The future of the Pennsylvania National Guard was a focus of an informational hearing before the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.
Pennsylvania Adjutant General, Major General Anthony Carelli, says at 19,000 strong, the Keystone State has the second largest Army National Guard and the fourth largest Air National Guard in the country.
But, membership has been on the decline.
“We have less people in the Pennsylvania National Guard this year than last year. We have less people than we had three years ago, and the trend has been going down,” he said. “We’ve been losing a lot of our great experienced people, and that’s our lifeblood.”
To help the PA National Guard retain members, Carelli urged lawmakers to support legislation which would create the Military Family Education Program to provide the spouses and children of National Guard members who re-enlist for another 6 years with 10 semesters of tuition-free higher education.