WASHINGTON (Jan. 3, 2012) -- The chief of the National Guard Bureau now is a statutory member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley became a member of the Joint Chiefs on Dec. 31, when President Barack Obama signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.

"We are grateful for the efforts the executive and legislative bodies have gone to in placing the chief of the National Guard Bureau on the Joint Chiefs of Staff," McKinley said. "We look forward to working alongside the other Joint Chiefs to provide our nation's senior leaders with a fuller picture of the nonfederalized National Guard as it serves in support of homeland defense and civil support missions."

The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act provides $670 billion in spending for Defense Department programs and Energy Department nuclear weapons programs.

Other provisions that affect the National Guard include re-establishing the position of vice chief of the National Guard Bureau at the three-star level while rescinding the two-star position of director of the bureau's joint staff.

The new law also requires that National Guard general officers be considered for command of U.S. Army North and U.S. Air Force North, and it authorizes funding for the National Guard's State Partnership Program.

Page last updated Tue January 3rd, 2012 at 00:00