By Staff Sgt. Jim Tortolano
A bill updating state law governing the California National Guard and the California State Military Reserve goes into effect on Jan. 1, and has a potentially major impact on the CSMR.
Senate Bill 807, proposed by Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), was signed into law on Sept. 17 by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Details of the new law’s impact and implementation are still being worked out. Calls to the military and veteran’s committee of the state Senate were not returned by time of this posting, but the bill appears to do several things affecting the CSMR.
It will require that anyone called to state active duty by the State of California be a member of the California National Guard or the CSMR. In the later case, such a soldier must have a minimum of two years service.
Soldiers in the CNG who retire federally from the National Guard would join the CSMR. In addition to National Guard and CSMR Soldiers who are called into service for state emergencies such as wild fires and earthquakes, California also employs civilians who are under “state active duty” orders. This law would require them to join one of the components of the state military department, most likely the CSMR.
Depending on the number of state employees affected, this could result in a surge in troop strength for the State Military Reserve.
SB 807 also touches on age limits.
“When a service member reaches 64 years of age, or when federal recognition of his or her grade or rank is withdrawn, whichever occurs later, the service member shall be retired from state active duty,” reads the bill.
According to Californiality, a website devoted to state news, “this new law specifies a mandatory retirement age of 64 for members of the California State Military. A leaner, younger, more potent defense force is the apparent goal.”
As of this writing, it’s not clear whether the age limit would apply to all CNG and CSMR Soldiers, or just refer to eligibility for state active duty.
The complete text of the bill is here: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201120120SB807