McCain: Guardsmen have ‘Proven Themselves’

Washington Report

(March 14, 2017) Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said National Guardsmen have shown the nation during the war on terrorism that they are the equal of active-component members.

“There is literally no difference,” he said Monday during an interview with National Guard, the monthly membership magazine of NGAUS.

McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was describing a military that has been badly damaged by budget shortfalls during wartime.

“This has placed additional demands on our Guard forces who now function with the same effectiveness and capability as our active component,” he said. “Frankly, they have proven themselves.”

McCain’s assessment of the Guard came during an interview in his office on Capitol Hill where he talked about budget issues, the current threats to national security and more. The entire interview will be published in the April issue of National Guard.

He said he talks often to Guardsmen who tell him they need more training, but that they are proud of their service and have great morale.

Asked to rate the value of putting the National Guard Bureau chief on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which was done five years ago, he said, “When you look at the contributions the Guard makes to our nation’s defense, then it is an appropriate role.”