A Letter From The Commander - In - Chief


April 17, 2003


On behalf of the citizens of New Jersey, I thank you for your service in the New Jersey National Guard. In time of war and domestic crisis, the National Guard provides vital security for our State and nation. In times of natural disaster, the National Guard protects life and property against forest fires, floods, and snowstorms. I want you to know that the people of New Jersey greatly appreciate the sacrifices you and your family make.

Many National Guard members called to State Active Duty may suffer financial, healthcare and other hardships. I want you to know that I am taking action to reduce those hardships.

For National Guard members who are ordered to State Active Duty for 30 or more days, I am seeking legislation to increase State Active Duty base pay to a minimum of $100 per day and to provide medical coverage for members and their eligible dependents. I am pleased that Senate President Codey and Assembly Speaker Sires have agreed to have that legislation introduced in the near future.

In addition, on April 1st I signed an Executive Order granting additional benefits for National Guard members including:
  • The Division of Motor Vehicles will provide automatic extensions for drivers’ licenses, vehicle registrations and inspections for National Guard members who are engaged in active duty.
  • The State will create a Scholarship Program for children, spouses and dependents of New Jersey military personnel killed or severely disabled during the war on terrorism or war in Iraq. Also, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority will extend application deadlines for Tuition Aid Grants for National Guard members on active military service.
  • Guard members who had to leave a state college or university when they were called to active duty will be able to receive refunds of registration, lab, and student fees or have the option of re-enrolling without new fees.
  • The New Jersey Department of Labor will provide job training through its one-stop career centers. Counselors will conduct special seminars for employers and job search workshops for returning Guard members.
  • For the next six months, a half price discount will be provided for military personnel traveling on New Jersey Transit trains and buses. Military personnel will need to show proper military identification.
  • The Department of Banking and Insurance will undertake necessary action to prohibit cancellations of professional liability insurance policies while the policyholder is on active duty; to suspend the policyholder’s obligation to pay premiums during the term of his or her period of active duty; and to require renewal without lapse of policies that expire during active duty, if application to renew is made within 60 days of return from active duty.
  • The Office of the Attorney General will strictly enforce all laws to protect military personnel against discrimination related to housing, employment, education, public accommodations, and credit applications due to active duty service.

The Adjutant General, Brigadier General Rieth, will be providing additional information to all National Guard members through normal communication channels. If you have any questions related to the increased benefits the State will be providing to National Guard members, please go through your normal chain of command.

Again, thank you for your service. May God bless and protect you and our nation.

With All Good Wishes,

James E. McGreevey