force sustainment. Retirement points for inactive duty were increased from 75 to 90, special pay, bonuses and benefits, including VA home loans were established, and Montgomery G.I. benefits and commissary privileges were enhanced.
- During the FY2007 legislative season, the efforts of our associations resulted in the reinstatement of the Army National Guard end-strength of 350,000 Soldiers. And, after a 7-year campaign, all Guardsmen were granted better access to TRICARE at an affordable rate and lawmakers also lowered the basic housing allowance threshold from 140 days to 30 days for members of the Guard.
NGAUS members have the option of individual annual or life memberships. Most current Guard officers have joined (most have been “volun-told” to join, I might add). In addition, thousands of retired Guard officers continue to be members. 100-percent states receive preferred seating as well as recognition at the annual NGAUS general conference. Each state belongs to the association and their membership serves as a mandate to have NGAUS represent them.
For more information, or to become a member of NGAUS, click the following link: www.ngaus.org
If you have any questions, or any added comments, just post them below. Thank you.