June 17th, 2021
IN THIS EDITION:
House moves to exempt military retirement pay from state income taxes Carolina Journal
Call to the EANGUS 50th Anniversary Conference EANGUS
Help Tell the Story of the “Heroes of Old Hickory” with a donation as small as $10 NCNGA
Contact Congress And Encourage Them To Act on Zero-Cost TRICARE NCNGA
The 2021 National Guard Almanac & Education Guide EANGUS
WGU North Carolina Military Service Scholarship WGU
June 17th — Today in Guard History National Guard
The N.C. House passed a bill by a vote of 100-5 on Wednesday to exempt military retirement pay from state income taxes.
House Bill 83 is sponsored by Rep. John Szoka, R-Cumberland, who represents the district where Fort Bragg and the 82nd Airborne are located. Szoka spoke on the floor of the House asking members to support it. He said the cost to the state during the first year of the exemption would be about $30.8 million; in the second year about $34.9 million.
“With the average age of a military retiree being about 50, there is a higher propensity for them to start small businesses,” argued Szoka Wednesday evening. “When you start small businesses you hire people, you pay payroll tax, you get more money, you get people working. That effect has been studied by numerous states and numerous universities, and they found that if you can increase the number of military retirees in your state by just 2,000 a year, you are going to generate more in tax revenue than if they weren’t there … it will pay for itself by year three.”
If signed into law, H.B. 83 would make North Carolina the 23rd state to treat military retirement pay as state tax-free.
“It just makes sense to me,” said Szoka. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
“While we applaud efforts to relieve North Carolina’s military personnel of the state income tax burden, sound tax policy doesn’t narrow the tax base with specific carve-outs. Given the massive surplus revenues just announced, legislators have an opportunity to aggressively reduce the tax burden on all North Carolinians. As an aside, military-friendly states Florida and Texas have no personal income tax.”
A separate, wide-ranging tax cut bill is under consideration in the legislature. That measure would take more than 200,000 North Carolinians at the lowest income levels off the tax rolls by increasing the state’s standard deduction for joint filers from $21,500 to $25,500. It also would raise the child tax deduction by $500, phase out the corporate tax over several years, and further reduce the franchise tax.
The 50th General Conference of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS) will convene at the Albuquerque Convention Center, 401 2nd Street NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico on Sunday, August 8, 2021 and will run through August 11, 2021.
Please refer to the “Call to the Conference” memo which contains detailed information on Lodging, Registration, Travel/Ground Transportation, and Attire. It also includes information on this year’s Elections, Conference Deadlines, Committee Assignments, and the Host State Golf Tournament and Motorcycle Ride. The most up-to-date information can be found on the EANGUS Conference website at eangusconference.org. A complete agenda, to include meeting times and information on other conference events, will be published and continuously updated on the website.
We continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic numbers and restrictions in New Mexico and will ensure necessary measures are taken to protect the health and well-being of all EANGUS Conference attendees. Specific precautions and other measures (such as mask requirements) will be posted on the conference website as needed and updated as we get closer to the conference.
Please join us for our 50th Anniversary Conference — this year’s conference will include special recognition of our history and commemorative activities that our members, leaders, and guests won’t want to miss. I look forward to seeing you in New Mexico – the “Land of Enchantment!”
KAREN M. CRAIG
CSM, USA, Retired
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 https://www.ncnga.org/OldHickory.php.
Support H.R.3512 to expand Zero-Cost TRICARE Reserve Select to all members of the Reserve Component
NGAUS strongly supports H.R. 3512, the Healthcare for our Troops Act. This legislation would provide access to zero-cost TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) and dental coverage to Reserve Component (RC) servicemembers. Additionally, this legislation expands TRS eligibility to RC servicemembers currently working for the federal government in their civilian capacity.
H.R. 3512 was introduced by Reps. Andy Kim (NJ-03) and Trent Kelly (MS-01). H.R. 3512 is originally co-sponsored by Reps. Tim Ryan (OH-13), Steven Palazzo (MS-04), Scott DesJarlais (TN-04), Elise Stefanik (NY-21) and Marc Veasey (TX-33).
Servicemembers are required to meet medical deployability requirements. An estimated 130,000 Guardsmen and Reservists do not have health insurance under the current disjointed system of third-party health contractors and Periodic Health Assessments (PHAs), which greatly impacts the Reserve Component’s medical readiness. Inconsistent healthcare coverage for members of the Reserve Component makes meeting these requirements difficult to achieve.
H.R. 3512 Healthcare for our Troops Act ensures servicemembers meet the medical standards required of a deployable force at no cost to them and their families. Additionally, this bill provides coverage for dental care, another common deployablitiy issue experienced by the Reserve Component. These changes would also provide the Department of Defense (DoD) with a powerful recruiting and retention tool, as well as a significant employer incentive to retain talented individuals in gainful civilian employment.
Under current law, National Guard and Reserve servicemembers who are federal employees in their civilian capacity are ineligible to enroll in TRS. This creates confusion in coordinating benefits for servicemembers and their families and prevents servicemembers from establishing continuity of care and treatment as they deploy or transition in or out of the federal government. H.R. 3512 strikes the language that disallows servicemembers from accessing TRS simply due to working for the federal government in their civilian capacity.
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
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.
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.”
June 17th — Today in Guard History National Guard
Charles Town, MA – American militia repulse two determined British Army attacks upon the temporary breastworks they constructed on Breed’s Hill (though commonly referred to as “Bunker Hill”). With militiamen’s gun powder running low, when the third assault came the British carried the entrenchments, inflicting a number of casualties with the bayonet, which few Americans had available. Though the battle was a British victory, their losses were so high that nearly a third of all their officers killed in the Revolution died in this one battle.
The Weekly Guardsman