Governor Reeves signs Commercial Drivers License Bill

The National Guard Association of Mississippi is proud to work with Department of Public Safety, Mississippi National Guard, Mississippi Trucking Association, and Mississippi Veterans Affairs to create more opportunities for our Service members.

Earlier this year Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Austin, a member of the Mississippi National Guard and Life Member of the National Guard Association, reached out with the original proposal he was crafting with Representative Karl Oliver that would ultimately become HB 1486.

“Enabling the proactive steps taken by our members on behalf of their fellow Service members is one of the reasons the National Guard Association exists” stated retired Colonel Billy Murphy, current President of the Association. “Further, this legislation would not exist without the direct involvement of Department of Public Safety, Mississippi National Guard, Mississippi Trucking Association, and Mississippi Veterans Affairs.”

Mississippi’s Commercial Driver’s license qualification standards are found in Miss. Code §63-1-208. Those standards include certain testing requirements. House Bill 1486 amends those standards adding limited waivers to some of its testing. These waivers are limited in application to Service members who received training during their military career. It leverages the military training received by certain current and former Service members to reduce the time to license and costs incurred.

The guidance for establishing the qualifications standards for commercial driver’s license, also known as a CDL, are found in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulations. States are required to follow these regulations when enacting their qualifications standards for issuance of CDL’s. Within these regulations, the FMCSA established certain waivers to testing which recognize the value of the training received by Service members serving in certain military positions or occupational specialties.

The FMCSA compared the training received by Service members to similar civilian training and determined the military training to be equivalent to, and in some cases better than the civilian training.

House Bill 1486 incorporates into Mississippi’s qualification standards the testing waivers allowed by the FMCSA regulations. This includes the knowledge test, passenger endorsement test, tank vehicle endorsement test, and hazardous materials endorsement test. The bill received unanimous support in the House and Senate.

These waivers will provide Mississippi’s Service members better access to civilian careers in the transportation industry.  They also serve as an incentive to Service members stationed in Mississippi to remain and become a part of Mississippi’s transportation industry. This legislation would not be available without the organizations and departments listed above along with the support of the legislature as well as the direct involvement and support of Governor Reeves. Colonel Murphy concluded “We applaud our Mississippi Legislature and Governor Reeves on their constant support of our Mississippi National Guard.”

The Department of Public Safety will be adopting rules and regulations necessary to implement these test waivers as soon as practical after July 1, 2022, but no later than July 1, 2023.  More updates will be provided as the rules and regulations are implemented. Special thanks to Lieutenant Colonel Austin for providing the above cited information on the details of the new law.

NGAUS Board of Directors Report

Colonel Joe Hargett, the Chief of Staff for the Army National Guard, attended the NGAUS Board of Directors meeting in Washington, DC.  Colonel Hargett is the Area IV representative.  The Area IV region consists of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

Some of the noteworthy topics discussed are listed below in bullet form from his perspective.  Colonel Hargett will be available at the NGAMS Conference to further discuss these items.

1) Expect the Presidential Budget to be published this week with $576 billion in the base budget and $174 billion in OCO.

2) NGAUS priorities are continuing to be worked which include benefits parity, including education, retirements, and healthcare areas.  NGAUS continues to update these on their website at

3) Recently the issues surrounding the Title 32 Reform initiatives have been contentious in the DoD.   Generically, the topics include implications of the proposed modifications of the Insurrection Act which seem to replace the authorities of the Governors/Adjutants Generals with the authorities of Secretary of Defense in some cases.  This topic is being worked by the Adjutant Generals Association of the US (AGAUS).  As currently written, the changes would limit T32 authorities concerning deployment of the National Guard of the States where Title 10 authority/approvals are not required.  The implications are interpreted as overreach of authority by Title 10 leadership. Examples of the concerns are as broad as issues regarding domestic response authority through the management of individual mobilization authority- (TAG approval of an individual title 10 order), and many authorities in between.   This legislative action is interpreted as a slow, but steady degradation of the Governor/Adjutant General authorities when considered with other legislation passed in recent years, such as the Title 5 workforce directives.

4) Modernization continues to lead many conversations.  However, programs of record are likely to be the “bill payers” even if the programs are POM’ed for the full five year cycles.  As an example, if the Army’s Medium lift helicopter (Blackhawk) is currently the POM’ed program of record/end item, the budget for the future of the Medium lift platform will like degrade any modernization of the current end item.  This thought process may make sense from a program/budget cycle standpoint, it does not consider the implications of maintenance/stabilization and fielding plans.  I can discuss further if required.

5)  NGREA discussion.    NGB relies on unit set fielding to field major combat systems, such as M1, Blackhawks, etc.  For the states, the ideal place to use NGREA funding is the funding for MTOE shortfalls in the enabler units.  Historically, MS has used the NGREA funding to fund none MTOE or CTA authorized items

6)  Gen Lengyel, LTG Hokanson, LTG Kadavy, and Maj Gen Nordhuas briefed late Saturday afternoon.  Below are the highlights:
a) ANG expanding Recruiters
b) Continue to support recap and modernization programs of the C130H/J models
c) PFOS/PFOA/DERA funds- currently the funding process is unclear, however the intent is to investigate and mitigate.   Discussion- the ANG will likely be a proportional bill payer, i.e. if a responsible agency is identified, the cost will be shared by the ANG if appropriate responsibility is determined, i.e. 20% of the bill is an ANG bill.    More to follow.
d) LTG Kadavy discussed five priorities
i) Full time support – currently funded at 64% of 80% requirement.
ii) Accessions – continue to support efforts, i.e. Adding 1000 recruiters to the ARNG
iii) CTC Funding
iv) MILCON parity
v) Modernization – continue to support equipment parity.

Here are some of my, Colonel Joe Hargett, opinions and summary of themes after the meeting and many discussions by various senior leaders

1) Concurrent and Balanced modernization may replace Concurrent and Proportional Modernization.   Theory is those units fighting first, will be fielded first. Our NGB leadership should proceed cautiously with the methodology.
2) Southwest Board Mission will continue into the future.
3) Space Force Concept  – Anticipate that the Space Force Concept will likely develop into a Combatant Command versus another Service Component of the “Space Force”.  This concept will likely develop on par with other geographic combatant commands;  EUCOM, SOUTHCOM, CENTCOM, etc.

2018 NGAUS Conference

Please remember the 140th NGAUS General Conference and Exhibition, August 24-27, 2018, in New Orleans, Louisiana will be here before you know it. Please use the following link…/n…/register-for-national-conference/ for registration as spots fill up fast. Please contact Greg Taylor at 601-354-7555 or with any questions.

We look forward to seeing everyone in New Orleans.

COL Jody Mike Smith

2018-2019 NGAMS President

Sights and Sounds of Louisville, Kentucky

The 2017 NGAUS Conference is rapidly approaching.  You previously received an email outlining the agenda and attire for the conference.  However if you did not receive it or have lost the email you may find another copy on our website under “Events” then “National Conference”.  

We have compiled a list of local attractions in the Louisville, Kentucky area sponsored by our 2017 Patriot Partners.  Please utilize the websites referenced in the list to explore the Louisville, Kentucky area ahead of time so that you maximize the fun of the national conference and take advantage of the local attractions.  There are some truly amazing features that can be found so please take time to explore the websites and plan accordingly.  

Further, we have also listed the twelve triple crown winners of America’s “Big Three” races consisting of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.  At the conference we will have more materials on these amazing animals.  

Sights and Sounds of Louisville

2017 NGAMS Conference Information

The 2017 NGAMS Conference has arrived and we are excited that you will be joining us.
The events will begin Friday morning with golf and continue with other sporting events throughout the day. One change you need to be aware is that the fun run will be held at Fleet Feet Sports, 500 Hwy 51, Suite 2, Trace Station Shopping Center, Ridgeland, MS 39157.  Registration packets may be picked up Friday 10:00 am-6:00 pm at the Jackson Convention Complex main lobby.
We will have an official kick-off to the convention on Friday evening at 6:00 pm when our Adjutant General will do a ribbon cutting in the Exhibitor’s area, providing an excellent opportunity for you to talk with our exhibitors at their booths. Please take time during the evening to sample some of the wonderful food and drink that will be provided on the second floor gallery of the convention complex. As the night progresses we will have Category 6: Kings of Leon playing before everyone progresses back to the Hospitality Rooms located on the second floor of the King Edward Hotel.
Our breakfasts will begin at 7:00 am on Saturday, April 29th in the main lobby of the convention complex. As part of our new professional development series, we will feature Dr Craig Nation in a town hall forum titled “Beyond the Cold War: US and Russia in the 21st Century” beginning at 7:50 am in the second floor gallery. We are very excited to offer this opportunity.
Our business session begins at 9:00 am with the Spouses Event beginning on the third floor at 10:30 am. Spouses please wear your Kentucky Derby attire for this event.  Our Adjutant General will eat lunch with our company grade officers immediately after the business session in the third floor theater.  Our Units Dinner, beginning at 6:00 that evening, will conclude the convention.

I’ll remind our current and incoming NGAMS Board of Directors that we will have a meeting Sunday at 9:00 am on the second floor of the Jackson Marriott Downtown.  Breakfast will be provided.  Our new Company Grade Advisory Committee will meet Sunday at 10:30 am on the second floor of the Jackson Marriott Downtown.  Brunch will be provided. 

Attached, please find the 2017 NGAMS Agenda (with attire for each event), the Business Session 2017 Conference as well as the Hospitality Night Flyer, flyer for the Spouses Function, and listing for the King Edward Hospitality Rooms.  We have also attached is our Russian expert, Dr Craig Nation Bio and foxconnerflyer for the At Ease Gang speaker and visiting author.



2017 Legislative Results

We are very pleased to announce that for the third straight year all the bills introduced to the Mississippi Legislature have passed and have either already been signed into law or are only awaiting Governor Bryant’s signature. These new laws will be in place on July 1, 2017. We thank the members of the NGAMS Legislative Committee and Major General Durr Boyles and his staff, especially LTC (Ret) Tim Prater, for their leadership, assistance and efforts. Many of these new laws are the result of communication from our Service members on the issues that impact their lives. As we have stated many times, this is why it is so important for our Service members to be active members of NGAMS and to attend the state and national conferences.
We are especially pleased this year to not get our budget cut like so many other state agencies. Listed below are the specific bills by number along with a brief description. Please follow the link at the bottom of this post to read the history and full text of each individual item. It takes you to the front page of the Mississippi legislature. From there you may simply plug in the respective House and Senate bill numbers.
Finally, we are very thankful to the members of the legislature and their staff for working with us. It is a very difficult task they face each year but they were very accommodating to us throughout the process.
HB 336: Amends MS Code Ann. Section 33-4-1 to provide that monies in the Mississippi Military Family Relief Fund may be used to provide assistance to families that experience a financial hardship as a result of a family member who is a member of the Mississippi National Guard regardless of whether the family member is a resident of Mississippi.
HB 383: Amends MS Code Ann. Section 63-1-208 to require the commissioner of public safety to adopt rules and regulations that provide for the military skills test waiver for commercial driver’s licenses.
SB 2620: Amends MS Code Ann. Section 33-13-151, to revise the composition of summary courts-martial; Amends Section 33-13-159 to provide that the decision to grant a request for trial before a special or general courts-martial is reserved to the general court-martial convening authority, and to revise the maximum sentence which may be imposed by a summary courts-martial for a single offense; Amends Section 33-13-179 to revise who may convene a summary courts-martial; Amends Section 33-13-183 to provide that a military judge or a summary court officer shall preside over sessions of the court-martial to which he or she has been detailed; Amends Section 33-13-325 to increase the amount of fine which may be imposed by a military court for contempt.
HB 1026: Creates in the state treasury a special fund to be known as the “Mississippi National Guard State Active Duty Emergency Operations Fund” for the purpose of maintaining annual general fund budget restrictions and enabling the Mississippi Military Department to respond to domestic events as directed by the governor during declared states of emergency or in conjunction with approved emergency management assistance compacts.
SB 2967: Provides an appropriation for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the Mississippi National Guard for fiscal year 2018.

Apply for Life Insurance from the comfort of your home

Thanks to the talents and efforts of Lt Col Cydridge “Zeke” Gray, you may now fill out and email your application from the comfort of your laptop. Please follow the link below, fill the form and either
1- digitally sign then email to Tammy Graves at or
2- print the filled out form, manually sign and scan to Tammy Graves at or mail to Tammy at PO Box 627, Jackson, MS 39205.
Please ensure to include your email address and phone number.
We will send you a confirmation email upon receipt by our office. Please be aware that it may take a couple of days to process the form and send the email.
Instructions for completing the form are also included. You will need Adobe Reader and will not be able to send from a .mil account due to the encryption requirements. Please contact either Tammy Graves at 601-354-7555 or or Maj Gen (Ret.) Cris Crisler at 601-594-3571 or…/state-sponsored-life-ins…/apply-now/

2017 NGAMS Conference Registration


This email is to the POCs for the seven At Ease Gangs around the state. Please share this email with your members as we would love to have our retired officers join us at the conference. Additionally, a paper copy will follow in the mail.

Included in this email is all the information you will need to register for the 2017 NGAMS Conference. You will find attached the official conference letter with details on events to include attire for military personnel and civilians. All events for the NGAMS conference will be at the Jackson Convention Complex, located at 105 East Pascagoula Street, Jackson, MS 39201.

Hotels for the conference are the Hilton Garden Inn, Jackson/Downtown 601-353-5464, 235 West Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39201and the Jackson Marriott Hotel, 601-969-5100, 200 East Amite Street, Jackson, MS 39201. The rates are $91.00 per night, which does not include state and local taxes. You can make your reservations using Group Code: National Guard Association of Mississippi to ensure you receive the conference rate. The deadline for making room reservations is 14 April 2017.

For your convenience here are links to the conference hotels if you want to reserve your rooms online:

Jackson Marriott Hotel

King Edward Hotel

You may also register online or use the attached form.

We hope you make plans to attend. Should you have any questions please call MSG Greg Taylor at 601-354-7555 or email him at We look forward to seeing you in Jackson.

79th Annual Conference

Props to 2LT Daniel Rice

Earlier this week we received an online application for an active life membership from a new second lieutenant by the name of Daniel Rice of HSC, 890th EN BN. Its not highly unusual to receive an application as we have had several Service members take advantage of the active life membership special. Further, Daniel Rice had prior service so his commissioning was not his “first rodeo” with the military. The reason that we are writing an update on this particular application is due to LT Rice’s example of being everything that we strive to convey to our new officers.

As many are aware, a newly commissioned lieutenant is given a complimentary first year membership to NGAUS and NGAMS. Thus LT Rice didn’t even have to pay dues this year. However, LT Rice wasted no time making sure he became proactive in his future and the future of his fellow officers, enlisted Soldiers and their families. Further, LT Rice is now done with paying NGAUS and NGAMS dues for the rest of his active and retired career and saved himself literally thousands of dollars.

Thank you again Daniel for your example. We look forward to working with you.

Gov Bryant and MG Boyles to speak at Veterans Day Program

The War Veterans Memorial Commission is hosting a Veterans Day Ceremony at the War Memorial Building on Friday, November 11, 2016 starting at 1030. In honor of those that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country Governor Phil Bryant and Major General J. Durr Boyles, The Adjutant General of Mississippi, will both speak on their behalf. We would greatly appreciate any assistance you could give in publicizing and attending this program for this very deserving group of citizens. The ceremony is not very long but you will have an opportunity before and after the program to speak to attending veterans and enjoy refreshments provided by the Daughters of the American Revolution. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at 601-540-2794.

Veterans Day Ceremony 2016