ADJUTANT GENERAL DELIVERS CONDITION OF NATIONAL GUARD ADDRESS
Des Moines, Iowa – Brigadier General Timothy Orr, Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, delivered the annual Condition of the Guard Address to a special joint session of the Iowa Legislature today.
“The Soldiers and Airmen of the Iowa National Guard, and their families, have made significant sacrifices in pursuit of this success on behalf of the American people. More than half of our Soldiers and Airmen currently serving are combat and deployment veterans. More than 14,000 of our personnel have served in the ongoing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, peacekeeping duties in the Balkans, and Sinai Peninsula, and domestic support missions in Iowa and across the country,” said Gen. Orr.
Orr said the National Guard is transitioning from a Strategic Reserve to an Operational Reserve to make it easier to build and sustain readiness while making deployments more predictable for families. While only 200 Soldiers and Airmen are currently deployed overseas, a large deployment of over 3,000 is expected later this year.
“I’m extremely proud of and humbled by our men and women in uniform. The Iowa National Guard is one of the best in the nation and my thanks to Brigadier General Orr and all the members of the national guard who have defended our country overseas and helped provide critical domestic support to Iowans, especially during the devastating storms of 2008,” said State Representative Bob Kressig of Cedar Falls.
The Iowa House is also working on a package of bills to help military families during deployment. It has already approved a bill to provide unemployment benefits for military spouses forced to relocate, which comes from interest on the unemployment fund, not from employer contributions. Other initiatives to help families facing relocation include protecting spouses from withdrawal penalties if they must leave college mid-term and directing state agencies to help them transfer teaching certificates or professional certifications to their new home state.