Representative Joe Wilson

Representing the 2nd District of South Carolina

Wilson Strongly Opposes PlansTo Extend Guard and Reserve Deployments

Jan 12, 2005
Article
Congressman sends letters to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter regarding issue
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) wrote to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in opposition to newly announced plans to lift a statutory rule that limits Guard and Reserve deployments to two years. In a separate letter to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, Wilson also requested a Congressional hearing to examine the length of National Guard deployments. “Members of the U.S. National Guard are eager to serve our country in the War on Terror. However, longer deployments would have a terrible affect upon members of the National Guard, their families, and their employers, and would seriously impede the Guard’s ability to recruit and retain service members,” said Wilson. “I strongly believe that the length of National Guard deployments should be limited to six months.” The following are excerpts from Wilson’s letters to Secretary Rumsfeld and Chairman Hunter: “As a retired member of the Army National Guard, I know that our citizens are eager to serve this nation in the War on Terror,” wrote Wilson. “The uncertainty of an unlimited number of deployments would impose unjustifiable stress upon members of the National Guard, their families, and their employers, and would have dire consequences for recruitment and retention.” “Indeed, the length of National Guard deployments should be limited to six months.” “I strongly urge the Department of Defense to refrain from implementing this or any relegated proposal to extend the length of National Guard deployments until the House Armed Services Committee has the opportunity to hold hearings and determine the impact any such proposals will have upon the recruitment and retention of our men and women in the National Guard.” Please see the attached full copies of Wilson’s letters.