Press Releases

January 26, 2024

The Military Affairs Council

About the Council’s Work

The Military Affairs Council was established at the request of Governor Jeff Landry to discuss issues facing the Departments of Veteran’s Affairs, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, and the Louisiana Air National Guard and to propose solutions for those issues. This council was led by Doug Judice and included voices from across the veteran, military, and private sector spectrum in Louisiana. The findings listed below represent the recommendations made by the council.

The Mission of the LADVA is Changing.
The LADVA mission is to provide outstanding customer service in the core areas of disability compensation, veteran homes, and end of life care while pivoting towards the needs of post 9/11 and future veterans. State leaders will not only appreciate veterans’ dedication and service to our country but must also recognize veterans as a significant economic engine in our state and future veterans to make Louisiana their home.

Recommended Solutions
The council recommends that the Governor call for a veteran’s stakeholder meeting. All veteran service organizations from across the state and nationally recognized organizations should be invited. This will act as the foundation of the future of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.

1. The council recommends that the LADVA partner with programs such as Combined Arms and similar veteran service organizations to provide a more robust support system.

2. Ban the flying of any flag on state property other than the American and Louisiana State flags. State agency flags, POWMIA flags and branch military flags may also be flown.

3. Expand Veteran Courts throughout the state.

4. An executive order calling for all state agencies to work with the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs to find ways to increase employment of veterans in state agencies.

5. Require all state agencies to conduct the review of all civil service positions and the equivalent Military Occupation Specialty and that military time in service be considered in place of post-secondary education requirements.

6. Direct Louisiana law enforcement agencies to identify Military Occupation Specialties for immediate placement in agency law enforcement recruit training programs. Military time and service where appropriate should be considered in lieu of post-secondary education requirements.


GOHSEP’s Mission
Current leadership has concentrated on recovery contracts and other contracts to the point that some primary concerns of preparedness and response exist. These areas have not gained the attention needed to ensure a ready state or communities. During and after a natural disaster, FEMA funds go directly to GOHSEP. In 2023, these funds were $3 billion, all of which were “pass through” dollars to Parishes and municipalities. The office focused too much attention on the inevitable bureaucracy, distracting (leadership) from accomplishing their primary mission of emergency preparedness.

Recommended Solutions

1. Develop a pre-accreditation system to certify NGO’s, nonprofits and faith-based
organizations that can be activated, as required, to support GOHSEP.
2. Develop innovative solutions to address saltwater intrusion and wildfires.
3. Continue to coordinate the statewide school safety program while developing
innovative solutions to incorporate private schools into the response plan.
4. Review current sheltering plans to determine if permanent dual-purpose shelters, such
as the facility located in Alexandria, are required in other strategic locations within the
5. Conduct a Unified Command Group tabletop exercise for the Governor and Agency
Secretary within sixty days of Inauguration Day.
6. To ensure transparency, conduct a complete review of all of GOHSEPS’ current contracts within the first 120 days. When economically feasible, award GOHSEP contracts to LA vendors.
7. Develop innovative solutions to resolve and close previous disaster reimbursement
cases. For example, Hurricane Katrina occurred almost two decades ago, however,
parishes and municipalities still owe over $50 million to FEMA.

8. Conduct an organizational design study to determine if structural changes are required
to enhance GOHSEP’s ability to execute its mission.


Louisiana Army Air National Guard
The current Louisiana Army National Guard leadership team has managed the almost
insurmountable federal requirements admirably. However, the long-term impacts of continual deployments to support federal missions across the globe are taking a toll on the force and negatively impacting guard members who are employed in the civilian sector. The continuous deployment tempo over the past 22 years have significantly impacted the state’s resources while straining National Guard assets. For example, the LANG’s disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina can be directly attributed to the 256 th IN BDE being deployed to Iraq and unable to support response and recovery efforts. Moreover, since the active-duty drawdown following Desert Storm, National Guard units from across the U.S. have been called upon to augment Active-Duty requirements across the globe.