|The Issue: The Recommendation of the 11th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation to cut National Guard drill pay in half.
Immediate Action Required: Contact your senators and representative and ask them to oppose the recommendation of the 11th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation to cut National Guard and Reserve drill pay in half.
NGAUS welcomes the recommendations from the QRMC that would reduce from 30 to six the authorities for calling members of the Guard and Reserve to duty and would allow our members to receive their retired pay upon their 30th anniversary of service after having attained 20 qualifying years of service.
However, the QRMC is totally off base with its recommendation to cut drill pay in half in order to equate a drill day with one day of “regular military compensation,” which the QRMC claims would “ensure equitable pay for similar service” with the active component. This reduction of pay would also reduce the number of retirement points from four to two for a drill weekend and the potential retirement pay arising from that service.
Although the QRMC discusses the possibility of incentive pay options to bolster its recommended reduction in drill pay, it makes no clear recommendation and provides no illustrative pay charts for easy understanding. The current drill pay structure is fair and much simpler in comparison.
The QRMC reflects no understanding that the MUTA four-drill weekend pay already attempts to equitably compensate most drilling members who work a 12-day “work week” with the drill weekend sandwiched between full-time 40-hour-plus work weeks. In most states, this would trigger overtime compensation, even double time in California on the seventh straight day of work.
There is also no recognition in the QRMC of the vast difference in service between the reserve components and the actives. Unlike the active forces, the National Guard member bears the expense in time and money for travel to drills, physical training, medical readiness care, family care and attending to many unit administrative responsibilities. Our members do so while observing the minuteman ethos of being always ready to be called from family, civilian employment or school to state or overseas duty as the situation may warrant.
In assessing equitable pay for similar service, there was also no mention of the fact that active duty forces in stateside assignments commonly do not work on weekends, but receive full pay and allowances for four nonduty weekends as well as 2 ½ days of leave per month. This translates to the active forces receiving pay for more than one third of a month for down time. Our drilling members, of course, are not similarly paid for their off-duty weekends
A just and more comprehensive recommendation from the QRMC would not only justify the current drill pay structure, but drive a recommendation to increase benefits to “ensure equitable pay for similar service.”
We need to speak out strongly against the recommendation that promises to gut our recruitment and retention efforts throughout the reserve components.
TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTION:
By using the Write to Congress feature on the NGAUS website at www.ngaus.org, you can email your elected representatives. A sample letter is included. You can email the prewritten message or edit the sample letter as you desire. This is the quickest and most effective method of expressing your views to Congress. Also, contact your friends and family and urge them to use Write to Congress. For further information and background, visit our website at www.ngaus.org. Please direct any questions concerning this issue to Pete Duffy, NGAUS acting legislative director, at 202-454-5307 or via email at email@example.com.