Credibility, the Guard, and a Place at the Table

Credibility, the Guard, and a Place at the Table: Speaking with reporters after his speech Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference, Air National Guard Director Lt. Gen. Bud Wyatt said a contributing factor to the tension surrounding the Guard and the Active component over USAF’s 2013 budget proposal was the lingering bad blood from last year’s fight surrounding the Guard Bureau getting a seat on the Joint Chiefs. “It’s time to recognize the Guard will be a full member of the Joint Chiefs,” Wyatt said, and the Air Force needs to recognize the strength it has in this relationship when it comes to assembling budgets and priorities in the future. Wyatt did not blame the service chiefs for the lingering bad feelings but rather other staff officers and “underlings” who took the fight a bit personally when Congress decided to put the NGB chief on the Joint Chiefs. It will take time to get full acceptance of the Guard as a member of the Chiefs, Wyatt noted, but this arrangement is “only going to be as good as people allow it to be.” Wyatt, who plans on retiring in January 2013, said his office has to maintain credibility with the Adjutants General and the leadership of USAF, and has worked hard to present the views of the ANG even when they have not been adopted. Rather than seeing a Guard Bureau Chief on the JCS as a hindrance, Pentagon officials should embrace the new construct rather than try to re-fight a settled battle, he said.