Under the Radar

Sound Off: Should Guardsmen and Reservists With Zero Active Duty Call Themselves Veterans?

Here's something that kind of slipped under the radar during the December 2016 transition period: President Obama signed H.R. 6416, a bill that says National Guard and Reserve retirees who had zero active duty time are now eligible to be referred to as veterans.

Here's the language from the bill that makes the change official:
 Any person who is entitled under chapter 1223 of title 10, United States Code, to retired pay for non-regular service or, but for age, would be entitled under such chapter to retired pay for non-regular service shall be honored as a veteran but shall not be entitled to any benefit by reason of this honor.
This is obviously a big deal for a lot of men and women who served in the Guard and Reserves. The bill doesn't expand any benefits but allows them to describe themselves as veterans.

For generations, there has been a bright line between active duty service and guard/reserve service. What do you think? Should the intense training that National Guard and Reserves units undergo give them this honor? Is the act of maintaining a ready force make these men and women veterans? Or should that title have been exclusive to those with active duty service? Sound off!

 

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Under the Radar