November 29, 2011

Manchin Applauds Senate Passage of Plan to Elevate National Guard to Joint Chiefs of Staff

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today praised the United States Senate for approving an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would elevate the National Guard to a position on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

“Our National Guard and Reserve forces have taken on a major role in our combat missions abroad, while continuing to take the lead on the front lines during disasters here at home,” Senator Manchin said. “This nation’s increased reliance on the National Guard has earned them a seat at the table along with our active duty forces, and I commend my good friend and colleague Senator Rockefeller for leading the charge to make this happen. 

“As Governor, I was proud to be commander-in-chief of the best National Guard and Reserve forces in the nation. I have listened to commanders in Afghanistan and Iraq attest to their professionalism and incredible commitment to our missions abroad. I have the utmost confidence in our National Guard, and I believe the expanded role they have bravely assumed – as well as the incredible sacrifices that have been made by these men and women and their families – has earned them equal recognition on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” 


Earlier this month, Senator Manchin spoke in favor of elevating the National Guard to a position on the Joint Chiefs of Staff at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that brought together the nation’s top military leaders, many of whom were opposed to making this change. He cosponsored Senator Jay Rockefeller’s (D-W.Va.) Guardians of Freedom Act of 2011, which would give the Chief of the National Guard Bureau a position on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.