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New Legislation could benefit Washington State Guard members

A piece of legislation being discussed at the state capitol would help members of the Washington State Guard who desire to serve past current age restrictions.

“I have some incredible Guardsmen that are 68 and are mentally and physically capable and would love to continue serving,” said Rep. Brad Klippert, representative from the 8th district and commander of the Washington State Guard. “This is a great thing for these proud Washingtonians.”

Currently State Guardsman can serve to age 64 and can continue serving, year to year, to age 68. Under House Bill 2736 the age limit on enlistment would be eliminated. The Adjutant General would have full discretion to decide on the period of enlistment and can extend an active member of the Guard beyond the age of 64 if the member can capably continue their service both mentally and physically.

Those seeking an extension would also have to go through a State Guard review board.

Last year the bill went to the Senate on the last day of session and was never pulled to the floor to be read.

“Our State Guardsmen are those individuals that step up when our National Guard is federally activated,” said Rep. Christine Kilduff, representative from the 28th district and prime bill sponsor. “I really believe that the State Guard members that want to serve our state should be able too.”

The Washington State Guard serves at the direction of the state’s Adjutant General. Members are trained personnel to support civil government authority, focused on the protection and preservation of life or property during natural or manmade disasters or civil emergencies.