Singleton & Pennacchio Bill to Make National Guard Members Eligible for Certain Veterans’ Benefits Clears Senate

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chair Troy Singleton and Senator Joseph Pennacchio that would make New Jersey National Guard members who have been issued an NGB-22 form eligible for certain veterans’ benefits cleared the full Senate today.

The NGB-22 form is a National Guard discharge document similar to a DD-214 form issued to veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Current law exempts certificates of honorable discharge from the reserves or the organized militia from access as a public record, but only the DD-214 is specifically mentioned.  This bill clarifies that an NGB-22 form is also exempt from access as a public record.

“The history of the National Guard – in the form of local militias – predates the founding of the United States. They are the very roots from which our military was formed,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington).  “National guardsmen and women have proven they deserve many of the same benefits as the rest of the military, especially as their roles have become more international.”

The bill, S-2538, would allow members of New Jersey National Guard with an NGB-22 form to receive certain benefits designated for veterans.  Under the bill, a member of the New Jersey National Guard with an NGB-22 would be eligible for a veteran identification card and the display of veteran status on a driver’s licenses.

The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 31-0, and next heads to the Assembly for further consideration.