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Reexamining the Role of the Guard and Reserves in Support to Civilian Authorities: The New Criticality of the National Guard Bureau (CSL Issue Paper, Volume 9-08, July 2008)

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On 28 29 May 2008, the United States Army War College conducted the 7th annual Reserve Component Symposium at the Center for Strategic Leadership at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. The series began in 2000, and is dedicated to examining issues of critical importance to the Services Reserve Component and the U.S. National Guard. Following 911, the preponderance of these symposiums have been devoted to issues surrounding the vital role of the Reserve Component in homeland security, homeland defense, and civil support. The trend continued in this years forum, which was devoted to examining the evolving role of the Guard and Service reserves in support of civilian authorities. In the wake of studies, new legislative directives, and executive initiatives devoted to those ends, that role is undergoing remarkable change. The mission and status of the National Guard Bureau NGB has changed substantially under a new Department of Defense DoD directive, which established the Bureau as a joint activity and delineated the Chief of the NGB as a principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense on matters involving nonfederalized National Guard forces. In addition, the directive made the Bureau the strategic focal point for National Guard matters not under the authority and direction of the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force, including joint, interagency, and intergovernmental matters. As in its previous charter, the NGB will remain the channel of communications on all matters pertaining to the National Guard between the Departments of the Army and Air Force and the states and territories. Is the Bureau properly configured to take on these new responsibilities On the basis of that question and similar concerns, members of the symposium were asked to assess whether, and to what degree, the NGB is postured to meet the requirements directed and implied in the aforementioned studies, executive directives, and legislation.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Civil Defense

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