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Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Extending Certain Benefits to Reservists and National Guardsmen.

June 20, 1949

I HAVE today signed S. 213, 81st Congress, an act to provide benefits for members of the reserve components of the armed forces who suffer disability or death from injuries incurred while engaged in active-duty training for periods of less than 30 days or while engaged in inactive-duty training.

The purpose of this act is to extend to reservists of all branches of the armed services (including national guardsmen) who are killed or injured while rendering service or undergoing training under competent orders for short periods of time the same benefits they would receive if serving for longer periods.

At the present time, members of the regular establishment and reservists on extended active duty (which means active duty in excess of 30 days) if killed or disabled in line of duty are entitled to receive certain benefits with respect to hospitalization, pay, death benefits, and, if permanently disabled, retirement benefits. On the other hand prior to the enactment of S. 213, reservists on duty or undergoing training for less than 30 days have had only very limited protection in some of these respects.

The new act makes protection uniform regardless of whether the period of duty or training is more or less than 30 days. This will cover inactive duty training, including drills, as well as active duty training. It will also cover training duty injuries regardless of whether the individual is serving with or without pay. S. 213 applies to both officer and enlisted personnel. Its provisions are retroactive to August 14, 1945, when the fighting ended.

The principle of this legislation was recommended in the reports of the Committee on Civilian Components (the Gray Board) and the Advisory Commission on Civilian Pay (the Hook Board).

S. 213 will eliminate a discrimination which has existed against reservists and national guardsmen. I believe that it will contribute materially toward promoting our training program for these reserve components whose morale and efficiency are so vital to our national security.

Note: As enacted, S. 213 is Public Law 108 (63 Stat. 201).

Harry S. Truman, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Extending Certain Benefits to Reservists and National Guardsmen. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/229625

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