National Guard Takes Offense At Army Slight

Members of Massachusetts National Guard / AP


The president of the National Guard Association took issue with comments made by U.S. Army chief Gen. Ray Odierno that the National Guard could not handle the active-duty force’s responsibilities, according to Defense News.

In a sharply worded statement released Jan. 13, the president of the National Guard Association called remarks by U.S. Army chief Gen. Ray Odierno "disrespectful and simply not true" while complaining that "the Army chief of staff disparaged the Army National Guard last week by telling reporters in Washington, D.C., that, essentially, the Army National Guard just isn’t good enough to be relied upon more in the future."

Retired Maj. Gen. Gus Hargett’s statement came in response to Odierno’s Jan. 5 remarks at the National Press Club in Washington, where he said the National Guard would not be capable of taking on more of the active-duty force’s responsibilities if the active force structure falls much below the 490,000 floor that the chief set for 2015.

"The capabilities are not interchangeable," Odierno said, "there’s a reason why the active component is more expensive. It brings you a higher level of readiness, because they’re full time."

"They are trained and ready to do things at a higher level because they spend every day focused on that," Odierno said. "Our National Guard, [which has] done an incredible job in the last 10 years, trains 39 days a year."

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