Please vote “yes” on Constitutional Amendment 2 to permit South Carolina’s governor in 2019 to appoint the adjutant general from a pool of qualified officers. South Carolina is the only state that determines the leader of its National Guard and Emergency Management Department by popular vote.
Most troubling about our system is the absolute lack of minimum requirements. Adjutants general have the responsibility to recruit, train, organize, equip, maintain and deploy 11,000 volunteers when our nation calls or South Carolina suffers an emergency. It is imperative that a competent, professional military officer occupies the office. Public votes cannot guarantee this.
During 37 years of military service, I have heard counter arguments — and I appreciate and respect other opinions — but I solicit your yes vote on this referendum.
The bill authorizing the referendum passed the senate 39-0 and House 108-4. Our current adjutant general, Bob Livingston, leads this effort. The chairmen of the S.C. Republican and Democratic parties, Matt Moore and Jaime Harrison, advocate passage. It’s clearly not a Democratic or Republican issue, but it is a common-sense issue.
Barringer F. Wingard Jr.