Guardsman to receive signed Act 76, pen Gov used

PA-001-21 | April 22, 2021

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21 2021
Contact: Lt. Col. Brian L. Mason
State Public Affairs Officer
Arkansas National Guard
501-212-5020 / 501-590-0318
to receive signed Act 76, pen Gov used
Airman 1 st Class Noah Welch was impetus behind Senate bill that became law
Col. Dean Martin, 189 th Airlift Wing commander
Will present a signed copy of Act 76 and the pen Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson
used to sign the Act into law to Airman First Class Noah Welch
1 p.m. Thursday, April 22 2021
Jacksonville Little Rock Air Force Base University Center, 1490 Vandenberg Blvd
Act 76 authorizes a tempora ry waiver of the completion of initial active duty training
requirement for Arkansas National Guard Soldiers and Airmen to use their st ate educational
“We’ve had young men and women who signed up to serve their country, but they’re
having their lives put on hold because they’re waiting an extremely long time for a background
check or for their initial active duty training said Col. Dean Martin, 189 th Airlift Wing
commander. “The pandemic has exasperated that to some extent but the bureaucracy owns
some of it, as well. Act 76 fixes that, and gives us flexibility to keep these young people
motivated instead of feeling like t heir time is being wasted away.”
written now, Act 76 allows for “an exigent circumstance that warrants a temporary
waiver of the initial active duty training requirement and that the Arkansas National Guardsmen
are to be “eligible to receive the tuit ion benefit under this section.”
1 st Class Noah Welch of Cabot is assigned to the 184 th Attack Squadron at
Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith He’s a sensor operator on RQ 9 Reaper
reconnaissance aircraft H i s idea of a waiver was picked up and sponso red by Sen. Jane
English and Rep. Mark Berry resulting in Senate Bill 35, which became Act 76 when Gov.
Hutchinson signed it into law on Feb. 9.
Welch’s suggestion for the law change reflects the caliber of young people we
recruit in the Guard,” said Col. Leon Dodroe, the 188th Wing commander in Fort Smith. “He
highlighted the challenge of those passionate to serve who are facing delays t o attend Basic
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  • Arkansas National Guard Public Affairs Office
  • PO BOX 30, Camp Robinson, North Little Rock, AR 72199
  • Phone:501-212-5098
  • Fax: 501-212-5019