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COL Randall C.
Sounds like a technical interpretation of the law by the DOJ. According to federal law:

It shall be unlawful for a member of the armed forces, knowing of the activities or objectives of a particular military labor organization—
(1) to join or maintain membership in such organization; or
(2)to attempt to enroll any other member of the armed forces as a member of such organization.

Furthermore, a "member of the armed forces" is defined as (A) a member of the armed forces who is serving on active duty, (B) a member of the National Guard who is serving on full-time National Guard duty, or (C) a member of a Reserve component while performing inactive-duty training.

So, it's (technically) illegal for a reservist to belong to a 'military labor organization' while in a traditional status (IDT), but it's not if they are order to state active duty (SAD).

However, it will be interesting to see how this meshes up with the state laws. While many do understand that National Guard Soldiers (and Airmen) do not fall under T10 UCMJ unless they are federalized, each state has a State Military Law (SML) that they do fall under. Most SMLs mirror UCMJ to some extent, but there are going to be difference between them.

One state may say it's illegal for National Guard Soldiers/Airmen to unionize at the state level in their SML while another says that you can belong to the union, but that it's illegal for the union to do any of the traditional "enforcement"/collective bargaining things they do (for example, Virginia's SML makes it illegal (although it is only a misdemeanor) for anyone (or group of people) to deprive/obstruct/annoy a member or an employer...

Personally, I think it's a "technical" vs "spirit" thing.

If limits are not placed (assuming the state allows it) on the 'military labor organization' this could indeed have far reaching ramifications. If the New York governor calls orders the NYNG to active duty (SAD) for ice storms, what if the 'union' says that they won't show up (on strike) unless they are given the latest/greatest thermal woobies. What about hazardous duty pay when the Washington or California governor want SAD Soldiers to assist in fighting wildfires. Etc...

Will be interesting to see how it plays out.
SFC William Farrell
SFC William Farrell
2 y
Well said Colonel.
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