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ReserveVoice: September 11, 2015

Legislative Update

Force of the Future

The report exploring changes in the future of the military was just delivered to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.  If implemented in part or whole, the result could be major changes in the law.  The first pieces of legislation are already being drafted for introductions early next year but DoD anticipates implementation would take a decade.

The 200+ page “Force of the Future” report included recommendations to better balance work and family demands, such as expanding parental leave and removing the “up and out” approach to force management.  ROA attended the Reserve Forces Policy Board where many of the recommendations below were discussed.  The report is not public yet, as the services digest it.

Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson gave the RFPB an overview of the report.  He noted the current system has worked well for 70 years but the private sector is now outpacing the services in “talent” management.  Cracks in the foundation began to manifest themselves in the 1990s when major problems in readiness were encountered when mobilizing for the Gulf War. 

According to Carson, if the military can respond to contingencies other countries in hours it should be able to change internally (and he has noted before how the military has brilliantly done so).  He concluded, saying he does not expect consensus on everything but is concerned the services will not use all of the tools available from the recommendations.  Finally, he paraphrased Albert Einstein by saying he believes DoD should not solve the problem before understanding the problem.

To read more about the recommendations go to ROA’s blog.

Early Bird

The Early Bird is now posted on ROA’s Facebook each morning for ROA members to stay current on military issues.

ROA’s Facebook

This is where you will find 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.

TRICARE Reserve Survey

 Please take a few moments to take the TRICARE Reserve: Access and Quality of Healthcare survey to help ROA and EANGUS prepare for the coming year.  The House and Senate Armed Services are going to be putting more attention to the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission Recommendation on Health Care. The Guard and Reserve need to be part of that discussion and this survey will help make that happen.

Military Health Care

Surprise, surprise, surprise!  The military realized that TRICARE costs for medical care and prescriptions increased when they reduced the number of retirees under the Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs).  The Department of Defense is now making a big push to reenroll retirees into MTFs and DoD prescription services for maintenance drugs.  That being said, there are few consolidated instructions for how to enroll in TRICARE, change to an MTF or sign up for prescriptions.  Here are websites that can help:
  • DS LOGON:  To access most DoD and VA medical websites you will need a DS Logon, CAC Card (active duty, selected reserve and DoD civilians) or DFAS MyPay to log onto the various sites.  Start with milConnect:
  • ENROLLMENT:  The Beneficiary Web Enrollment (BWE) Web site is a secure portal that allows eligible TRICARE beneficiaries to take various administrative actions.  Go to:
    • Update contact information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)
    • Enroll in or disenroll from TRICARE Prime options
    • Select or change primary care managers (PCMs)
    • Enroll in TRICARE Young Adult (TYA), the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP), and the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP). 
  • PRESCRIPTIONS:  Express Scripts administers the TRICARE pharmacy benefit, providing your home delivery, retail, and specialty pharmacy services.  Beginning October 1, 2015, DoD will require non-active duty beneficiaries to refill select maintenance drugs ) through home delivery or at military pharmacies.. These are drugs which you take regularly for a chronic condition (i.e., drugs to control blood pressure or cholesterol.  For more information visit or, or call 1-877-882-3335
  • eCorrespondence:  Receive eCorrespondence for important information about your TRICARE benefit.  Visit

ROA 2015 Legislative Agenda

Army Update

ARCIC Library Recommended Readings

Army Capabilities Integration Center Director Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster issues recommended readings each week, gathered from journals and other sources. ROA is honored to be among the recipients; here are updated readings, on the ARCIC library website.


Defense Secretary Ash Carter is briefed on the robotic limb exhibit at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency “Wait, What?" future technology forum at the America's Convention Center Complex in St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 9, 2015. DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

TMC 2015 Award of Merit to Rep Joe Heck

Representative Joe Heck (R-3rd District of Nevada), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, was awarded The Military Coalition’s 2015 Award of Merit.  Rep. Heck has been in the Army Reserves since 1991, which included being called to active duty to serve during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The Military Coalition honored Rep. Heck because of his continued investment in the military’s personnel and efforts to preserve funding for personnel pay, benefits, and training.  One such effort was Rep. Heck’s cosponsorship of H.R. 1141: GI Bill Fairness Act, to consider certain time spent by members of reserve components of the Armed Forces while receiving medical care from the Secretary of Defense as active duty for purposes of eligibility for Post-9/11 Educational Assistance.

Major Personnel Moves at USAR and ARNG.

Ms. Barbara Sisson, the Assistant Chief of the Army Reserve, left in late August. She is now working for NATO in Brussels.
MG Luis Visot, Chief of Staff of the Army Reserve, will be replaced in the late fall by MG Megan Tatu.
MG Glenn Lesniak (DCAR) is retiring in mid-September and his replacement will be MG Michael Smith.
BG Tammy Smith (DCoS): Will take a command at Ft. Benning later in the fall. She will be replaced by COL(P)Robert Harter. His promotion ceremony will be in November 2015.
BG Ferd Irizarry, the 3-5-7 at the USARC, retired in July.   He has been replaced by BG Michael Warmack.
CCWO Russell Smith assumed this role in July 2015 replacing CCWO Phyllis Wilson who became a part of the CSA Strategic Studies Group.
CSM Luther Thomas has been selected for the position of Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs and he is likely to assume those duties early next year.
MG Razz Waff, who served as Deputy G1 of the Army and Chair of the Army Reserve Forces Policy Committee is retiring 1 October and will be replaced by MG Hugh Van Roosen as the Deputy G1.
LTG Timothy J. Kadavy has become the Director of the Army National Guard, replacing MG Judd Lyons who had served as the Acting Director.

ROA Life Members Receive Citizen Patriot Awards

Albert “Al” C. Zapanta, who has served the military and his nation with distinction for over 50 years,   received the Citizen Patriot Award on 2 September from the Reserve Policy Board Fellows Society. 

Zapanta served as Chairman of the Reserve Forces Policy Board from 2002 to 2005.  This Board, established by Congress in 1952, serves as the principal and independent policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense on all matters related to the Reserve Components of the Armed Forces.  During his tenure he was a untiring voice in support of the RC as they first prepared and then deployed for integral operational roles in both Iraq and Afghanistan and related areas of operation. Under his leadership the RFPB conducted several major educational events related to the RC, the Board traveled extensively as they pursued their mission aggressively, and he was relentless in providing the findings and recommendations of the Board to Pentagon policy makers, the Secretary of Defense and the Congress.  The Reserve Components have never had a better friend or advocate.

Zapanta held numerous command and senior staff positions in the military.   His intrepidity in Vietnam earned him the Silver Star, five Bronze Star Medals for valor, and the Purple Heart among his many awards.  

After leaving the chairmanship of the RFPB in 2005, Zapanta has continued to actively be involved in issues related to the military and national security including hosting on an annual basis a major conference on Capitol Hill related to border security and trade.   He has served on numerous corporate boards and been a voice on behalf of veterans and employment of veterans.   He in every way reflects over five decades of dedication to the military and the nation and is a worthy recipient of an award he founded when serving as Chairman of the RFPB – the Citizen Patriot Award. 

Hon. Richard Wightman received the Citizen Patriot Award in July at his retirement ceremony as the Principal Deputy at OSD-RA. He had also had a lengthy tenure as the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.  Rich is a longtime friend and supporter of ROA.   He has served in numerous leading capacities in both his civilian and military careers during which he rose to the rank of major general.  He is also a recipient of ROA’s Twice the Citizen Award that was presented at our July 2015 annual meeting.     

North Carolina Army National Guard Brigade wins RFPB Citizen Patriot Unit Award

The 30th Infantry Division/30th Armored Brigade Combat Team “Old Hickory” was selected for the Reserve Forces Policy Board’s Citizen Patriot Unit Award by the for the Citizen Patriot Award earlier this month. 
The brigade comprises Citizen Soldiers from North Carolina and West Virginia. Old Hickory’s headquarters is in Clinton, NC. The brigade traces it lineage from the 30th Infantry Division, which got its name from Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson, former Citizen Soldier and seventh U.S. president. U.S Army combat historian S.L.A. Marshall regarded Old Hickory as the best infantry division in the European Theater of Operations, with 282 days of combat from June 1944 through April 1945.
The 30th Infantry Division served in both world wars, sent peacekeeping missions to Bosnia, and engaged in numerous domestic emergency responses.
The brigade was mobilized in 2003 at the start of the Global War on Terrorism. This was the first time since the Korean War that an entire National Guard brigade had been mobilized for assignment to its own area of responsibility. The 30th was one of the two brigades selected.
In May 2009 Old Hickory returned to Iraq, serving in Baghdad and the surrounding region. Old Hickory soldiers partnered with Iraqi Security Forces to provide security for Iraqi leaders and the populace. Tue citizen warriors, the brigade’s soldiers used their combat skills and equipment on the battlefield and their civilian skill sets to leave the region a better place than when they arrived. The service did not come without its toll, and Old Hickory lost a number of its warriors during the deployment and after, as a result of service there.

Marine Update

The Marine Corps has issued new security measures for recruit stations to increase troop personnel safety in the wake of the Chattanooga shootings that left five service members dead.  ROA recently approved a resolution to increase security at military facilities.  Not included in the safety measures was the possibility of arming recruiters. Lt. Gen. Mark Brilakis, Marine Corps Recruiting Command’s commanding general, explained the reasoning for maintaining the ban stating, "The arming piece is one of those things on the recruiting side that myself and [Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford] still have great concerns over," he said. "All the services … said they don't want to arm their folks…The Marine Corps has worked hard to build strong relationships with members of the communities in which they recruit,” Brilakis said. “That isn't something leaders want to jeopardize."

Instead, the Marine Corps will implement other security measures to bolster troop safety. These might include more security cameras, better ballistic protection, and remote-locking doors. Along with more security measures will be additional training to reinforce already existing Marine Corps training procedures on how to react in the face of an emergency like an armed assault on a recruiting station. Read more on the Marine Corps Times Website.

Navy Update

The Navy has begun implementing fourteen new uniform regulations

Read more at the Navy Times website

Department Update

New Member category

During its July 2015 convention, ROA approved a new category of membership intended to quickly attract younger Reservists as well as cadets.  Associate membership is free for five years or the attainment of age 35, whichever comes first. Thereafter the associate member will have a choice of term or life membership. 
An associate member may join a department and chapter, hold office there (but not national office), access all ROA digital publications and other communications, have access to affinity products such as insurance policies, credit cards and shopping services – including ROA’s Amazon Smiles and “Shop Thru the Heart” shopping service that rebates 3% of all sales to ROA.  ROA is betting that many associate members will find the value is worth conversion to a paid membership when it’s time.
“We will make great use of associate membership – for example, at Yellow Ribbon events nationwide,” said Phillips. “Membership is grown most effectively at the department and chapter level, and this new membership category will help our grassroots produce strong new growth!”
The association’s membership committee is now at work developing recommendations to streamline ROA’s membership levels and prices.

ROA Award of Merit

ROA’s Executive Committee authorized department and chapter presidents to award the ROA Award of Merit to recipients who in their judgement have earned recognition for efforts in support of ROA’s purpose. 
“What I like about this award is that it allows departments to recognize people who National may never know about, and that empowers our members,” said outgoing ROA President Brig. Gen. Mike Silva, USA (Ret).
The ROA Award of Merit consists of a certificate that can be printed locally and a handsome miniature medal available directly from the vendor to departments, which will receive ordering information.

Officer Magazine

The summer (digital) Officer Magazine is now on homepage.  We think you’ll agree that this is a solid edition with great content.  The issue features an article about tattoos in the military.  Editor in Chief Jeff Phillips at first balked – too edgy, but asked some of ROA’s younger members their opinion: All supported publishing the article; replied two:
“. . . ROA is not endorsing tattoos by simply publishing the piece. What the article does is highlight an issue impacting a large population of young military members (38% of the Millennials, 33% of Gen Xers). This is helpful information for younger Reservists and individuals who are considering the Reserves.”
and . . .
“This is exactly the kind of topic that we have avoided for too long. This stuff matters to the men and women in the formations, and a growing number of the leaders standing in front of and behind them. I'm all for it. We can't just cater to the tastes of a retired generation -- we have to be a voice for all or we will recruit none into our ranks!”


Reunion Date:
USS Bon Homme Richard (CV/CVA-31)
September 15-19, 2015
San Antonio, TX
Frank Pulliam  417-684-1358
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. 15075 USERRA Applies to Voluntary as well as Involuntary Military Service
  • No. 15076 SCRA Precludes Oregon from Making you Pay State Income Tax in Oregon while you are Serving there in the PHS
  • No. 15077 If You Sign a Vehicle Lease while not on Active Duty and then Go on Active Duty during the Term of the Lease, You Have the Right to Terminate the Lease
  • No. 15078 State Budget Crisis Does Not Excuse USERRA Violation
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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