have introduced bills that are fallout of recent events involving the Alaska National Guard.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski wants the Government Accountability Office [GAO] to look into how the Defense Department investigates serious allegations within National Guard units and whether the investigations are effective. Sen. Mark Begich would increase the role of the Pentagon’s National Guard Bureau to order investigations into wrongdoing without waiting for a request from a state’s governor or adjutant general.
Sen. Murkowski's bill asks
the GAO, the independent congressional investigation agency, to spend up to a year studying how the National Guard polices its ranks and to clarify the roles of the inspectors general of the military services and the Defense Department in looking into Guard malfeasance. She also wants the GAO to study whether the Uniform Code of Military Justice should be extended to the Guard.(At present, the UCMJ applies to state military personnel only when they are in federal service ("Title 10 status").)
Begich, a Democrat, filed his measure as a stand-alone bill. It would clarify the authority of the chief of the Defense Department’s National Guard Bureau to initiate investigations in a state even when the governor or adjutant general won’t, or when state and federal law are in conflict. It directs final reports of the Office of Complex Investigations to be released in the same manner as Inspector General reports from the military branches or the Defense Department, which generally are made public though are heavily redacted.
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