What’s Next for the Guard?

That’s the question asked rhetorically by National Guard Bureau chief Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley last week at a National Defense University seminar. McKinley said, “We’ve been at war now longer than at any time in our history” with an all-volunteer force complemented by reserve components that serve as “a shock absorber or rheostat that allows the active component force to stay steadily engaged.” His question, he said, will be answered by the ongoing 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. McKinley said that whatever is next, it should not be a return to the strategic Guard he “grew up with.” He maintained that if that happened “a lot of young people that we’ve recruited over the last 15 years would probably vote with their feet.” (NGB report by Army SSgt. Jim Greenhill)