Roll Call: These National Guard members also serve in Congress. Now they're fighting COVID-19.

Max Rose has been deployed with his unit to build field hospitals in New York, but he’s not the only lawmaker who pulls double duty.


Other members of Congress are signaling readiness. When Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard dropped her presidential bid on March 19, she highlighted her role as a major in the guard. “I feel that the best way I can be of service at this time is to continue to work for the health and well-being of the people of Hawaii and our country in Congress, and to stand ready to serve in uniform should the Hawaii National Guard be activated,” she said. 

Adam Kinzinger, who previously was deployed on a mission to the southern border in February 2019, hasn’t heard anything, “but if/when he does, he will comply in accordance with the law and his orders,” Kinzinger’s communications director, Maura Gillespie, said in an email. The Illinois Republican flies reconnaissance aircraft, conducting aerial surveillance.

What about someone like Steve Stivers, who has climbed the ranks over more than three decades in the Ohio National Guard to become a brigadier general? He hasn’t been given a notification and doesn’t expect one, said his spokeswoman, AnnMarie Graham. As in many states, the governor has activated a small portion of guardsmen, who are doing things like distributing food and scouting locations for makeshift hospitals.


Members miss work during more mundane times, too. Kinzinger, Mississippi’s Trent Kelly and South Carolina’s William R. Timmons IV have all missed votes this Congress on separate occasions due to their service obligations with the National Guard, per notifications in the Congressional Record. The branch requires regular “drill,” training periods that amount to one weekend per month plus a two-week period each year. 


The full article can be found on the Roll Call website here.