Federal funding for the National Guard to support the whole-of-America response to COVID-19 under Title 32 of the U.S. Code is transitioning to state active duty on July 1, 2022. In Title 32 status, the National Guard has been under the command and control of their states’ respective governors but funded at 100 percent by the Department of Defense (DoD) under a mission assignment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). After July 1, 2022, governors may still activate National Guard personnel to State Active Duty (SAD) as necessary for ongoing COVID-19 response and may receive reimbursement from FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) program at a 90 percent federal cost share.
For more than two years, the National Guard has been instrumental in the nation’s collective response to COVID-19. National Guard mobilization through FEMA-issued mission assignments DoD, as directed by the President under U.S. Code Title 32, has been one of the largest and longest direct federal assistance missions in FEMA history. At its peak, as many as 40,000 National Guard personnel were deployed in an array of missions ranging from COVID-19 testing and vaccination, transportation and distribution of personal protective equipment PPE and other supplies, staffing augmentation at healthcare facilities, sanitation, and security. Thanks in part to the work of National Guard members, the nation has made significant progress in the fight against COVID-19. Today, fewer than 6,000 service members remain on Title 32 orders, the lowest total since the initial mobilization in April 2020.
Transition of National Guard to State Active Duty
DOD has provided detailed instructions to the Adjutants General and the Commander of the D.C. National Guard regarding the expiration of Title 32 orders and the release of National Guard personnel from those orders by July 1, 2022. After that time, National Guard service members are not authorized to remain on orders in a Title 32 duty status for COVID-19 response missions; however, FEMA will continue to provide FEMA PA funding to states and territories that activate their National Guard to SAD. This process should be familiar to all of our state and territorial partners, as it is the standard process for disaster response. Under this process, governors must employ their National Guard in SAD status, in accordance with applicable state or territorial processes for authorization of orders and associated pay and benefits, to conduct COVID-19 operations.