NGB Chief Remains Cool to JCS Spot

Army Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, firmly put aside the notion that the NGB chief should be given a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He told defense reporters Tuesday that he has explained to lawmakers of both chambers that “the Army and Air National Guard should not be a separate service, and unless they are a separate service, there is no need to put them on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” However, Blum added this caveat: The transformation of the Guard from a strategic reserve to an operational reserve requires a re-examination of the Guard’s role within DOD and regulations that have remained largely untouched since creation of the NGB. He said, “What I’m talking about is that my organization is set up in a 1947 construct and hasn’t seriously been adjusted since then.”