Folks, I want to clarify my rationale for AUSA’s opposing the use of a commission to determine Army force structure. There are several reasons why I believe it is unnecessary, in addition to the rationale I expressed in my letter to congressional leaders. Here are some additional thoughts.
First, the Army Chief of Staff has consulted with National Guard leaders at the NGB, ARNG, and TAG levels throughout the process of proposing the appropriate mix of active component, National Guard and Army Reserve manpower and force structure. Many Guardsmen are probably not aware of this, but the CSA can document this engagement.
Second, the need for a commission to study the organization of the U.S. Air Force was precipitated by decision making in the Air Force that did not fully include the equities of the Air National Guard. Under those circumstances, a commission was probably warranted. Those conditions do not exist in the Army.
Third and most importantly, my letter is a vote of confidence in General Frank Grass, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Major General Judd Lyons, Acting Director of the Army National Guard, Lieutenant General Jeff Talley, Chief of the Army Reserve, the State Adjutant Generals, General Ray Odierno, the CSA, and John McHugh, the Secretary of the Army. I am confident that these leaders are fully qualified and capable of assessing and adjusting the Army's structure to meet national security needs at home and abroad.
Standing up a commission, as some advocate, indicates a profound lack of trust and confidence in these National Guard leaders and Army leaders to do what they were confirmed by the Senate to do.
I do not understand why others question the credibility of these battle-tested National Guard leaders. AUSA does not support undermining the authority and responsibility of these distinguished Guard, Reserve, and active officers and experts. A commission will do just that - undermine the trust that the troops - active, Guard, and Reserve - have in their leaders. That is unacceptable to AUSA. We support Guard leaders, Reserve leaders, and active component leaders to get the job done.