May 20th, 2021
IN THIS EDITION:
Ghana Native Learns American Ways While Aiming High in the Air Force DVIDS
House Bill 83 Almost Back on Track NCNGA
The 2021 National Guard Almanac & Education Guide EANGUS
Equal Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay for National Guard EANGUS
OPERATION VETCARE EANGUS
Apply for the $5,000 Scholarship NGAUS
This Week in NCNG History NCNG Museum
May 20th — Today in Guard History National Guard
If winning a lottery is the peak of one’s life, then spending time in jail shortly after that must be near the bottom.
That was part of the roller-coaster ride for U.S. Air Force A1C Takyi Botchway, Air Freight Technician, 43rd Air Mobility Squadron, who only lived in the states a few months before finding himself in jail for what amounts to being a caring individual. There is far more to his story of resiliency before landing at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, in late 2020.
He grew up in Ghana, second oldest of four siblings. His father was the first in the family to be educated, paving the way for his children to do the same. The 32-year-old Botchway spent his last 12 years in Ghana living throughout all areas of the country. He was teaching at an all girl’s high school in 2013 when he received word he had won the lottery. Not the lottery you might expect, but one equally as exciting: the U.S. Visa Lottery.
He arrived in New York City in 2014, greeted by his brother. Geography alone was a culture shock for him, “In Ghana, you can drive from one side of the country to the other in three hours,” Botchway said. “It took longer than that just to get from Upstate New York to New York City.” He lived with his brother for three months before venturing out on his own to learn the American way of life. Nothing came easy, though.
Representative John Szoka of Fayetteville continues to fight for military pension tax exemption. After meeting with him this week he is hopeful that it should be back before the full House later this week or next. Once it receives the support of the full House it can then be considered by the Senate.
Your support is still needed if you haven’t done it yet please contact you NC Representative. To find them visit ncleg.gov/FindYourLegislators and enter your address. Below is a sample letter/email for your use.
Your Association is working closely with other organizations in this effort. However, it is your individual voice that will make the difference in this effort.
Sample Letter Body:
Dear Elected Official,
Did you know that 33 states fully exempt military retirement pay and North Carolina is not one of them? In addition to these 33 states several have pending legislation that impact military retirement pay.
As your constituent, I write to ask that you support House Bill 83 that will eliminate state tax on military pension.
This important measure would extend tax exemption on retirement pay for a retired member of the Armed Forces of the United States or as survivorship benefits for survivors of active duty or retired members of the Armed Forces of the United States. Currently, only those military members who have five or more years of creditable service as of August 12, 1989 have their military retirement pay exempt from state income tax. Also there is no current tax exemption on survivor benefits.
More than likely, those Servicemembers retiring from North Carolina’s military, a population of well over 120,000, and making the choice to stay in North Carolina can expect to pay state taxes on their military retirement income. This taxation impacts the most recent group of retiring Service Members who very likely served in combat at least once, if not multiple times, since 1990. Taxation of their retirement income can be a serious consideration in deciding in which state to retire.
On average, military retirees are under 50 years of age with over 20 years of work history and a desire to start a second career. This type of employee profile is exactly what is needed to fill civilian or contractor positions within North Carolina’s military and defense sector.
I strongly support this legislation and ask that you support this bill and use your influence to advance the bill during the upcoming short session.
Thank you for considering my views. I look forward to your response.
This year’s publication includes two sections:
- An Education Section includes information about scholarship opportunities and other resources available to National Guard members.
- The Almanac Section highlights key National Guard leaders for each of the 54 States, Territories, and the District of Columbia as well as their State Association contact information and State benefits.
We thank Grantham University for their sponsorship of this publication. We are proud to continue our partnership with Grantham and have highlighted information in the Education Section regarding their educational programs and the two scholarships they are offering this year.
We are also extremely grateful for the continued partnership and scholarships offered to our EANGUS members, their spouse, and dependent children by Colorado Technical Institute, Grand Canyon University, and the University of Phoenix. Along with Grantham University, these institutions provide a total of eight full-tuition scholarships, which are a significant benefit to those selected as the recipients each year. We are also appreciative of the additional funding provided for scholarships at Excelsior College, and the scholarship funds provided by USAA, AFBA, and the CSM Advisory Council which can be used by the recipient at the college or university of their choice.
On behalf of the EANGUS Executive Council, I trust that you will find this information of value, and we wish the best to our members pursuing their dreams of a higher education.
Karen M. Craig
CSM, USA, Retired
The military has many hazardous jobs, and the men and women in these positions qualify for special incentive pay. According to DoDI 1340.09, Hazard Pay Program states, “HDIP provides a monetary incentive to servicemembers who volunteer to perform a duty designated as hazardous, based upon the inherent dangers of the duty and risks of physical injury.” Members of the military who volunteer for these precarious positions include pilots, SEALs, divers, parachutists, and more. The Navy offers special pay for being onboard submarines and working with nuclear energy plants. Jobs that qualify for hazardous duty are deemed more dangerous than others.
To compensate U.S. servicemembers assigned these high-risk duties, the Armed Forces allow for a special payment that starts at $150 per month, known as Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay.
National Guard servicemembers DO NOT receive equal pay when it comes to performing these duties. Although requirements are the same for a National Guard servicemember, they are only paid 1/30th of what their active-duty counterparts receive.
EANGUS is urging the 117th Congress to ensure National Guard servicemembers receive equal Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay (HDIP) at the same rate as their active-duty counterparts because they are required to meet the same monthly standards for performance of duty (Title 37 U.S.C § 301)
Operation VetCare was established in 2017 by EANGUS as a program designed to assist Military Service Members, Veterans, and their families who faced special issues or challenges associated with military service. This program has continued to grow over the last several years. Assistance provided through this program may vary based on the limited funds available but may assist by providing support in the form of gift cards for food, clothing, and other necessary items during a service-related crisis. Through this program, EANGUS has been able to assist hundreds of people during a time of significant need. Click button for more information on how to can support this initiative through donations or to request assistance.
Now accepting applications
NGAUS Active Life Members and their dependents are eligible to apply for the AFBA (Armed Forces Benefit Association)/NGAUS scholarship, awarding two applicants, each with a $5,000 scholarship.
Now accepting applications through June 1, 2021.
Not a NGAUS Active Life Member? Become one today.
Please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have about the NGAUS and AFBA Scholarship or NGAUS Life Membership.
Over the past year, National Guardsmen were called on time and again to help out their fellow U.S. citizens, and they deployed to operations around the world, National Guard Bureau Chief Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense yesterday.
“The year 2020 was unprecedented and historic,” Hokanson said in written testimony.” National Guard members supported every combatant commander around the globe and met every mission here at home. On June 6, 120,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen were mobilized in support of overseas and domestic missions — one of the highest levels of National Guard support to our nation since World War II.”
Guardsmen participate in a socially distant deployment ceremony in a hangar.
And National Guardsmen helped their fellow Americans in many different ways.
The coronavirus pandemic saw large numbers of Guardsmen called up, first to help in testing stations and later at vaccination sites. “The men and women of the National Guard served more than 7.6 million days in support [of] the COVID-19 pandemic – a mission that continues today,” the chief said. “They provided over 632 million meals to neighbors; distributed over 539 million pieces of personal protective equipment to essential workers; and tested or screened over 16.1 million people for the virus across the 50 states, 3 territories and the District of Columbia in 2020.”
If you know of anything significant to the NCNG that occurred on any of these dates, and would like it added to our records, please email 1LT Dearie at email@example.com
May 20th — Today in Guard History National Guard
May 21st 1927
Paris, France – How much flight has changed in three decades! Captain James Robertson Risner walks from his F-86 Sabre aircraft in Paris in less than seven hours after leaving New York. Exactly 30 years earlier to the day it took Lindbergh 33 1/2 hours to complete the same trip.. While many people know Lindbergh the hero, few know that at the time of his flight he was a Guardsman in Missouri’s 110th Observation Squadron, then an element of the 35th Division. He had joined the unit in March 1924 and remained on its rolls until he resigned in 1933. After receiving a promotion to Colonel in the Officer Reserve Corps and soon thereafter the Medal of Honor for his feat, he continued to support the Guard in publicity campaigns.
The Weekly Guardsman