September 1, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC -  Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, delivered opening remarks at the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) markup. 
Rep. Gallagher's remarks as prepared below: 

I thank the Chairwoman and my fellow subcommittee members for showing their professionalism and dedication to bipartisanship through the unanimous adoption of the Military Personnel Subcommittee Mark at the end of July.  

This year’s markup process led to some outstanding legislative outcomes that included many of the priorities of our Members.  This year’s mark includes vital provisions that support our war fighters, military families, and retirees… and gives them the care and support they need, deserve, and have earned.   

Specifically, this year's proposal continues to build the Space Force with an increase in end-strength.   However, the decreases in end-strength for the Active Components of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force will be monitored closely… to ensure we do not stretch the Joint Force too thin.  This proposal also includes an extension of special pay and bonuses for service members in high demand fields… and supports a military basic pay raise by 2.7%.  

Another important section in the proposal requires the Department of Defense to review, assess, and standardize the definition of professional military education across the Joint Force.  There is also the requirement for a report on how the art of wargaming is used at the War Colleges and military postgraduate institutions.  Additionally, there is a report that looks at manning of military specialties requiring digital technical skills and artificial intelligence to include a review of the need for a US Digital Service Academy.  

The proposed mark requires comprehensive reform of domestic violence policy and programs in the military.  The proposal expedites the process to authorize exceptional eligibility for certain benefits to victims of domestic abuse. It also strengthens military installation relationships with civilian Family Advocacy organizations… and aims to improve awareness and training about Family Advocacy Programs for military leaders and beneficiaries.

Additionally, the proposed mark would continue to build on critical reforms in previous NDAAs and requires further refining of sexual assault prevention and response programs for service members and victims.  It also provides additional oversight of the Military Health System on military medical end strength until a review of medical manpower requirements by the GAO can be conducted.  It also requires a study of the Autism Demonstration Program, a blast injury health policy review, and a review of the Department of Defense contribution to the National Disaster Medical System…
I am looking forward to our discussion and debates here today.  Being on Military Personnel those range from critical race theory to sexual assault reform to firearms safety to the force health protection of the Joint Force as it relates to COVID-19 and the Wuhan lab… and many other important topics the affect our men and women in uniform and their families.  

In conclusion, I want to thank Chairwoman Speier and my colleagues on the subcommittee for their considerable work on this mark.  I yield back.  

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