Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today participated in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to receive testimony from members of the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves regarding their final report "Transforming the National Guard and Reserves into a 21st-Century Operational Force."

During the hearing, Senator Thune took the opportunity to recognize the contributions of the South Dakota National Guard and made the following comments:

"I'm proud to report that South Dakota is full of young--and not so young--patriots that have answered the call to duty. Despite everything that has been asked of them, they continue to answer the call. Per capita, South Dakota ranks in the top ten states in the number of total deployed service members and is within the top five states for recruiting and retention."

The Commission's final report contained 95 wide-ranging recommendations aimed at a sweeping transformation of the National Guard and Reserves.

"The National Guard and Reserves Commission Report will help modify our National Guard and Reserve forces to best meet our national security needs," said Thune. "We have relied heavily upon the National Guard and Reserves for the last six and a half years, and the pace of deployments have been unlike any in the history of our country.

"I'm dedicated to ensuring that the National Guard transitions from a 'strategic reserve' role to part of the 'operational reserve' that can operate across the spectrum of operations, including homeland defense and emergency response."

Congress authorized the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves in 2005 to recommend any needed changes in law and policy to ensure that the National Guard and Reserves are organized, trained, equipped, compensated, and supported to meet the national security requirements of the United States.