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Ingram Becomes National Guard Director as Senate Considers Adding Guard to JCS

National Guard photo of William Ingram

On Monday, Army Maj. Gen. William E. Ingram Jr. both assumed his role as director of the Army National Guard and received a promotion to lieutenant general, according to a DVIDS report.

Ingram was made the Army Guard’s 20th director with the last official director serving in April 2009, according to reported comments by Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley, the chief of the National Guard Bureau.

As Ingram was honored and promoted, the Senate discussed whether or not to institute a separate change to the National Guard and give Ingram’s Guard colleague, Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley, a promotion of sorts according to a report by The Hill newspaper.

The proposed add-on to the defense authorization bill would elevate McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau and the Guard’s top uniformed officer, to also be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) sponsored the amendment, which passed in a voice vote, according to The Hill. A similar proposal made an appearance in the House as well.

The Hill reported that Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs chairman, has previously voiced opposition to the idea since the Guard chief does not have the same budget authority and already sits in on meetings.

Leahy, who sponsored the amendment, said in a statement reported by the Hill that the work the National Guard and Reserves have done earns them “a seat at the table where our most important military decisions are made.”

During his remarks, Ingram also spoke highly of the Guard’s achievements.

“As I assume the position of director, I can assure you that the Army National Guard, after 10 years of war, is undoubtedly the best that we have ever been,” he said according to DVIDS.

The amendment that would affect the Guard’s role is one of more than 100 included on the defense bill, to be considered this week, according to the report.

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