Today, Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) spoke to the National Guard Association Conference. Noting that more than half of the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been National Guard members or reservists, Biden declared, “Your voice needs to be heard.” He said that Lt. Gen. Craig McKinley, slated to be the first four-star general to head the Guard, should have a seat at the table with the Joint Chiefs:
It’s time for a change. Change begins with giving the Guard a seat at the table. That table in the Pentagon where the Joint Chiefs sit. General McKinley, I not only want to see your fourth star — I want to see you sitting there with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen. Your men and women are serving and dying. Your voice needs to be heard.
A similar proposal was made in 2006, but it was rejected by Donald Rumsfeld and Peter Pace, then-Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, respectively.