S. 2312: A bill to amend titles 5, 10, and 32, United States Code, to eliminate inequities in the treatment of National Guard technicians, and for other purposes. Read More


This bill was introduced on May 8, 2014, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.


Date Introduced
May 8, 2014


Bill Text


To amend titles 5, 10, and 32, United States Code, to eliminate inequities in the treatment of National Guard technicians, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ``National Guard Technician Equity Act''.


(a) Authority To Employ Technician as Non-Dual Status Technician After 20 Years of Creditable Service.--Subsection (c) of section 709 of title 32, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: ``(c) A person shall have the right to be employed under subsection (a) as a non-dual status technician (as defined by section 10217 of title 10) if-- ``(1) the technician position occupied by the person has been designated by the Secretary concerned to be filled only by a non-dual status technician; or ``(2) the person occupying the technician position has at least 20 years of creditable service as a military technician (dual status).''. (b) Exception to Dual-Status Employment Condition of Membership in Selected Reserve.--Section 10216 of title 10, United States Code, is amended-- (1) in subsection (a)(1)(B), by inserting ``subject to subsection (d),'' before ``is required''; and (2) in subsection (d)(1), by striking ``Unless specifically exempted by law'' and inserting ``Except as provided in section 709(c)(2) of title 32 or as otherwise specifically exempted by law''. (c) Continued Compensation After Loss of...

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Sentiment Map



560 Supporting
50 Opposing
92% 8%

State: CA

18 Supporting
2 Opposing
90% 10%

District: 1st

0 Supporting
0 Opposing
0% 0%

Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

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There is no doubt that the National Guard costs less than the active duty force. In order to maintain a high level of readiness while keeping costs low the National Guard relies on a small full-time workforce of Federal civil service employees commonly known as dual-status technicians (DSTs). Over 48,000 National Guard dual-status technicians serve throughout the 54 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. Technicians are a special category of Federal civil service employees. They tend to be more knowledgeable, experienced, and cost effective than their less experienced and higher paid active duty counterparts. From a cost perspective, technicians may be one of the best kept secrets in all of DoD. They're duties range from clerical to mechanical. Operationally, the program is a success. Technicians maintain computer networks, handle pay and benefits, and operate and maintain combat systems at a readiness level on par with, and at a marked savings over their active duty counterparts. With that said, the program is nearing its 50th year in existence, and some, including Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), believe there are areas that could use improvement. That's why on May 8th, 2014, Sen. Reed introduced Senate Bill 2312, titled the National Guard Technician Equity Act, which seeks to "to eliminate inequities" in the treatment of technicians. Background Congress enacted the National Guard Technician Act in 1968. Prior to enactment, technicians were state employees. The legislation's primary purpose was to standardize retirement and fringe benefits for National Guard technicians by granting them Federal employee status. One of the unique features of the program was the requirement that technicians maintain satisfactory military membership in their respective branch of service as a condition of their civilian employment, thus the "dual-status" label.  Retirement Provisions One of the issues Sen. Reed is concerned with is that technicians are regularly being denied the opportunity to reach full civil service retirement age. This practice goes against what Congress initially intended when they passed the legislation in 1968. In a report which accompanied the original bill, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) made it clear that technician employment was meant to be "career employment, with retention of qualified technicians in the military until age 60" (ref. SASC Report No. 1446, July 22, 1968, p. 12-13). Unfortunately, the National Guard has not honored that intent and technicians are often times involuntarily separated from the military by their respective service's retention board process well before they have reached civilian retirement age. These separation can occur even if the employee is satisfactorily performing their technician duties and in spite of the fact that they are fulfilling all military requirements. Aside from deviating from Congressional intent, the practice also serves to prematurely remove experience and knowledge from the technician workforce. This has a negative impact on production and reduces cost effectiveness.  In light of these inequities, two of the most important provisions in Sen. Reed's legislation deal with a technician's ability to reach full retirement age. The first provision would allow a dual-status technician to convert to non-dual status after 20 years of creditable technician service. The second would exempt technicians from being considered for involuntary separation by the Army/Air Force's qualitative/selective retention board process. Due Process and Whistleblower Protection       The vast majority of Federal civilian employees have a right to appeal and seek review of adverse administrative personnel actions by using the Federal grievance/arbitration process, filing an appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), filing a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), or seeking judicial review in US Federal Court. These options offer an employee the opportunity to have an independent and expert neutral party make decisions on disputes arising from adverse personnel actions, prohibited personnel practices, whistleblower disclosure, Hatch Act violations, and even USERRA. However, National Guard technicians are legally barred from using these appeal options even though they are Federal civilian employees. That's because the National Guard Technician Act does not allow review or appeal of adverse personnel actions beyond the Adjutants General of their respective state or territory. This bar applies to any adverse personnel action be it a reduction in force (RIF), removal, suspension, reduction in grade, or furlough even if the action was improper or against the law such as whistleblower reprisal.   This limitation on due process was documented by a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to Congress in December 2003. In that report GAO stated for the record that National Guard technicians face at least two “significant restrictions” in their civilian employment because most adverse actions cannot be appealed to the MSPB, and in the rare case that an action is appealable to the Board, the actual appeal is meaningless because under current law the MSPB “has determined that its orders are not enforceable against state National Guards, and for that reason, the board is without power to supply an effective remedy even in the instance of a federal employee who can prevail on the merits of a civilian whistleblower protection act claim.” Without oversight there’s always the risk of abuse. As a result, there have been many instances where Adjutant Generals have intentionally and/or unintentionally allowed adverse personnel actions to stand that would have otherwise been overturned by an arbitrator or the MSPB. Sen. Reed's bill seeks to extend technicians the same due process rights afforded to other Federal employees under the law in order to appeal and seek review of adverse personnel actions directly related to their duties as civilian employees. Miscellaneous Provisions S 2312 also contains provisions that could save taxpayers money. One of the money-saving provisions seeks to close a loophole in the law that permits Federal employees who volunteer for Active Guard Reserve (AGR) duty to "double-dip" by allowing them to earn and use 120-hours of annual military leave under 5 USC § 6323 during their period of activation. Cashing-in of the 120-hours is permitted by law even though the member volunteered for the tour and in spite of the fact that in the vast majority of cases the motivation for volunteering is that AGR compensation is higher than their normal civil service salary/wage. The annual savings to the National Guard, alone, are estimated to be about $10 million in payroll and $5 million in Federal retirement benefits. The savings for the entire Federal workforce could be significantly higher. Sen. Reed's bill also seeks two studies. The first is to determine whether it would make fiscal sense to allow National Guard technicians the opportunity to participate in the TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) Program. TRS is a comprehensive health insurance benefit available to all members of the National Guard and Reserve. The policy's individual premium is very attractive at just over $200 per month for family coverage, which is (in some cases) upwards of 50% cheaper than a similar policy under the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (FEHBP). However, since National Guard technicians are eligible for FEHBP, they are legally disqualified from taking advantage of TRS. This causes much discontent because, as we explained before, technicians are required to be in the National Guard in order to keep their civil service job, yet are prevented by law from enjoying one of the benefits of that required membership.   The other study contained in the bill seeks to find out exactly how much time Federal employees who are also members of the National Guard are spending away from their civilian jobs each year in order to fulfill military operational and training requirements. The military ops tempo since 9/11 has placed an unprecedented burden on members of the reserves, forcing them to be absent from their civilian jobs for repeated periods of time and duration. The study seeks to capture how long those absences are, and what, if anything, should be done about it. Lastly, the bill seeks to allow technicians the option of receiving either pay or compensatory time for periods of overtime worked. When the National Guard Technician Act was passed, it only allowed technicians to receive compensatory time for hours of overtime worked at a one-for-one rate. This is in sharp contrast to the majority of other Federal employees who receive a traditional overtime pay-rate of 1.5 (time-and-a-half). Taking into consideration the current fiscal challenges, Sen. Reed's bill seeks to allow technicians the option of receiving either compensatory time or pay for overtime worked, much like other Federal workers, but would retain the cap on that overtime compensation at the current one-for-one level, ensuring that the provision is cost neutral.      We applaud Sen. Reed for introducing this bill, and we encourage technicians to contact their individual Member of Congress and urge them to sponsor this legislation.

Organizations Opposing

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Users Supporting

I support The National Guard Technician Equity Act because... As Senator Reed has pointed out Technicians are expected to maintain currency in the military or risk being non selected following a retention board. Even though military requirements are met there is no gurantee of being retained.This is bad for someone as a Technician who has completed all military requrements and is eligable for retirement from the military with only five years left as a Technician It is worrisome for this individual to have to go before a retention board every year or two years depending on the extension granted until they are looked at again and hopefuly retained until the next board. If not selected the hopes of retirement from the Technician are gone. Dual status technicians who meet military retirement time in service should be allowed the option to retire from the military and keep their Technician job. Health Benefits as stated are also uneaqual. health benifit rates increase yearly. Cost of living allownce increases are for naught due to this. As far as double dipping is concerned,I would rather be allowed to retire from the military than to do it. Also due to assention in rank and the associated education for it. Most technicians run out of military leave and must use annual leave in order to fulfill education requirements and annual training.

1 year ago

I support The National Guard Technician Equity Act because... I have seen too many dual status technicians removed from their jobs due to this process. 17 this year in NY alone, 15 last year

1 year ago

I support The National Guard Technician Equity Act because... it will allow a National Guardsman that is satisfactorily performing their technician duties to reach retirement and continue to provide a needed service to the military until that time. This will keep highly skilled employees that are needed to maintain and repair military equipment, and also train young National Guard Soldiers in this useful skill.

1 year ago

I support The National Guard Technician Equity Act because it would right many of the wrongs done to the title 32 dual status federal technicians. With the legislation that has been passed the last few years and the military ops tempo we have had to sustain since 911, we are being driven more and more into regular army/air force personnel but without the benefits.

1 year ago

I support The National Guard Technician Equity Act because I am a soldier and I believe that there should be more equity between civilians and technicians. Technicians are performing mostly active duty military jobs, as many positions have a Military Occupational Specialty that soldiers must have in order to hold that job, yet they lose any bonuses, student loan repayment benefit included when they become technicians. This is unfair. It is also unfair that technicians are not allowed to choose Tricare Reserve which is a cheaper option of health care than the Federal Employees Health that is offered and required. Moreover, technicians only earn 8 hours of vacation leave a month compared to the 20 hours their Active Guard Reserve counterparts earn. This translates to 10 days of annual leave for technicians and 30 days of annual leave for Active Guard Reserve. I know the technician is in a dual status but there are so many disparities and disadvantages in benefits received that need to be balanced, especially because technicians are held accountable to military standards and regulations and will lose their technician job is they lose their military status, even if it is for medical reasons and they can still perform their technician job (which is the case in many administrative technician jobs). Help us get more equity in benefits and treatment.

1 year ago

I support The National Guard Technician Equity Act because...I am a disenfranchised, underapreciated, taken advantage of and underpaid (AGR pay=25% more & a living wage) dual status technician that does way more with way less than our active duty counterparts. I also support this act because I have been unjustly furloughed twice now this past year alone and have received a whole 1% increase over the last four years all the while living in a state with some of the highest cost of living and property taxes in the country. I support it because I receive no locality pay rate as GS employees receive and no longevity pay raises as GS and military employees receive which compensate for long term knowledge and experience. This bill is one small step in the dirrection needed to revamp how title 32 "dual status" technicians are compensated and treated. Leave our 120 hours of ML which should be 15 days not 120 hours, give us equal pay/living wages compaired to AGR pay, give us the same health beifits aforded to MILITARY UNIFORMED personnel, give us 1.5 overtime pay or 1.5 comp time. Give us fairness and equality now!

1 year ago

Users Opposing

I oppose The National Guard Technician Equity Act. The National Guard is a state organization and should remain as such. The federal government should not direct the states how to organize or manage these assets.

1 year ago

I oppose The National Guard Technician Equity Act because... this is a state by stae issue. The National Guard is a State organization and should be handled by the states. The Federal Government should not dictated to states what they should bay workers.

1 year ago

I oppose The National Guard Technician Equity Act because...I believe it is up to the States to work this issue, and without solid statistics about pay the statements are unfounded.

1 year ago

I oppose The National Guard Technician Equity Act because based on my experience as both a member of the Arizona National Guard and a Federal Dual Status Technician the proposed changes will not help the overall strength and readiness of the National Guard but will instead hurt recruitment, retention, and most importantly combat readiness. Dual Status technicians should not be kept past their time in service, nor exempted from fitness of duty evaluations because many technician positions do not have the same physical and mental requirements as the military does. A clerk filing paperwork in an office stateside doesn't need to wear body armor, carry a weapon, and be able to shoot, move, and communicate like any soldier is expected to do in a combat zone. Having a class of soldiers who are "exempted" from revue of these physical requirements would endanger other soldiers!

1 year ago

I oppose The National Guard Technician Equity Act because this bill is nothing more than a SHAM. It's only purpose is to (a) make an 'additional post retirement' position as 'military technician for those leaving the military after a 20 year career to a 'technical' position within the government in which: (b) they cannot be fired (c) mandates 'UNION' representation by a "bargaining unit" (d) mandates that if, for some reason, their position is abolished, the dual status technician can, and must be allowed to return to military service. (e) is NOTHING more than an attempt at 'feather bedding' a post retirement position in government service. There is SO much wrong with this legislation, I don't care to waste any more of my time in looking up any more of the various U.S. Codes referenced than I already have. As stated, this is a SHAM piece of legislation and is not even worth consideration. As a taxpayer, I strongly urge that you reject this dismal attempt at increasing an already bloated FEDERAL bureaucracy. I eagerly await a written response from BOTH of my Congressional Senators.

1 year ago

I oppose The National Guard Technician Equity Act is not a logical argument to want changes made to allow the technicians to take Tri-Care insurance because it is cheaper than the Federal employee insurance currently required and then argue for the Federal employee overtime rate versus the current lower overtime rate. One cannot pick and choose the best deal because of a dual personnel position. It is concerning when a union would be given the ability to override the National Guard decision as to what best serves the military mission--for retirement purposes, etc. Vote "No" on S. 2312.

1 year ago

Bill Summary

S. 2312: A bill to amend titles 5, 10, and 32, United States Code, to eliminate inequities in the treatment of National Guard technicians, and for other purposes.

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