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ReserveVoice: September 24, 2015

Legislative Update

Continuing Resolution

Congressional Republicans will be introducing a continuing resolution that will run through December 11, 2015.  According to Congressional Quarterly (CQ), it will include,  “...  language defunding Planned Parenthood unless the group certifies it will not perform or fund abortions, redirecting the roughly $235 million in mandatory funding to community health centers.” 

This first arrow across the bow is not expected to pass but it will serve as a sense of the party on Planned Parenthood.  The second attempt at a CR is not expected to include Planned Parenthood language.

In the meantime, the Office of Management and Budget will wait to see how the votes go before they instruct agencies to begin implementing shutdown plans.

National Defense Authorization Act

Most of the attention on the Hill is on the budget but another important bill that needs to pass is the National Defense Authorization Act.  It is important because it will extend many sections of law that expire at the end of September 2015.  For example, bonus authorities are legislated on a year-to-year basis and will expire next week.

The House and Senate Armed Services Committees (HASC and SASC) are near the end of conference.  We are very appreciative of how hard both committees have worked with ROA and other military and veteran associations to craft the best bill possible.  Hopefully they will conclude by September 30th.

Commission on Care

ROA submitted a statement to the Department of Veterans Affairs for the Commission on Care.  The commission is a result of the Choice Act and it is chartered to,  “ . . . examine the access of Veterans to health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and strategically examine how best to organize the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), locate health care resources and deliver health care to veterans during the next 20 years.  The statement is available on line at

ROA 2015 Legislative Agenda

Army Update

Army updates guide to NCO career tracks “The Army has updated its hefty 521-page guide that details the recommended professional development tracks for career fields and specialties of the Enlisted Personnel Management System.”

The new guidelines emphasize the importance of obtaining professional military education in order to obtain higher enlisted ranking like sergeant, staff sergeant and sergeant first class. These principles are outlined in a new education sequence called STEP.  STEP stands for select-train-educate-promote. It represents the Army’s desire to better integrate training and education amongst enlistment members, be they Active, Guard or Reserve, so they can face the increasing complex challenges confronting the Army in the future.
The new guide can be accessed online from the Army Publishing Directorate

Marine Update

Officials: Marine commandant recommends women be banned from some combat jobs

MarineCorpsTimes Website: Based off a recent Marine Corps study concluding mixed gender combat units performed worse than all male combat units, Marine General Joseph Dunford asked for the Marine Corps to be exempt from allowing women into combat roles. The exemption was submitted to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who has disagreed with the study’s finding declaring they were biased. Mabus declared the study was biased towards female participants because it took the average woman and compared them to the average male participant, a comparison that does not accurately assess all women who would be participating in combat roles. "There were women that met this standard, and a lot of the things there that women fell a little short in can be remedied by two things: training and leadership." Mabus concluded.

Dunford’s remarks come at several major moments of transition for the armed forces including Dunford’s take over as the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs and as the armed forces prepare to more fully integrate women into combat roles across the branches

Navy Update

Richardson Assumes Command as New Chief of Naval Operations

Adm. John M. Richardson became the New Chief of Naval Operations on Friday, Sept. 18. Richardson was most recently the Director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program where he oversaw the acquisition program to replace the Ohio-class submarines.

Defense Sec. Carter nominated Adm. Richardson back in May 2015 due to his work on several ethics and bribery investigations that showcased Richardson’s commitment to upholding principles and virtues central to naval integrity. Read more on

Air Force Update

44oth Airlift Wing

ROA is very concerned at an apparent disconnect between the Army and the Air Force at America's foremost fast reaction power projection base with the inactivation of the 440th Airlift Wing that provides airlift support to the Army. Clearly, Army leaders at the 18th Airborne Corps, who must lead troops on the ground, are also concerned.  A recent article in the Fayetteville Observer stated, “North Carolina's U.S. senators are sounding an alarm when it comes to training at Fort Bragg.

Civil Air Patrol Joins Total Force

Military.Com Website: “The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is now included in the Air Force's definition of the total force. CAP has approximately 57,000 volunteers and 550 aircraft assigned to more than 1,500 units stateside. The auxiliary members fly nearly 100,000 hours per year performing disaster relief, counterdrug, search and rescue, fighter interceptor training, aerial observation and cadet orientation flights.” 
Soldiers assigned to the 18th Airborne Corps, Ft. Bragg, N.C., prepare for an airdrop while on board a 440th Airlift Wing aircraft. The 440th Airlift Wing provides airlift, airdrop and aeromedical operations with a fleet of C-130H aircraft in support of Department of Defense requirements. (Courtesy photo). Read more on the Pope AFRC website.

Member Update

ROA’s FaceBook

We need more LIKES!  Please go on ROA’s FaceBook at and LIKE our page.  This is where you will find the most current information on the issues important to ROA members and potential members.  This is a membership tool for ROA’s Departments and Chapters.  Also, please send pictures when you meet with your local Congressional staff or member so I can post it on ROA’s FaceBook.  You can then send a link to your Congressional member or staff.


Reunion Date:
USS Elokomin
September 24-27, 2015
Cleveland, OH
Robert O’Sullivan,, 617-288-3755
Ron Finet,, 262-742-4269

Reunion Date:
12th TFW (MacDill AFB and Vietnam), 12th FEW/SFW (Bergstrom AFB and Korea) and all their supporting units

April 20-24, 2016
Charleston, SC
E.J. Sherwood or 480-396-4681

Law Reviews:

Legal analysis on the issues impacting your life in and out of uniform

While ROA regretfully eliminated the full-time position of Service Member’s Law Center director, retired USNR Capt. Sam Wright has generously agreed to provide periodic law review updates and assistance on a voluntary basis while ROA develops an alternative SMLC solution
  • No. 15078 State Budget Crisis Does Not Excuse USERRA Violation
  • No. 15079 Unlawful for Federal Agency to Fire Employee for Contacting Congress
  • No. 15080 New NLRB Decision Points the Way to Stronger USERRA Enforcement
  • No. 15081 You Must Leave Active Duty and Apply for Reemployment to Obtain Civilian Pension Credit for your Military Service Time
Visit the Service Members Law Center
Reserve Voice is a monthly bulletin produced by the Reserve Officers Association of the United States, the nation’s leading advocate for Reserve Component policy and resourcing, and support of RC service members and their families.

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