California Anarchy: Should President Trump Reprimand California’s Adjutant General?-Part II

 


Blood on their Hands

President Donald J. Trump may have been spot on when he said that the California National Guard’s bonus repayment scandal “can only happen in a corrupt system that lacks common sense and is managed by incompetent people.”

The President made the comments last October in response to Los Angeles Times Reporter David Cloud’s articles that the Pentagon is forcing nearly 10,000 California National Guardsmen to repay bonuses upwards of $60,000 plus penalties for erroneous Guard-Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP) policies.

“[The] rule of law and ethics has ceased to exist in the headquarters of the California National Guard,” National Guard Association of California (NGAC) President John Haramalis wrote in an October 5, 2016 letter to Gov. Jerry Brown. [Adjutant General David S] Baldwin has “turned a military headquarters into the equivalent of a criminal syndicate, meting out reprisals with impunity to anyone who fails to participate in their illegal schemes.”

The California’s State Active Duty (SAD)[1]  program would have to be the cornerstone of this Criminal Syndicate. To understand how SAD could go awry, some historical context is in order.

California’s SAD is a mix of active National Guardsmen, retired military, and California State Military Service (State Defense Force) state employees[2]  paid at Military Salary pay scales instead of the much less state civil service compensation rates.[3]  Originally intended as a cadre of political appointees supporting a political appointed adjutant general, the programs blossomed into a cadre of tenured employees with military training and experience unavailable in the private sector, but necessary to support Military Support to Civilian Agency (MSCA) operations.

Practically speaking, SAD positions are full-time Active Guard Reserve (AGR) jobs[4]  that are unfinanced under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In essence, a shortfall the California legislature funds through State budget appropriations. If, and when, federal monies become available, the State Military Department is required to either phase out these SAD posts, or convert these jobs to state civil service positions.[5]

The California Military and Veterans’ Code (CMVC) requires SAD jobs to mirror the Active Duty Counterparts as “closely as possible.” Although Congress enacted the Goldwater Nichols Act restructuring the Active Component’s Command staffs in 1986, there was no need for the California National Guard to restructure its command to mimic federal law since it was a military reserve to the state’s strong California Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) command and control response system.  Until 2001, The National Guard was designed to be last-in-first-out (LIFO) for state emergency response, and not an active partner in preplanning and preparing for civil emergencies.

But this changed with 9-11 and the emergence of a new threat. An enemy who rarely slept, saw our institutions of government, economic, military, and recreation as symbols of American power and decadence, and celebrated the collapse of two world trade towers and penetration of a commercial airplane missile into the halls of the Pentagon as Allah’s Devine Intervention.

America was caught off-guard, and because of al-Qaeda, the National Guard had to adapt from a LIFO military reserve into a “100% pre-crisis planning and habitual training partner with its states emergency managers, and National Security agencies. So testified California’s 42nd Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Paul D. Monroe before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee in December, 2001. [6]

Monroe said that each state National Guard’s fluid and routine” homeland defense methods and systems would vary, and envisioned a California National Guard command staff in synch with the Goldwater Nichols Act. He designated the State Military Department as a “Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ),” and retitled many SAD jobs as “Joint Staff Positions. ”[7]

The conversion required research and development, eventual amendment to the CMVC, and ultimate retraining of SAD Joint Staff occupants. Joint Transformation also required what most Reserve Component Commands lacked at that time—officers with Joint Experience, training, and education. To compensate, Monroe hired retired Active Duty Colonels with Joint Experience to assist and mentor the CNG’s transition to post 9-11 Joint modernizations, including John Moorman, Jeff Davis, and William “Bill” Hatch.[8]  These officers were to mentor talented junior officers for future stabilization of the transformation.[9]

***

Unknown to Monroe, but later forewarned in the 2004 National Defense Strategy (NDS), the “Natural forces of inertia and resistance “was in play inside the state headquarters. COL David S. Baldwin[10], Lt. Col. Joseph Righello, Brig. Gen. Louis Antonetti, and Col. Daniel Nelan[11]  took umbrage with Monroe’s hiring of “outsiders” whom they perceived as Monroe cronies. ”  They feared the prospects of having their SAD Job descriptions changed, the gateway  to lucrative retirement jobs closed, the inconvenience of participating in intensive Joint Training programs, possible phase out of SAD positions, and worst of all, losing control of the SAD program.[12]

When Monroe’s successor, Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Thomas Eres, took the joint command concept to the next level, this embedded resistance targeted the Information Synchronization, Knowledge Management and Intelligence Fusion” Center (Fusion Center) he was formulating inside the State Headquarters Joint Operations Directorate.[13]  The Antonetti-Baldwin clan went underground, organized politically, and interacted with lawmakers through the SAD program to spin the Fusion Center as a “Spy Unit” monitoring private citizens and maintaining secret files on them.[14]

Thus, before Trump coined the term fake news, this underground resistance was allegedly inventing it. Cloaked in whistleblower protective vests, they floated the “Spy Unit” fairytale to Sen. Joseph Dunn, an opportunist who piggy-backed it onto the Patriot Act controversies.

Patriot Act criticisms included federal government maintenance of databases on private citizens and privacy invasion. Prior to allegations that the U.S. Central Command Intelligence Analysis was “cooking the books” on critical military intelligence regarding the fight with ISIS (the Islamic State), the SAD resistance group was all but extinguishing military intelligence’s role in California’s Homeland Defense dousing it with a fantasy of Guardsmen infiltrating Code Pink.

“We have received a volume of information about domestic surveillance units around California” within the Guard, Dunn said at the time.

Dunn convened a Senate inquiry[15]  into the management and administration of a federal component, a matter that was in the domain of Congress and the United States Army Inspector General—who fulfilled their duty by investigating and debunking Dunn’s outrageous “Spy Unit ” accusations.[16]  But Dunn was chasing the National Spotlight trying to pin nine other state National Guard fusion centers to the Patriot Act Controversy. He was unconcerned about any damage his McCarthyism fervor was having on the internal politics of the state Military Department or California’s Homeland Security posture.

***

Brig. Gen. Charlotte Miller tried to expose this SAD cancer during Baldwin’s confirmation hearings in 2012. She warned California Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and the Senate Rules Committee of Baldwin’s “disturbing” history of rewarding friends with SAD jobs, and punishing enemies through “laymen interpretations” of the federal codes to deny “redress and grievances.” But the lawmakers were overwhelmed by the complexity of State Military Department’s federal and state systems, and limited in their understanding of their oversight of the California National Guard—none, since it’s part of the Armed Forces under the authority of the United States Congress.

In the end, the Governor’s Mandate Brown handed Baldwin didn’t resolve the Bonus Fraud scandal, it exacerbated and expanded corruption.[17]  And Baldwin, in fact, did everything Miller warned Steinberg  and the Senate Rules Committee  Baldwin would do.[18] .

His staff interpreted Senate Bill 807, part of the SAD Reform Act, as the application of federal laws governing the Armed Forces to SAD employees whom the Department of Defense Investigator General recognizes as “State Defense Force Actors.” As Miller accurately predicted, the Baldwin Command applied “laymen interpretations” of the federal codes” to punish his enemies and deny them “Redress and Grievances.” Then rewarded friends with no equivalent military joint experience and joint professional military training and education with the outgoing SAD enemies’ jobs[19]-–informally lowering SAD professional military job criteria.

***

Dunn’s felonious privacy rights and surveillance propaganda ruptured the unique relationship between the National Guard and grassroots law enforcement agencies. Because the National Guard is exempted from the Posse Comitatus Act[20],  it can hand-receipt evolving classified military intelligence technology, such as Secret Telephone Units (STUs) that Fusion Center was orchestrating in 2005 to include operators for securing, encrypting and decrypting STU-messages to state and local law enforcement. Thus connecting them to the international intelligence community monitoring the likes  of Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik who slaughtered 14 Californians and maimed 22 others in May 2015.

I wonder if San Bernardino authorities had access to the international intelligence community’s information-sharing highway through the National Guard if this attack would not have materialized? As well as whether Californians would have an extra layer of security if local law enforcement could back channel the “red flags” and “credible threats” in its database onto this international intelligence-sharing highway via secure National Guard Military Intelligence systems—data sharing that Senate Bill 54 seeks to further hamper.

Dunn’s “Posse Comitatus” law, SB 1696 was arguably apocalyptic to the California National Guard’s Force Protection posture. Although his legislation proposing a $250,000 fine and imprisonment for using the National Guard as a “Posse Comitatus law” was ridiculous and in conflict with Title 18 Code § 1385 -The Federal Pose Comitatus Act-resulting in a quiet death;  the fact that the so-called “whistle blowers” were able to imply that Military Intelligence Officer Col. Robert O’Neill, Lt. Col. Doug Hart, and myself were part of a “Mythical Spy Unit” in the court of public opinion and SB 1696 analysis, was a clear signal that the Baldwin clique had license to libel and slander with impunity. Thus, intimidating future California National Guard intelligence officers from doing their jobs.[21]

This could be fatal to California National Guardsmen on the streets if political correctness prevails and MS-13 gang members, radical Islamic combatants, drug cartel distributors and By Any Means Necessary (BAMN)anarchists whom Sanctuary State policies deem “private citizens” can slip through the State Threat Assessment Center (STAC) monitoring to launch attacks on responding law enforcement officers, firefighters, ambulance workers and Guardsmen[22].

***

Is, as President Trump sees, a Corrupt System happening in the California National Guard? Or what Haramalis’ more bluntly says, a “Criminal syndicate?” That’s a matter for the courts, not this post, but I tend to think that internal infighting and a shift from an apolitical to political relationship between California lawmakers and the State Military Department has derailed the Baldwin Command from the Homeland Security and National Defense missions.

It’s become a case of the tail wagging the dog. A federal National Guard subordinated to a SAD Command Staff embeds with specious military qualifications and certifications–some of whom aren’t even compliant with military height, weight, and fitness standards–and lacking the skillsets necessary to mobilize, prepare, and sustain Federal National Guardsmen that could be cast into the volatile and unpredictable fray of the Sanctuary State. A prospect made even more grim with a Governor coming unhinged, an Anti-Trump Sanctuary State Lobbyist Eric Holder chomping at the bit to take on the Trump Administration in the courts and streets, and a California Legislature that’s overstepped its authority in California National Guard oversight.

For the President to have California National Guard troops’ backs, his Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, could reconsider the 2014 DoD Inspector General Recommendations that the Obama Administration non concurred. DoD offered several recommendations for sanctioning legal, permissible authority for it to work directly with State Defense Forces and SDF actors. In California this could take the form of DoD interface with the State Military Department State Personnel Director, and the California State Comptroller to legitimize SAD Joint Staff duty and command positions as professionally military trained and educated staff. This might entail DoD’s advice and guidance for reorganizing the SAD Joint Staff Command; upgrading job descriptions; requiring “professional military training and education” for SAD joint staff and commands; and reevaluating current staff to determine whose retained, retrained, or dismissed.

The Baldwin Command staff is simply unorganized and incohesive to direct Federal Homeland Defense missions,[23]  and it’s doubtful the Sanctuary State will properly use the California National Guard to repel civil unrest.  It’s questionable whether  a Sanctuary State will condone cooperation with DoD and federal government security agencies to preparing troops for rioting and civil unrest contingencies, forcing JFK-Wallace face down II, and pressuring the Trump Administration to consider invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807 to suppress insurrection arising from the state’s elected leaders’ rebellion against federal immigration laws.

***

California lawmakers can regain credibility as a governing body by stopping this political chess game in which Californians, its law enforcement, and military institutions have become the  pawns. California Lawmakers are overdue in their responsibility for exercising  the oversight for which they are answerable – the cadre of the Office of the Adjutant General (OTAG) and the handful of civil service and SAD employees. They can begin by recognizing SAD employees as “State Defense Force Actors” as the DoD Inspector General sees them, stop obstructing National Guard management and administration, and cooperate with the Trump Administration to “drain the swamp”, so to speak.

California lawmakers can reciprocate Trump Administration “drain  the swamp” methods by: 1) repealing Senate Bill 921 (Sections 55, 56, and 57 CMVC), the State Whistle Blower’s Act;[24]  2) Ensuring the Adjutant General is subordinating the California Military Veterans Code to the federal laws governing he Armed forces and the United States Constitution (the Army Clause, if you will) as the CMVC originally intended. 3)  Stop the California State Military Department pork-barreling NDAA monies designated for Youth and Community Programs Task Force into SAD jobs for retiring peers or to fund Military History Museums belonging to a state entity separate from the military. [25]  Finally, enact legislation to facilitate DoD interface with the State Military Department’s state personnel Directorate, and the State of California comptroller to legitimize SAD jobs as positions with a credible military nexus.

California lawmakers should redirect the Baldwin Command back to the future by steering them back on course with HSPD-8 and Congressional Mandates for post 9-11 Command and Control Modernizations,[26]  or risk having “blood on their hands,” if they don’t already do now.

And the Sanctuary State apparently appears to smell blood in the water, and like sharks circling in on their prey, ready to chomp at Constitutional provisions for governing armies, and take a bite out Trump diplomacy with Mexico to feed their rogue ideology that’s in an antithesis to our Constitutional values and democratic lifestyle.

-End-

My next post “Filling the Swamp,” will discuss how the SAD program has evolved into a culture in which Governor  Brown and state lawmakers operate under the delusion of being a Commander in Chief of a active state militia that defies the Constitutional parameters for militias. And how dangerous Brown’s leadership is to the Country and our National Interests by entertaining the fantasy that California  is an independent country that can engage in its own diplomacy with Mexico, while restricting the President’s options to use the California National Guard to help secure the border, if he so chooses. 

________________________________________

Footnotes & Personal Notes:
[1] Full disclosure is warranted here. I was state active duty for 16 years- I’m a SAD retiree. I agree with Baldwin that the SAD program is valuable. But I disagree that active California National Guardsmen on SAD duty should receive SAD pay equivalent with their federal rank (drilling pay)—as the law was amended in 2012. SAD jobs should be mission-driven benchmarked against the duties and responsibilities of the military rank for which that position mirrors on the Military Pay Charts–not the individual’s drilling federal rank.
This is what the California Military and Veterans’ Code (CMVC) intended. Unlike fulltime Active Duty and Reserve (AGR) personnel, drilling full time SAD are compensated for drills and annual training ranging anywhere between $15,000 and $60,000 annual pay plus an additional $27,000 in annual Bachelor Allowance for Housing (BAH) that is untaxed. SAD pay grade below an individual’s drilling rank isn’t punitive.
I also don’t agree that SAD BAH should not be counted toward California Personnel Retirement System (CALPERS) service year credits or with six year, instead of six-month, probationary periods –especially in California. A six year probation will not retain the best and the brightest who can be dismissed on a whim; and SAD personnel in properly structured positions will earn their retirement–especially in California–where Defense Support to Civilian Agencies (DSCA) take their toll on soldiers and their families. If the majority of SAD posts are converted to Joint staff-related job classifications, reform will occur under the Joint Chief Staffs “Joint Duty Assignment List (JDAL)” annual review to validate mission required jobs, and phase out those no longer mission relevant. Converting the JDAL will also create a promotion path that Baldwin argues is needed.
[2] The California Military and Veterans Code was amended in 2012 to designate active Federal California National Guardsmen, retired Military, the and the California State Military Reserve as “Service Members”, despite the fact that none can deploy for Federal Military missions on SAD orders or are part of the Military Support to Civilian Authorities (MSCA)/Defense Support to Civilian Authority (DSCA) mission.
They are part of a State Entity under the authority of the Offices of Emergency Services OES, or in the case of the California State Military Reserve History Command (the only state defense force that has an Army Mission)—the California Military History Foundation (CMHF). Technically State Defense Forces cannot be paid or supported with DoD dollars or resources. The California National Guard/State Military Department is technically in violation of U.S. Code Title 32, Section 109 for partially funding CSMR positions and history command with federal monies laundered through the State Comptroller. A legal gap that the Department of Defense (DoD) Investigator General offered several recommendations for closing in its April 30, 2014 report titled, “Evaluation of Department of Defense Interaction with State Defense Forces,” but to no avail since the Obama Administration’s Under Secretary of Defense non-concurred allowing the Baldwin Command to function askew of the law.
[3] Like any state or private sector employee in the National Guard, an active federal California National Guardsmen on SAD continues to earn his/her drilling and annual training salary, is allowed an additional 15 days military duty, and 30 military days leave. Like their Active Duty Counterparts, they receive 30 days annual leave, but unlike their Active Duty brethren,  their SAD are treated as civilian sector jobs that are protected under the Service member’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA) if they are federally deployed.
[4] Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Soldiers serve full-time and enjoy the same benefits as Active Duty Soldiers. With an Active Guard Reserve job, you receive full pay, medical care for you and your family, and the opportunity for retirement after 20 years of active service.
[5] California State Auditor Report 2008-406, February 2008, p. 39
[6] Page 6, Testimony of Maj. Gen. Paul D. Monroe Jr., December 13, 2001 before the Committee on the Judiciary: Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Government, the protection of our homeland against terror, focusing on policy, planning, and resource allocation responsibilities coordination, future operational solutions. Maj. Gen. Paul D. Monroe Jr., Adjutant General, California National Guard.
[7] Hurricane Katrina underscored Monroe’s vision, when inexperienced National Guard and civilian leadership failed to manage the military flow of transportation and relief into the disaster-stricken region. Missions were delayed, supplies left on airline tarmacs for days, and military units were funnel-necked and pushed into vacated buildings until logistical operations were organized. Consequently, lives were lost and destruction occurred unnecessarily despite the fact that thousands of military and civilian personnel and resources were on-hand, nearby, or backed up because the command systems for flowing in transportation, logistics, and missions were not in-place. A definite signal that Monroe’s vision was ahead of its time and Eres’ Fusion Center and Joint Command staff concept was on pace. In layman language, the “natural forces of resistance to change: had us locked in  the 20th Century Last in First Out construct instead of post 9-11 modernizations such to include Joint Reception Staging Onward Movement and Integration (JRSOI) systems.
Compelling testimony to the deadly consequences of this primitive command systems is a Sept. 5, 2005 E-Mail between William Craig Fugate, Director, Florida division of Emergency Management (the Future FEMA director) and COL Alan Petty, Florida National Guard J-3, in which Fugate wrote: “This has not been a good week for emergency management. I am ashamed of what I have seen in the other states and of their local officials. So much death and suffering that could have been reduced. It is even more important than ever to tell states how it should be done. And it’s not about having a plan. It’s about building a team that can execute the plans and adjust to the situation.”
Congress and the National Guard Bureau started catching up with Monroe’s vision and Fugate’s observation when it mandated the Reserve Components transition to a joint system in 2004 NDAA; and NGB/USNORTHCOM initiated Joint training, education, and exercise programs for state National Guard Staffs that merged the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and FEMA’s incident command system (ICS) training with the military’s joint training programs per a charter with the Department of Defense. Katrina spawned the Dual Status Command (DSC) concept for integrating Federal Active Duty, Reserve Components, and the National Guard under one commander–either a Guardsmen or an active duty  or reserve component general granted a temporary state commission–responsible to the state’s Adjutant General and Governor direction, and compliant with the President of the United States direction.
[8] I had the privilege of working for one of those alleged Monroe Cronies in 2010. True to Monroe’s foresight, COL William Hatch proved a shrewd task master and did what the SAD staff lacked the experience to form and manage—a Joint Planning Groups (JPG). It was quite a challenge to convince State Military Department’s Directorate and Division heads to send those SAD personnel designated as “Joint Planners” to weekly JPG planning sessions—about 15-20 people. About 90% did not have the required training or experience for the job; some were never in the military and were on SAD because they were a crony who joined the California State Military Reserve just to get the SAD job somewhere along the line. Hatch asked me to bring these people along, or prod along, depending on experience and attitude. I spent many late hours after work because I was giving “on the job Training,” helping these people to get up to speed. I didn’t mind doing this since Hatch was watching out for me. Hatch knew we had to work with the best we had because the State Military Department wasn’t going to promote or recruit the best available for these SAD jobs—these were crony jobs.
[9] The Civil Support Weapons of Mass Destruction (CST-WMD) evolved from Monroe’s and his peers 2001 testimonies and input for support at the tactical levels. Later the Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense and Explosives (CBRNE) joint task forces emerged. The National Guard, and California in particular, was still struggling for a consensus for establishing the strategic Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) and Joint Training Plan (JTP) for training and exercising all the tactical and strategic commands in unison with state Office of Emergency Centers, FEMA, and NGB/USNORTHCOM in a fluid and routine” methods, as Monroe phrased it, remains dysfunctional largely because of turf wars between the California National Guard and the Army and OES and FEMA. Brig. Gen. Ellsworth directed our staff to develop a JTP in compliance with DoD and NGB Guidance, and COL Lawrence Cooper brought the JTP to completion in 2011. But because of the political impositions and requirements heaped on SAD staff, and because enrolling part-time drilling staff assigned to JFHQ Joint Staff positions and involving them with interagency and Involving them with interagency and intra component exercises would increase competition for SAD jobs, it has never been fully implemented.
[10] Based on conversations with Baldwin, I think a case can be made that he genuinely believed Monroe hired cronies. There was also some serious internal fighting between Baldwin and some of these individuals that were not entirely Baldwin’s doing. I was going down that same path after Monroe hired SAD retired annuitant COL Ernie Zuick to oversee Public Affairs Command Information and subordinating me and my projects to him. But it became clear after a while that Monroe recalled Zuick because of his talents, skills, and experience as a magazine editor and layout design artist, and legislative experience with the Department of Defense and the Congress of the United States through the Quadrennial Reports. COL Zuick was later touted as the poster boy for Cronyism during Dunn’s McCarthyism, and had unfair and untrue criticisms heaped upon him in the press. The behind the scene jokes this resistance made about him were totally uncalled for. In hindsight, I think Baldwin would have perhaps been the best adjutant general California ever had if he were mentored a little longer, cut ties with Righello, Antonetti, and Nelan, and maybe aligned himself with peers who would challenge him like John Haramalis.
[11] Antonetti, COL Matthew Dana, Righello, Lt. Col Jeffrey Smiley and Nelan convened daily, usually at 3:00 p.m., at the state Military Department’s patio picnic table to smoke cigars openly discussing Maj. Gen. Thomas Eres, sometimes with distain, other state National Guard Headquarters officers, and goings on with the legislature and the San Jose Mercury News to include the leak of Eres records, Sen. Joe Dunn, and the need for “whistle blower protection, “as anyone working at the state headquarters at the time could attest.
Baldwin generally was not at the table, but it was obvious that he was included in the loop based on his familiarity of what was happening and uncanny clairvoyance of announcing officers to be subjects of Contra Costa Times/San Jose News articles the evening prior to publication; his sudden appointment to Communications Director by the Governor’s office—while simultaneously with being the J-3 (operations Directorate), was suspicious; and hid directorate’s installation of a surveillance camera in the adjutant general’s reception area also raised eyebrows and questions of who was in charge until Brig. Gen. John Alexander’s, the temporary adjutant general replacing Eres, ordered them taken  out.
[12] While on SAD in the J-7 in 2007, Col Warren Alberts, California’s first Deputy Joint Training, Education and Exercise Officer (J7) was grooming me for the J7 Directorship. Under his watchful eye I developed a comprehensive Training, Education, and Exercise program that we briefed to then Director Joint Staff, Brig. Gen Louis Antonetti. At first Antonetti said he wanted  California in the “lead not the tail” for all Joint Training Programs the National Guard Bureau (NGB) was offering state National Guards. Antonetti blessed the J-7 staff visit to NGB J-7 directorate near Washington D.C., and Joint Force Headquarters in North Carolina.
When I returned and briefed his deputy Col Dan Nelan, recommending that all SAD Staff Officers be required to re-qualify for their jobs by completing Joint Staff Training and the NGB/USNORTCOM’s Joint Staff Training programs and participate in Homeland Security exercises, Nelan responded that this training was for future commands and that perhaps majors and captains should take the course, and SAD employees if they choose. When I suggested that it was urgent for SAD occupants to re-qualify to comply with the National Security Strategy (NSS), Nelan exploded shouting, “Don’t lecture me about the National Security Strategy!” I understand the National Security Strategy much better than someone who’s spent 20 years as a public affairs officer.”
Antonetti apparently changed his tune after this exchange concurring with Nelan that SAD staff should be in the tail to avoid the strenuous and challenging NGB/USNORTHCOM training. In Nelan’s and Antonetti’s defense, NGB J-7 strongly recommended all state National Guard command staffs undergo the training regardless of pay status, but took the position that this remain voluntary on the state’s part.  NGB is sensitive about a Governor being the “Commander’s in Chief,” and therefore are standoffish in asserting their authority. When NGB officials told this to me, I bluntly stated my opinion that we took an oath of the Constitution, that the President has given us our marching orders via Homeland Security Presidential Directive-8, and that Congress has mandated how we would fight terror in the Homeland. To me it wasn’t an option for state National Guards to organize and train joint staffs, it was their duty and anyone designated a joint staff or joint command assignment should either buck up,  or resign from their job to make room for those who want to fulfill their duty.
[13] The fusion center consolidated two cortical command functions into one directorate–the J-3 (operations) and the J-2 (Intelligence). The Operations Directorate is the principle Command Staff Element around which all other staff functions revolve, personnel (J1), Logistics, the J2,  (J4), Strategic Planning (J5), Communications (J6), and Training, education and exercises (J7). The J2 (Intelligence) are the eyes and hears of the command.
[14] At first, an unknown group was publishing an email newsletter attacking Monroe. Then former California Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Frank Schober attacked Monroe through Sacramento Bee Columnist Dan Walters. Years later a Nevada National Guard Colonel claimed he connected Baldwin and his inner circle to Schober.
[15] Lt. Col. Joseph Righello testified for the Department. The testimony was obviously staged with Dunn and the Committee peppering Righello with scripted questions as to whether the National Guard maintained files or monitored private citizens to which Righello responded with “neither can confirm nor deny,” “I have no knowledge,’ or to “the best of his knowledge” and other trivial nonsensical sound bites.
Righello and I grew up together in the California National Guard, and Righello knew as well as I did that California had a strong Counterdrug Program which indoctrinated anyone even remotely associated with the program in intelligence oversight and destruction of information on  private citizens if stumbled upon inadvertently through the chain of custody rules. I had challenged Righello about this prior to the hearing to which he replied that perhaps he would have me called before the Senate to testify on spying. I picked up the gauntlet on the condition that my testimony be unscripted. Obviously, a subtle threat on Righello’s part as a warning to keep my mouth shut and to signal his power. I believe to this day that Righello was deliberately deceptive at that California Senate Hearing, unless he was under attorney’s guidance—which I would question, especially in this case because it made the California National Guard appear guilty in the court of public opinion.
[16] The California Attorney General also reviewed it finding no evidence of spying or maintaining files on private citizens.
[17] In addition to the bonus repayment scandal, the Baldwin command has been dogged by the botching of 1,500 Line of Duty (LOD) determinations, welching on Interpreters bonuses that deployed with California National Guard units, and the evasion of sexual assault, racism, and retaliation allegations against Baldwin’s key staff. This list continues to grow, the latest being California Governor Jerry Brown overstepping his authority to stop the federal transfer of COL John Haramalis to  the Arizona National Guard, and the alleged forced retirement and alleged manipulations of Maj. Joseph Lovelace‘s performance reports in retaliation for exposing misconduct for failing to use federal funding fenced off for Camp Roberts CA to improve its National Guard housing and training facilities.
[18] Steinberg is now a Sanctuary City Mayor of Sacramento; and the Senate Rules Committee is not headed by Senate President Kevin de León who’s actively involved in the Sanctuary State and has publically said that members of his  own family are “undocumented”—euphuism for illegal. I would think that ethically, de León should recuse himself from any Sanctuary State politics or writing any Sanctuary State-related legislation.
[19] Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-8 galvanized the Federal Government and facilitated integration of all the Nation’s capabilities by strengthening security and resilience through systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation, including acts of terrorism, cyber-attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters. It shaped national preparedness, has a shared responsibility of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and individual citizens. It necessitated restructuring the command systems and expanded the Military’s joint command system to federal government and state emergency management systems. It introduced Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) to facilitate this transformation. National Guard Bureau Chief, Lt. Gen. Steven Blum negotiated a charter with the DoD for Joint State Staff Training, education, and exercises programs that integrated NIMS and ICS training with military Joint Staff Training.
[20] California Guardsmen would have been under either Title 32—Control of the Governor—or SAD paid by Title 32 funding laundered through the California State Comptroller. Posse Comitatus restrictions do not apply to the following persons…. 2. A member of the National Guard when not in Federal Service,” DOD Directive No. 5525.5.b.2. Proposed 32 C.F.R. pt. 182 applies to the National Guard “when under Federal command and control” or when they activated in “title 32, U.S. Code status to fulfill a request for defense support of civil authorities” as approved by the respective governors of affected states. Proposed 32 C.F.R. § 182.2(c).
[21] Col Baldwin and Righello promoted Contra Costa Times and San Jose Mercury  News articles that the mythical California National Guard Spy unit was being disbanded; and told author Bob Aldridge in his book, (page 100) American In Peril, that O’Neill was “terminated” for being in the spy unit, and implied that Lt. COl. Doug Hart,  the public affairs director, and I were somehow  associated with it, saying Hart was moved and I was told not to talk with the press. These are half-Truths at best.
I believe California National Guard intelligence and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES)  were not working in unity of effort with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2015 when the FBI stung two California National Guardsmen for selling guns, protective vests, and ammunition from Southwest Border National Guard armories to Mexican Drug Cartels. The breach wouldn’t have happened if the Guard and OES had that habitual relationship with FBI and other federal intelligence agencies as intended under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8.
[22] I realized how intrusive Dunn’s propaganda had been after Col. Kevin Ellsworth volunteered me for the Joint Task Force Vista (JFTV) J-3 (operations) director in 2007 after firing his first three directors. I had a military intelligence officer with a top secret clearance in my directorate that I wanted on the San Diego Area’s Joint Intelligence Working Group. My request was initially denied by higher headquarters J-3—Baldwin’s Directorate. I suspect Righello, still occupying the Government Affairs Directorate chair, was behind it.”
It was because of a tough, aggressive Joint Task Force Commander, COL Nathan Reddicks, and the then Joint Division Commander Brig. Gen. Kevin Ellsworth that we were able to work around this blockade. On March 28, 2007, the JTFV played a crucial role in breaking up MS-13 methenamine production and smuggling operations thanks in part to our liaison on this JIWG and the ability to share more of our observations from the operational level with the Border Patrol Intelligence. The operational feedback was also significant. We learned that MS-13 was organized, having sophisticated night-vision googles monitoring our insertion teams to skirt their methenamine movements eastward into Arizona South of the U.S.-Mexico border. Without all the other operating systems such as this intelligence  sharing, the fence by itself is useless.  But this military intelligence antithesis became a trend.
In 2009, the Joint Planning Group (JPG) for the Pandemic Influenza Plan I facilitated when our junior intelligence officers were reluctant to draft an Intelligence Annex because of the uncertainty of the Dunn hogwash. During the Golden Guardian 2010 Terrorism Exercise, the California National Guard resisted including the FBI in our exercise for tracking radical Islamic Threats necessary to protect both the Civilian and Military support forces in simulated play. One needs a handle on creditable threats to prevent them from using asymmetric weapons, like improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against first responders to intensify terror and destroy confidence in Government’s ability to protect its citizens.
In EXERCISE UNITED RESPONSE—the first exercise to test the Dual Status Command—I directed, I had to reach out to a senior Department of Water Resources manager and California Highway Patrol intelligence officers to coax our J-2 (Military Intelligence) into simulating the use of STUs and other military intelligence hardware to simulate the exchange of “trade secrets” between private utility companies and emergency response crews repairing grids. This intelligence sharing and trust is crucial to avoid prolonged power outages such as that experienced in the New York areas in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. While directing a Northern California Flood Emergency Disaster Response Exercise (EDRE) in 2012, California National Guard intelligence officers became argumentative about using terms like “gang signs,” and “Intelligence Oversight” in fear of political correctness and being interpreted as spying on private citizens.
[23] Under Brig., Gen. Kevin Ellswroth and Joint Staff Chief of Staff COL Nathan Reddicks directives in 2010, the J-5/7 (Strategic Communications/Joint Training Education, training, and Exercises) were working with the United States Northern Command and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to qualify California National Guard Exercises as National Level Exercises (NLE), or Capstone Exercises, on the National Exercise Program (NEP); and expand the Joint Training Information Management System (JTIMS) to include Reserve Component Joint Staff Civil Support Task List (CSTL)/Homeland Security  Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) assessments as part of the Defense Readiness Reporting System (DRRS) in the Joint Training Information Management System (JTIMS) database.
A mouthful, but in layman language  it was a  groundbreaking undertaking that would have qualified the California National Guard and OES for federal funding and training to enhance the state’s homeland defense. In a NLE, OES, National Guard, USNORTHCOM, and FEMA would participate in annual drill (one to two week exercise) to test California’s Homeland Security Plans and command systems, identify security gaps, than structure  training and resources to prevent  such gaps  like San Bernardino. Having the California National Guard and OES onboard with the NEP would have set the stage for the National Guard, Reserve Components, and Active Duty to quantify and qualify its training needs for Congressional and federal grant funding.
We tried to follow through with the Ellsworth-Reddicks initiative after Baldwin was appointed adjutant general in 2012, with a letter to USNORTHCOM and FEMA to elevate EXERCISE UNITED RESPONSE—the first exercise to test the Dual Status Command—and  California’s Golden Guardians as NLEs on the NEP,  but the Baldwin Command Staff simply did not have the experience, military education and training to bring it to fruition; or other voluntary Homeland Security systems and tools near completion at that time.
Unlike his predecessor, Matthew Bettenhausen, OES Director Mark Ghilarducci , in my  impression, was more interested in turf wars with  FEMA and the federal government more than protecting Californians.  Consequently, there is no objective, qualitative, and quantifiable measures for gauging either the California National Guard’s SAD-laden Command Staff, or OES readiness or habitual working relationships with  FEMA and federal security agencies for Homeland Defense in California, other than the Adjutant General’s and Ghilarducci’s subjective declarations of readiness  based on  their subjected judgements embedded in the after-action reports that their staffs evaluate and assess.
[24] The DoD IG says Federal laws governing the Armed Forces of the United States do not apply to State Defense Forces and State Defense Actors. These are a state entity separate from the federal National Guard, which the DOD says inappropriately applies federal laws governing the armed forces, including the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UMCJ). Therefore, there is no need for SAD IG. To this  point, it also seems the State Investigator General has evolved into a bureaucrat protecting the Baldwin Command in retaliation to the whistle blowers dogging his command. Recent articles have emerged of allegations that the Baldwin Command hurting the careers, finances, and reputations as vengeance for anyone failing to participate in their illegal schemes. Even when the State IG mawkishly sides with the solder, he has no teeth to follow through and historically retracts from any judgments that contradicts the current adjutant general.
[25] The ChalleNGe and Starbase Youth Programs are outstanding programs but not a good fit for the NDAA. Jerry Brown’s Oakland Military Institute (OMI) from which NDAA monies are splintered to support in addition to the $3 million OMI receives as a Charter School Foundation under California’s Charter School initiative. With the Trump Administration’s Charter School programs on the horizon, perhaps the ChalleNGe and Starbase programs can morph into charter schools funded by private foundations and using National Guard bases for military technological and science exposure. Although these programs are well-intentioned and show results, using federal tax-dollars to pay SAD general officer salaries for the program director and Colonel salaries for his top brass is inefficient and distracts from the overall readiness and training of the Federal National Guard forces.
[26] NGB/USNORTHCOM designed an outstanding Joint Task Force Commander’s Course (JSTC) for state National Guard officers, Reserve Components, and Active Duty commanders, as well as Joint Staff State Training Courses (JSTC) for National Guard, active component, Reserve Component, and civilian state emergency managers staffs supporting these commanders at the tactical level. The courses integrate the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and FEMA’s incident command system (ICS) training into the military joint training making them pertinent and efficient training programs for state emergency and Homeland Defense missions.
One of the last recommendations I made before retiring in August 2013 was to either cut the Headquarters SAD positions by 10%, then partial these monies out as  temporary SAD training days for designated Joint Task Force Commanders and designated joint staffs, that should be assigned to the personnel manning documents (Annex A of the various Operational Plans supporting FEMA-directed emergency scenario missions). Individuals assigned to these posts would remain on orders for three years to participate in training, planning, and training for the Operational Plan mission then activated when OES or FEMA operationalized the order for the emergency. My  thoughts were to partial out 14 to 21 SAD man days, if you will, that those assigned would be paid in addition to the 48 annual training days they receive federally for their federal Army or Air Force mission. Such a system would meet both the federal and Joint Staff’s “Joint Experience” criteria for  Joint Matters and open the career path for Reserve Components for promotion  in  Joint Officer slots without needing a wartime deployment or federal peacekeeping mission to acquire joint experience. It improves readiness under the Presidential Homeland Security Directive-8, and, to use Maj. Gen. Baldwin’s words,  it creates more promotion slots for those wishing to advance to SAD Joint Staff Postiosn at the State Headquarters.
More important, it would save taxpayers millions of dollars in the long run as wells as lives. If such a system had been  in place during the recent Oroville Spillway emergency, it wouldn’t have been necessary to alert all 23,000 National Guardsmen or call-up as many as they did–only that would actually be needed for war gamed missions. Upon the Office of Emergency Services Order, the Flood Response Operational Plans would have been become Operational orders  upon OES orders. Then the JTFs assigned to the Department of Water Resources (DWR), with whom they would have trained during those SAD Man Days, to execute missions they jointly war gamed during those training days. I am sure that the DWR’s operations center was operating at full speed and in charge of the mission during the Oroville Dam Spillway mission. But if it wasn’t, it should  have been since they are the lead agency for this mission under the HSPD-8 concept.
The recent Sacramento Bee article  “Oroville Dam documents  kept secret by state, federal officials,” piqued my interests as wall as other retired emergency management warriors.” My experience with Mark Ghilarducci, and his SAD inside circles at the time, was to “water down” our After Action Report findings–or to use Ghilarducci’s staff’s words, “Don’t air our dirty laundry in public,” knowing that the public could never see them because of their sensitivity to security, while having fluffed up reports if ever revealed. If interested in pursuing the truth, the Bee might continuing badgering the California State Government and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the private consultant reports plus FEMA after action reports to determine, or clear, Ghilarducci, the California National Guard,  and the Department of Water Resources (DWR) of suspicious wrongdoing to include: purposely causing additional damage to the Spillway, approving unnecessary contracts, and activating unneeded National Guard support that was not needed so has to personally and organizationally profit from the disaster. When the President declares a disaster declaration, as Trump did with Oroville Spillway, the federal government reimburses the state for the estimated damage and response.  I was disturbed with internal allegations that such monies were used for Golden Handshakes to retiring SAD employees in 2009–monies that many felt should  have been returned to the state coffers rather than glad-handed to retiring SAD employees in amounts as high as $250,000.
The political challenges here is that Joint Task Force Command assignments would have to be rethought. Because of cronyism, As a general rule, SAD Officers enjoy the advantage of accelerated promotion in their part-time federal as Battalion, Brigade commanders  and staff,  while assigned fulltime as a SAD joint staff members. This creates a conflict if an emergency  occurs since one cannot be a tactical Joint Task  Force Commander or staff member while simultaneously being part of the Joint Strategic Command Staff. Cronies with no joint training, education, or experience are often selected to assume the subordinate tactical role, giving them credit on paper for command time, and additional SAD pay  for the emergency.
Under the proposal we pitched, the Department would do away with this inefficiency by creating an Joint Career Path option where SAD Joint Staff couldn’t be both, choosing either the Joint Task Force Command and having a drilling Joint Force Headquarters on the NDAA approved manpower slot assume the strategic command role, or vice versa. The M-Day assignees would be listed on the operational annex (Personnel) for the Operational Plan fitting the response scenario with three year orders that would obligate them to the mission when triggered. In addition, they would participate in 21 days SAD-funded Annual training and exercises with their civilian emergency managers and incident command counterparts that’s in addition to their 48 days of Federal National Guard drills and annual training. The proposal meets the federal law Joint Matter statutes for “Joint Experience” and provides an avenue for National Guard and Reserve Components to promotion as a Joint Command Staff officer and commander without having to deploy for a wartime or federal peacekeeping missions as the Reserve Components must do now to for promotion as a joint officer.
I personally  pitched a similar argument in my Joint Research Paper titled: “Operation Jump Start: Experience Heeded.” Despite naysayers claims that this National Guard Mission was not a Joint Mission for which Reservists should receive credit, I wrote it anyway receiving the Joint Force College Writing Award for Joint Operations, and convincing the DoD Joint Staff that it met the legal and policy criteria for Joint Experience–awarding me credit for promotion as a joint officer. I was the only officer of 145 who self-nominated themselves for joint experience credits to be awarded points. This could work for the Reserve Components with California’s SAD be the model for the Nation, but would require amending the California Military and Veterans Code (CMVC) and synchronization with federal codes for joint operations to allow California’s other Reserve Component officers from  the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps to apply and compete for these three-year assignments. The alternative of course would be for California Lawmakers to recognize that the SAD program in its current construct is obsolete and then dissolve it. I personally believe the SAD program should move forward with Joint Command Modernizations that will provide better homeland defense and more efficient, less costly, defense support to civilian authorities (DSCA). It’s in  the best interests of the California Taxpayers and citizens.

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