Members of the West Virginia National Guard will now be able to count training hours during times of armed conflict toward their state retirement benefits.

On Tuesday, Kanawha County Circuit Judge Carrie Webster ruled in favor of retired state Adjutant General Allen Tackett who sued the Consolidated Public Retirement Board for service credits that, he says, have been unfairly denied to him and to other Guard members who worked for the state.

“I felt that the (Consolidated Public) Retirement Board was giving the National Guard a raw deal and they wouldn’t listen to me at all, so I had to take them to court to prove my case,” General Tackett told MetroNews.

“The way the Guard sacrifices and serves this state, then for the Retirement Board to not give them the retirement benefits that they’re due that, to me, was just a shame.  It shouldn’t have been done that way.”

Under state law, public employees get credit towards their retirement for time served in the military.  There are several different credits but, up to now, training has not been one of them for National Guard members.

General Tackett says he does not think the Legislature ever intended for the retirement rules to be interpreted in a way that allowed those in the U.S. Army Reserves to count the training time, while those in the Guard could not.

“We could be at the same place, doing the same training, doing the same thing and they would get credit and we wouldn’t.  There’s certainly nothing fair about that,” Tackett said.

With Tuesday’s ruling, General Tackett’s annual state pension, which stands at about $28,000, could grow by about $9,000.  He says he plans to give the additional money to National Guard Foundation to help other Guard members.

“It’s not the money issue, it’s fair treatment to the members of the Guard,” General Tackett, who retired in 2010, said.  He had served as Adjutant General since 1995.

“I make plenty of retirement pay to survive, for me and my family, but there’s a lot of Guardsmen out there who’ve retired who don’t.  It was all about the principle and treating the Guard fairly.”

Officials with the state Consolidated Retirement Board have 30 days to review the ruling and decide on a response.

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Comments

  • Jim

    To "WV Patriot", although I do not agree with your edification of Tackett, it was well put. However, I stand on my previous post and I doubt that he holds a master's degree or even a bachelor's degree for such a lofty office. He was however, a master politician.
    Finally, one ccould make the case that the military has become a petri dish of politics, to the point that military commanders cannot exercise their 1st Amendment rights to express their personal views which may differ from politicans without fear of reprisal, including ending brilliant military careers. Military commanders are charged with assessing situations, making recommendations to civilian authorities, without hanging on the coat tails of senators, congressmen or governors or wetting their fingers and checking the political wind and running to get out in front of the herd, with the hopes of currying favor.

  • Trevor

    A man stands up not only for himself but for his fellow soldiers, regardless of rank and here you are attempting to degrade his character. Shame on you all who have done so.

  • Msgt. Tim Blankenship

    David, what you say about MG Tackett is so not true. He was an enlisted man's general, and he truly showed in more than one way that he cared about the soldiers and airmen under him. A lot of the other generals could learn a lot from "Big Al" Tackett! (And I say this with utmost respect!)

  • Jean

    Thanks General Tackett for fighting for this credit for the Guard members!!!! Thank you for your service.

  • Darrell

    Well Jim until you know the man your bad mouth I would suggest you keep your negitive comment to yourself. He was a great commander and a better man outside of the uniform. So I will bite my tongue when I think about what else I want to say to you.

  • michael

    i would like to see him run but he has served his time, he would do an outstanding job and undoubtedly serve the people and military with dignity and honor, something we all need

  • Andy Schmidt

    While this ruling doesn't affect me personally, I want to thank Maj. Gen. Tackett. He is someone who has earned the title of "selfless leader." I always admired how he treated everyone with respect in every interaction I ever witnessed. I grew up in Dunbar, went to WVU, and still serve in the WVANG in Martinsburg, and I feel that the man is a true West Virginian. We were blessed to have had him as an AG.

    v/r

    Maj. Andy Schmidt, WVANG

  • Bruce

    Well said Col Whittington.

  • WV Patriot

    I support MGEN Tackett in all his endeavors. He was an awesome commander. I too started as an E-1 and thru blood, sweat and tears, completion of a Masters Degree, the privilege of working with and managing dedicated and brilliant soldiers and airman who got the mission done over and over enabled me to attain and retire at the rank of Lt Col. As for politics, that culture exists in all walks of life. Some are better at it than others. But it is a required reading of sorts in all career paths. I can guarantee you that MGEN Tackett was a selfless AG, a dedicated Citizen Soldier and Mountaineer to all. The continued existence of Army Guard armories, Air Bases in Martinsburg and Charleston and the modern equipment to support these missions was due to his efforts, the late Senator Byrd and some sharp commanders at those bases, armories and HQ's that strategically and tactically planned for the future which has enormous economic impact on our great state. I have no doubt his "Guard" family will forever support him.

    Lt Col (Ret) William Whittington, USAF

    • Msgt (Ret) Alice McCann Lantz, USAF

      Thank you Bill, well said!

    • David

      I worked for a few officers during my time in the USAF and to tell you the truth, I couldn't stand none of them. They thought that they were better than any enlisted person, just because they were an officer. And how they got away with a sloppy uniform, I dont have a clue. I worked on KC 135 R models, and my uniform was neatly pressed and boots shined everyday! I'm proud that I served my country during the 1st Gulf War, and the 6 years that I was in, but the majority of the officers I just shook my head at! So you can back your fellow officer all you want. I am glad that he did it for the Guard as a whole, but how many enlisted brought it to him? And by the way, I never received a LOC, LOR, or an Article 15. My record is clear and clean. Just thought that you might want to know that before you jump to conclusions!

  • Clay

    Great work MG Tackett.

  • James

    Jim you are a pathetic person, get a life- General Tackett has been a great benefit to this state- and i hope he continues to succeed. It's easy to be an Internet tough guy like "Jim".

    General Tackett was also a golden gloves champ if I remember correctly.

  • Jim

    if one jouns the military as a buck private, as Tackett did and ascends to a two star general, he/she is a master politician and obviously had to kiss a lot *** in the process.

    • Tom

      Anybody who ever worked with MG Tackett knows that everything he did, he did for the good of the West Virginia National Guard. He left a high paying civilian job to take the low paying long hours of Adjutant General. He had a vision of making the WVNG bigger and better then he found it. No doubt he played some politics, but it was for the good of the Guard not for self interest. It just so happens that many privates became General Officers. You fail to point out anything of substance here other than your failed opinion.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed!!!."

  • Jim

    Tackett is first, a big bag of wind and second a politican!

    • Richard Z Hill

      Jim it is obvious that you do not know what you are talking about. Gen. Tackett was the best AG that the Guard had during my 25 years of service. Gen Tackett cared about his troops. Many times I would fly into Chareston returning with our Guardsmen and Gen Tackett was there to meet the acft and the troops aboard, this was at all times of the day and night. He is one of the reasons we still have the units we have . Gen Tackett has really fought for the Guard.
      I suggest you get your head out of your posterior , wake up and thank God for Gen Tackett.
      RZ Hill Msgt 130AS 1974-2000

  • WV Soldier

    Looking out for the soldiers and Airman in this state is so very important. I don't think the people of this state know how much we do for them. Why wouldn't we get credit for out time fighting overseas? Gen. Tackett is a great man! Thank you!

    • Soldier's Wife

      How can we get citizens to care when we can't even get our own soldiers, airmen, and their families to care and support thier own NGAUS and EANGUS orgnizations. If we do not look out for our own interests, how can we expect somone else to?

  • Richard

    General Tackett's name is being mentioned as a possible candidate for the 2nd Congressional seat after Capito moves on. I hope he'll run.