NCNGA Weekly Guardsman for June 10, 2021

June 10th, 2021


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Armed Forces Benefit Association


‘Rocket Cargo’ Becomes Latest Vanguard Project to Get Priority from Air Force AFMag 
Help Tell the Story of the “Heroes of Old Hickory” with a donation as small as $10 NCNGA 
Ray: Pace of China’s Strategic Advancement is ‘Breathtaking,’ Cause for Alarm AFMag 
House Bill 83 Almost Back on Track NCNGA 
The 2021 National Guard Almanac & Education Guide EANGUS
WGU North Carolina Military Service Scholarship WGU 
June 10th — Today in Guard History National Guard 

‘Rocket Cargo’ Becomes Latest Vanguard Project to Get Priority from Air Force AFMag 

The Air Force wants to soon be able to deliver cargo from space, and it is putting real money behind the effort.

The Department of the Air Force announced June 4 that the “Rocket Cargo” effort is its fourth “Vanguard” program, joining the Skyborg wingman drone, the Golden Horde weapon swarming initiative, and the Navigation Technology Satellite 3 as top priorities to move from science and technology development to real-world programs.

The Department of the Air Force requested $47.9 million for Rocket Cargo development in its 2022 budget.

“Together with the Space Force, we will research commercial capabilities for DOD logistics,” said Maj. Gen. Heather L. Pringle, commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory, in a briefing. “Rocket Cargo is envisioned as a DOD interface with commercial capabilities, where we will deliver up to 100 tons of cargo anywhere on the planet in tactical timelines.”

As a Vanguard effort, the Air Force Research Laboratory is leading studies to determine if using space launches to deliver material, and possibly personnel, across the globe within hours is viable. If so, the Space Force could make it a program of record. The Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center will serve as the Program Executive Officer for the effort.

Air Force Materiel Command boss Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., speaking with reporters in a separate event, said the Rocket Cargo program will be run out of AFRL’s Transformational Capabilities Office.

“Our role,” he said, is to provide “some of the use cases for what it would take to either move humanitarian or large-tonnage cargo” to a forward area. “What we really want to do is see where the [science and technology work is needed] for packaging it” on the rocket and moving it to forward areas “in a very quick manner” and cost-effectively. AFMC will also “help assess what the business case analysis is, whether there is a ‘there, there.’”

“One of the things that we are not going to do, [is,] we are not going to get into the rocket launch business,” Bunch added. He said the commercial launch industry “is driving that, and we’re not going to get in the way of that in any way, shape, or form.”

Read More…

Help Tell the Story of the “Heroes of Old Hickory” with a donation as small as $10 NCNGA 

The 30th Infantry Division, also known colloquially as the “Heroes of Old Hickory,” received the Presidential Unit
Citation last year for their heroic role in the Battle of Mortain, France during World War II. The Division was composed of National Guardsmen from all over the South, including North Carolina. Their story is one of courage and
honor and, as such, deserves to be broadcast to a wide audience. That is why we are asking for your help in supporting the production costs of the Heroes of Old Hickory documentary film. The production team is hoping to secure the funds necessary to air this documentary on PBS by Veteran’s Day of this year. Any amount can help, and if the goal amount is not met the collected money will go direct to the 30th Infantry Division. For more information and to donate, please visit our website at

Ray: Pace of China’s Strategic Advancement is ‘Breathtaking,’ Cause for Alarm AFMag 

China’s strategic portfolio is advancing even faster than the U.S. anticipated, and this should be cause for concern, said Air Force Global Strike Command boss Gen. Timothy M. Ray.

“The pace is breathtaking,” Ray said during an AFA Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies streaming event June 3. There have been frequent episodes over the last six months where China demonstrated a capability and the U.S. intelligence assessment fell “short of what they were accomplishing,” he added.

China is also clearly moving to secure its regional sphere of influence, and America’s allies and partners “need to know we’re there for them.”

“I think [China is] thinking very clearly about the regional and global problem set. I think they’re building the arsenal” to address it, Ray observed.

Air Force Global Strike Command boss Gen. Timothy M. Ray speaks with retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, during a virtual event on June 3. Mitchell Institute YouTube video.
Ray has briefed members of Congress at the top secret level on the situation, but “even at the secret level, it’s pretty intimidating.”

“They’re working through the problem—warheads, delivery systems, command and control, warning, how fast, and how you field it—and they’re getting glowing grades in all those things,” Ray said. The pace of China’s progress and the “diversity of their approach … commands respect,” he asserted.

Ray said that going forward with the U.S. Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent missile program will be $38 billion cheaper than attempting to upgrade and extend the life of the Minuteman III missiles. However, he noted, “the price tag has gotten bigger” each time the decision has been postponed.

The Minuteman suffers from “old parts” and the inability to repair them, Ray said. The situation is “just going to get worse,” he added.

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House Bill 83 Almost Back on Track NCNGA 

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 and enter your address. Below is a sample letter/email for your use.

In addition to contacting your local Representative it is critical to contact,,,

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.

The 2021 National Guard Almanac & Education Guide EANGUS

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
EANGUS President

2021 National Guard Almanac & Education Guide

WGU North Carolina Military Service Scholarship WGU 

WGU North Carolina is pleased to once again offer the Military Service Scholarship. We are proud to support our troops and their families by awarding $2,500 scholarships to local currently serving military members, veterans, and their family members.

For 11 consecutive years, WGU has been named one of the “Top Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities” by Military Advanced Education and Transition Magazine and has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping servicemen and women apply their knowledge and life experiences towards a high-quality degree that will open the door to career opportunities in business, healthcare, education, or information technology.

Read More…

Chief Details National Guard Contributions in a Year of Trial DOD News

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.”

Read more…

June 10th — Today in Guard History National Guard 

New York, NY – For the second time in three days the nation witness’s a “Victory Parade” to celebrate the quick defeat and expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait in Operation “Desert Storm.” Among the marching units is the New York Guard’s 719th Transportation Company, a descendent of the all-black 369th Infantry which gained fame as the “Harlem Hellfighters” in World War I. This parade is the first military ‘victory’ parade held in Manhattan’s “Canyon of Heroes” since the end of the World War II. While General Douglas MacArthur was given a ‘ticker-tape’ parade by the city in 1951 (after being relieved of his command in Korea by President Truman), no “victory parade” was offered by the city after the end of the Korean or Vietnam wars. So when the plans for the Desert Storm parade were made, special announcements were made to Korean and Vietnam veteran’s organizations welcoming them to join in the march.

Read More…

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