Text: H.Con.Res.129 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/08/2012)

2d Session
H. CON. RES. 129

Recognizing 375 years of service of the National Guard and affirming congressional support for a permanent Operational Reserve as a component of the Armed Forces.


June 8, 2012

Mrs. Miller of Michigan (for herself, Mr. Rahall, Mr. Walz of Minnesota, and Mr. Hunter) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services


Recognizing 375 years of service of the National Guard and affirming congressional support for a permanent Operational Reserve as a component of the Armed Forces.

    Whereas the first volunteer militia unit in America was formed in 1636 in Massachusetts Bay, followed by other units in the colonies of Virginia and Connecticut;

    Whereas from the opening salvos at Lexington and Concord, to the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War in 1783, the volunteer patriots and minutemen of the American militia helped create the United States of America;

    Whereas the American founding fathers wrote article I, section 8, of the United States Constitution to keep the militia model, authorizing only a small standing military force that could organize, train, and equip militia volunteers when needed;

    Whereas the American militia answered the call during the second war with Britain in 1812;

    Whereas in the 19th Century, during the Mexican-American War, the United States Civil War, and the Spanish-American War, State militia volunteers mustered when called and more than 300,000 gave their lives in service of the United States of America;

    Whereas in World War I, nearly all National Guardsmen were mobilized into Federal service, and while they represented only 15 percent of the total United States Army, they comprised 40 percent of the American divisions sent to France and sustained 43 percent of the casualties in combat;

    Whereas in World War II, the National Guard comprised 19 Army divisions and 29 observation squadrons with aircraft assigned to the United States Army Air Forces;

    Whereas the National Defense Act of 1947 formed the Air National Guard, created a minimum of one flying unit in each State, with the result of more than 44,000 Air Guard troops serving in Korea and 4,000 Air Guard troops in Vietnam;

    Whereas the Air National Guard flew 30,000 sorties and 50,000 combat hours during Operation Desert Storm over 37 days and were some of the first units into the fight;

    Whereas, on September 11, 2001, the first fighter jets over New York City and Washington, DC, were Air National Guard F–15 and F–16 aircraft from Massachusetts and North Dakota, with over 400 more Air National Guard fighter aircraft on alert by that afternoon;

    Whereas 456,974 Air and Army National Guard soldiers and airmen have deployed in the many campaigns since 9/11;

    Whereas Air and Army National Guard soldiers and airmen have been involved in countless domestic response missions, including missions in response to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and forest fires;

    Whereas during the Cold War, the National Guard was regarded as a Strategic Reserve to be held in case of a Soviet invasion of Europe, yet, since 9/11, the National Guard and the Federal Reserves have made the transition to an Operational Reserve, in constant use and rotation for missions at home and abroad;

    Whereas the Operational Reserve has time and again demonstrated its readiness to meet operational requirements, and its mission- and cost-effectiveness and volunteerism are the heart of modern United States military service;

    Whereas the Operational Reserve must be sustained by a fully manned and fully funded National Guard in the spirit intended by the Framers and enshrined in article I of the Constitution; and

    Whereas the Air Force, in its fiscal year 2013 budget, has advanced a proposal to convert the Air National Guard from the Operational Reserve to the Strategic Reserve of yesteryear: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress—

(1) recognizes the critical importance of the Operational Reserve as a component of the Armed Forces, particularly as a means of preserving combat power during a time of budget austerity;

(2) supports making permanent the Operational Reserve as the cornerstone of military manpower in the decades to come;

(3) repudiates proposals to return the Reserve Components to a diminished or purely strategic role in United States national security;

(4) affirms the growth of the Operational Reserve as circumstances warrant; and

(5) recognizes the dual-status, State-Federal National Guard as the foundation of the Operational Reserve and of military manpower now and in the future.