Tag Archives: national guard

SecDef Hagel Releases Statement on Same-Sex Benefits

Following the recent kerfuffle over the National Guard and state laws regarding homosexual benefits, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel released a statement seeming to declare the matter closed:

On Oct. 31, I called on the chief of the National Guard Bureau to work with several states to fully implement Department of Defense policy by providing DoD identification cards to all eligible military spouses, regardless of sexual orientation. Following consultations between Read more

SecDef “Blasts” States Not Granting Homosexuals ID Cards

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel “blasted” nine states whose National Guard bureaus have refused to process requests for homosexual benefits at their state facilities.  In his Oct 31 speech to the Anti-Defamation League, Hagel said

several states today are refusing to issue these IDs to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities.  Not only does this violate the states’ obligations under federal law, but their actions have created hardship and inequality by forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to obtain the ID cards they’re entitled to.

This is wrong.  It causes division among our ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which DoD has fought to extinguish, as has the ADL.

The situation is intriguing, because by calling these states “wrong,” Secretary Hagel appears to be calling the citizens who voted state laws into place “wrong.”  If a state has a constitutional amendment that refuses to recognize a homosexual relationship — an amendment passed by the citizens of the state — it naturally follows that the offices of the state, including its National Guard, would adhere to those laws.

Secretary Hagel continued:  Read more

Newsworthy? Homosexuals Get Military Benefits

Since the Supreme Court overturned a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, many outlets have run news stories about homosexuals obtaining military benefits, some published by the military itself.

The US Army made a point of publishing a press release highlighting that “Same-sex spouses of Soldiers now receiving benefits.”  It also reiterated the controversial “gay leave” policy:

Soldiers assigned to duty stations within Read more

Congressmen Tell SecDef to “Guide” Guard on Homosexual Benefits

Senator Carl Levin (D-Ma) and US Rep Adam Smith (D-Wa) have written a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel telling him to “issue further guidance” to state National Guard units who have been declining to process benefit applications for homosexuals.

As has been noted elsewhere, until such units are federalized, they operate under the power of the states — their commander in chief is Read more

F-16s Collide, One Pilot Ejects

Two US Air National Guard F-16s collided over the ocean near the coast of Virginia. One pilot ejected, the other recovered his aircraft:

Two Air National Guard fighter jets collided midair, forcing one of the pilots to eject into the sea and be rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter a few hours later off the Virginia coast, officials said Friday.

The other pilot involved in the collision was able to fly back to Joint Base Andrews, Md. Both jets were from the 113th Wing D.C. Air National Guard and were on a routine training mission

The Coast Guard took the unusual step of posting a video of the at-sea rescue on the internet:

The Air Force will investigate the incident and report on its findings some months from now.

Also at the Stars and Stripes.

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Baptists Help the National Guard Stay Clean

A few months ago, a DoD article highlighted the service of the North Carolina Baptist Men, a disaster relief group that also volunteers to assist local military exercises:

[The Baptist Men] call themselves the “disaster junkies”, assisting the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross by setting up mobile hospitals, showers, laundry services, child care facilities, and cooking stations that are capable of feeding 50,000 or more people a day.

For the National Guard’s Operation Panther exercise, the group was washing the troops’ laundry, as many as 120 loads per day.  The group is composed largely of retired military, and they even structure themselves like a military unit:  Read more

Michael Weinstein Calls for General’s Court Martial over Religion

Update 2: General Umbarger has issued an apology, saying

I apologize for and regret the negative attention my well-meaning endorsement of an organization which so generously offered to help our Soldiers, Airmen, and their families. As I have done so many times before, I instinctively advocated on behalf of my service members.
 
This situation underscores the enduring need for all of us to pursue every possible avenue in providing services to our faithful military families.
 
It is my earnest desire and sincere hope that my comments will not detract from the professionalism and dedication of the extraordinary men and women who serve and sacrifice every day in defense of our communities, State, and Nation.

Governor Mitch Daniels, who is responsible for appointing the Guard Adjutant General, has defended the General.  That’s pin #1 for Weinstein’s promised lawsuit.  The Army Inspector General is reportedly looking into the complaint.


Update: Weinstein said he plans to file a “class-action lawsuit” if no action is taken against the General.


As is his common practice, Michael Weinstein has called for the court-martial of Major General R. Martin Umbarger, the Adjutant General of Indiana, making him the point man for “the Indiana Army and Air National Guard, the Indiana Guard Reserve and State employees, totaling more than 15,800 personnel.”

General Umbarger had appeared in a short video, in uniform, requesting support for a charity called Centurion’s Watch.  His comments included:

“Centurion’s Watch is a wonderful way that you can help. Any donation or resource that you can give this organization…I can’t think of a better organization that you can support. So if you want to give back, if you want to have some way you can help, I would highly encourage that you support this organization.”

Weinstein’s response:

“Maj. General Umbarger is incontrovertibly endorsing…a private sector entity which is clearly a comprehensively sectarian, proselytizing, fundamentalist, evangelical Christian parachurch organization…”

As support for his claim, Weinstein cites  Read more

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