Senator Kahele to participate in reconvening of Legislative Session while
on Full-Time National Guard Duty
When the Hawaiʻi State Legislature reconvenes today, Senator Kaiali‘i “Kai” Kahele (D-Hilo) will be joining his colleagues in the Senate while on full time National Guard duty as a member of the Hawai‘i National Guard’s COVID-19 Joint Task Force response.
Senator Kahele is a Lieutenant Colonel with the Hawai‘i Air National Guard. His active duty start date was April 14th and was originally scheduled to end on May 14th but has been extended to May 31st.
Department of Defense (DOD) Directive 1344.10 allows a reserve component member on active duty for less than 270 days to exercise the functions of elected office provided there is no interference with the performance of military duties.
Senator Kahele is on Title 32 U.S.C. § 502(f) status in support of the March 1, 2020 Presidential Declaration of National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak and is assigned to the Hawaiʻi National Guard COVID-19 Joint Task Force under the command of Brigadier General Moses Kaoiwi Jr.
All 50 States, Territories and the District of Columbia are providing more than 46,500 guardsmen currently serving in high-risk jobs, distributing food and medical supplies, supporting testing and undertaking other tasks amid the pandemic. Most guardsmen are serving under federal Title 32 U.S.C. § 502(f) orders, which provides federal funds for pay and allowances but keeps guardsmen under the command of their respective State Governors.
Senator Kahele is the Majority Floor Leader and Chair of the Water and Land Committee. He is one of the first guardsman in the country to serve as an elected official in an official capacity while on full-time National Guard duty dedicated to the country’s COVID-19 national emergency response efforts.