ARLINGTON, Va., - Army and Air National Guard members are encouraged to provide their civilian employment information to the Department of Defense through a mandatory program that has been around since the early 1990s.
The Civilian Employment Information (CEI) program makes it possible for defense officials to know who can be called up for active duty without jeopardizing the civilian forces responsible for safeguarding our country, Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt, the director of the Air National Guard, wrote in a memorandum to the states last year.
Reporting by the 450,000-member National Guard has been very good in the past with more than 90 percent providing information in the last five years, said James Lamback, the chief of Employer Support for the National Guard Bureau.
But information is required to be updated every year, and reporting is currently at 50 and 60 percent for the Army and Air Guard, respectively.
The goal for the Army Guard is to reach 97 percent by Sept. 30, the end of this fiscal year, said Army Guard officials.
Guardmembers must fill in 10 specific data fields concerning their civilian employer, including employment status, employer's name and mailing address, their job title and their total number of years in their current civilian occupation.
Technicians must also register as government employees.
As part of this program, the DoD must: give consideration to civilian workers, including emergency responders such as police officers, firefighters and medical personnel; ensure more members with critical civilian jobs and skills are not retained in the Guard longer than necessary to respond to emergencies; and inform civilian employers of their rights and responsibilities under the 1994 Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act.
The information could also be used to determine which units or unit members should be mobilized, defense officials said. Information about full-time employers would also make it possible for DoD officials to enhance employer support for the Guard and Reserve.
Employees are considered full time for CEI purposes if their employer considers them to be employed full time. Self-employed personnel are considered full time if they work for themselves for an average of at least 30 hours per week.
Guardmembers who fail or refuse to provide this information, or who knowingly provide false employment-related information, may be subject to administrative action or punishment, officials said.
Employment data can be entered on the Defense Manpower Data Center Web site.