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NGB Chief Has Plan to Reduce Military Personnel Costs: Army Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, the head of the National Guard Bureau, believes he has the answer for rising military personnel costs—exchange National Guardsmen for active duty personnel. How will this help? The Guardsmen who only serve part-time are generally more experienced and cost much, much less. Blum told the San Antonio Express-New  that his idea stems from the nation’s early days, when there was a small standing Army and a large part-time militia.