June 10, 2021

During SASC Hearing, Duckworth Secures Commitments from General Milley and Secretary Austin to Review National Guard and Reserve Pay, Benefits


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — During a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) hearing today, combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) secured a commitment from General Mark Milley to review National Guard and Reserve duty status reform and a commitment from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to explore opportunities to enhance retention of highly-skilled servicemembers. Duckworth served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years and is Chair of the SASC Airland Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over National Guard and Reserve planning and operations policy and equipment. Video of the Senator’s remarks can be found here.

“Whether responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters and civil unrest, or seamlessly integrating with the Joint Force in overseas operations, the National Guard and Reserve Component forces continue to answer the call and fulfill a critical slate of missions for the Joint Force and the nation,” Duckworth said. “Yet, despite serving in critical capacities and dangerous duty assignments, our National Guard and Reserve forces are not receiving the same pay and benefits as their active-duty counterparts. I’ll keep working with the Pentagon and my Senate colleagues to reform our duty status policies to ensure these servicemembers receive the equal pay and access to benefits they deserve for the work they do.”

Last month, Duckworth introduced the National Guard and Reserve Incentive Pay Parity Act, a bill that would help ensure that Reserve Component servicemembers in high-skilled roles are compensated at the same rate as active duty counterparts performing the same work.