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ReserveVoice: March 30, 2016

Legislative Update

FY 2017 Department of Defense Budget

As part of the budget submission for fiscal year 2017, DoD is proposing several changes to the new blended retirement plan that will save money and provide the department with more flexibility.  ROA has posted a paper on ROA’s blog that describes ROA position and why DoD proposals may or may not be in the best interest of Guard and Reserve members.  Executive Director, Jeff Phillips, recently attended a Secretary of Defense meeting where he confronted them on proposed changes to the blended retirement, "401K matching rules, a change from matches beginning in the third year to matches beginning in the fifth year, with associated compounded interest disadvantages. The DoD rationale is that this rewards service members who commit to a second hitch and thus are more likely to be “career” minded. While we understand the rationale, ROA takes issue and will oppose a proposal that we think reduces the retirement benefit of many.

March on the Hill

Recently ROA was contacted by Rep Jones office for ROA support of the following bill.  His congressional staff met with ROA members as a result of ROA’s March on the Hill day, earlier this month

Rep. Jones, Walter B., Jr. [R-NC-3]  introduced H.R. 146 –Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy  to ensure that members of the Armed Forces serving on active duty who are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury have access to hyperbaric oxygen therapy at military medical treatment facilities.  This bill would also apply to Guard and Reserve on active duty. 
 

Other ROA Supported Bills

Additionally, ROA members can ask their Representative to sign on as a House co-sponsor or have their Senator sponsor a companion bill from the following list:

Army Update

Response to one of the Commission on the Future of the Army’s recommendations was swift and positive.  The Commission had noted the need for One Army – a Total Army.  It noted the need for cooperation between the components. It specifically noted that “multicomponent units represent one of the best ways to develop one Army, especially if members of the units can train together in peacetime” they would be better prepared in the event they had to fight together in war.

Last week the United States Army announced the implementation of the Associated Units pilot, establishing formal relationships between identified units across the Active Army, Army Reserve, and the Army National Guard that would allow those units to train together before deployment. “Much of America’s Army’s capacity is resident in the Reserve Components and we must rely more heavily on them to meet the demands of a complex global environment,” Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, Gen. Mark Milley said. “The Associated Units pilot allows us to leverage the capabilities and capacities of the Active Component, Army Reserve and the Army National Guard as One Army.”

“They would train together, do professional development classes together,  do field training exercises together,” Gen. Mark Milley, the Army chief of staff said last week as he outlined the concept before the House Armed Services Committee. “What we’re trying to do is put teeth behind the idea of ‘total force’ and make that real, to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.”
 
“The Associated Units pilot facilitates readiness and strategic depth across components,” Lt. Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley, Chief of Army Reserve said. “These units will train, build readiness, and ultimately fight as One Army.”

 Active Component to Reserve Component Program

Provided by OCAR

What is it?
The Active Component to Reserve Component (AC2RC) program offers transition opportunities for active-component (AC) Soldiers to utilize their skills and experience in the Army Reserve and Army National Guard, continuing their journey as a Soldier for Life. The program allows Reserve Component Career Counselors (RCCCs) at installations worldwide to contract Soldiers 365 days from their estimated time of separation (ETS).
 
What has the Army done?
The U.S. Army Human Resources Command created the Reserve Component Transition (RCT) Branch, consisting of RCCCs who provide information and coun Nextsel through Continuum of Service briefs. These briefs offer specifics for continued military service and current Army Reserve and U.S. Army National Guard incentives, stabilization policies, programs, and opportunities available to Soldiers transitioning from active duty.
 
Soldiers also receive counseling to help transition their experience into a matching career field, presenting opportunities to continue to provide value to the reserve components, civilian employers, and the Total Army. Soldiers are allowed to contract 365 days from their ETS.
 
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?
New initiatives are being developed to allow Soldiers to reclassify and complete training within the 365-day timeframe.
 
AC2RC will provide transitioning AC Soldiers with opportunities to continue to serve the nation while pursuing civilian careers or furthering their education. More information can be received from the Reserve Component Transition Branch.
 
Why is this important to the Army?
AC2RC perpetuates the Soldier for Life concept by facilitating successful reintegration of AC Soldiers and their Families into the RCs for continued military service opportunities. The AC2RC program gives the Army Reserve access to highly qualified mid-level leaders who will share Army values, technical skills, and leadership with citizen Soldiers, allowing them to provide key enabling capabilities to the Total Army and Joint Force. In 2015, 10,837 AC service members transferred into the RC, 6,483 of whom joined the Army Reserve, filling critical needs as well as saving more than $900 million, which otherwise would have been invested to develop and train initial entry Soldiers.
No final word yet on who will be nominated to replace Lt. Gen. Talley and become the new Chief of the Army Reserve.    The nomination is expected to be transmitted within the next couple of weeks with the nominee taking command of the USARC and becoming the CAR in June if all goes according to schedule.

The Army Section had an excellent meeting at the recent March Leadership Conference.   A variety of topics were discussed including speculation on who would be the new CAR, discussion of the Commission on the Future of the Army Report and its impact on the RC, the upcoming ROA convention in Reno in September, efforts by ROA, NGAUS and AUSA to bring key Army Reserve related issues to the attention of the Chief of Staff of the Army – at his invitation.

Army Reserve Public Affairs Take Honors in Keith L. Ware Awards

The Office of the Chief of Public Affairs released the results of the Keith L. Ware competition on 16 March 2016. The Keith L. Ware Award is the highest accolade for public affairs achievement in the Army. US Army Reserve Public Affairs professionals placed in five out of the 14 print categories, which is 35 percent.  Four out of those five finished in 1st place. 
 
In the broadcast category, the Army Reserve won three out of 12 awards, which is 25 percent.  Two out of the three winners placed 1st place.
 

PRINT CATEGORY WINNERS:

Category B: Army Funded (AF) News Publication (unit award) Honorable Mention: Warrior Citizen, Office of the Chief of Army Reserve
 
Category H: Feature Article (individual award) 1st Place: “The Computer that Saved the Soldier's Back”, MSG Michael Sauret, 200th Military Police Command (USARC)
 
Category I: Commentary (individual award) 1st Place: “Why I Serve”, MSG Michael Sauret, 200th Military Police Command (USARC)
 
Category K: Photojournalism (individual award) 1st Place: “I Hear You Calling”, MSG Michael Sauret, 200th Military Police Command (USARC)
 
Category L: News Photo (individual award) 1st Place: “Pride, Service and Family in One Embrace”, SSG Kenneth Scar, 108th Training Command (IET) (USARC)
 

VIDEO CATEGORY WINNERS:

Category H: Video Information Program (unit award) 1st Place: “The Rainmaker”, Office of the Chief, Army Reserve (USARC) (Link:  https://vimeo.com/144840911)
 
Category K: Video Feature Report (individual award) Honorable Mention: “Big Logistics Over the Shore West 2015”, SSG Robert Ham, 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) (USARC) (Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI9QzUGVmWo)
 
Category M: Local Video Newscast (unit award) 1st Place: “Army Reserve Today” - Episode 17, U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC)
 
POC: COL William N. Nutter, william.n.nutter.mil@mail.mil

Air Force Update

AFRC, RE win Organizational Excellence Award


The Air Force Organizational Excellence Award recognizes the achievements and accomplishments of U.S. Air Force organizations or activities. Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia and the Air Force Office of the Air Force Reserve in the Pentagon have earned the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award for the period Oct. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2014.
 
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The Air Force Office of the Air Force Reserve in the Pentagon and Air Force Reserve Command here are winners of the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award. 

The Secretary of the Air Force Personnel Council approved the organizations for 2014-2015 U.S. Air Force Unit Awards for the period from Oct. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2014. 

According to SecAF personnel council guidance, subordinate units assigned directly to parent organizations can share in these awards provided they have been identified by the parent unit as being eligible.

 Subordinate units should contact the parent unit for verification. The Air Force Personnel Center Recognition Programs Section will publish special orders and update all parent and subordinate units in the Air Force Unit Award Database. The database can be found at http://access.afpc.af.mil/AwardsDMZNet40/Default.aspx. 

Active duty, Reserve, and Guard personnel who are/have been assigned to these identified organizations can report to their servicing military personnel section and have their unit awards updated in their records, and are authorized to wear the appropriate unit award ribbon on their uniforms according to AFI 36-2903, Dress and Appearance of Air Force Personnel.

Personnel who have since had a PCS or PCA and are entitled to share in the approved unit award listed should report to their servicing FSS for assistance.

Veterans should report to their local Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, or Veterans Administration offices for assistance.

 Air Force civilian employees should report to their servicing CPS to have the award documented in DCPDS and receive the appropriate lapel pin.
 

Crosstalks aimed at improving KC-135 service

AFRC website/By Maj. Jon Quinlan, 507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
 

Maj. Gen. Glenn Davis, the mobilization assistant to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander, gives opening remarks during a KC-135 Stratotanker customer support visit to the 507th Air Refueling Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. The group visited Tinker AFB and also Birmingham Air National Guard Base, Alabama, and Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana, from March 14-18 to enhance KC-135 customer service between all the agencies. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Maj. Jon Quinlan)
 
 
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. (AFNS) -- Experts from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, the Air Force Reserve, National Guard Bureau and the Legacy Tanker Division conducted a customer support visit here and at two other bases March 14-18 to listen to unit concerns regarding KC-135 Stratotanker support and logistics.
 
The team, headed by Maj. Gen. Glenn Davis, the mobilization assistant to the AFLCMC commander, also traveled to Birmingham Air National Guard Base, Alabama, and Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana, with airlift provided by the 507th Air Refueling Wing here.
 
According to William R. Barnes, the deputy chief of the Legacy Tanker Division here, the purpose of the visit was simple.
 
"We want to enhance aircraft availability," Barnes said. "It's all about getting more iron on the ramp."
 
The team of nearly 30 logistics, maintenance, acquisitions and engineering experts discussed topics including supply rate times, sustaining engineering, product support management and part transportation.
 
According to Davis, the open and frank discussions were beneficial as there sometimes can be a disconnect between metrics viewed at major commands versus what’s going on at the ground level in operational units.
 
"Our goal is to get out to the units, to hear what needs to be heard and then do something about it," Davis said. "These visits allow us the luxury of interacting directly with the units because the Airmen in the units are going to have really good ideas."
 
During the Tinker AFB visit, members of the 507th Maintenance Group identified specific maintenance issues to discuss and provided hands-on tours of various back shops, as well as tours of the jets. Having the subject-matter experts on the ground allowed for real-time discussions and solutions to be implemented immediately.
 
Visiting the base in person, Davis said, proved to be more productive than a teleconference.
 
"It was great to have the face-to-face interaction so I could put a face with a name," he said. "It helped us to get a better understanding of the concerns of maintenance professionals at the units."
 
Other agencies involved in the visits included the Defense Logistics Agency, Air Force Sustainment Center, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex and Air Mobility Command.
 
The Reserve 507th Maintenance Group commander, Col. Travis Caughlin, said that the partnerships built during these visits are very important to KC-135 operations and the unit is always happy to assist.
 
The partnerships and plans built by these visits will ensure that the nearly 60-year-old KC-135 is flying well beyond 2030, Barnes said.
 

Historic Trip to Cuba

When the President visited Havana, Cuba, “Reservists from the 315th Airlift Wing took the lead in a medical mission and remained ready in case they were needed along with a crew from the 16th Airlift Squadron, while the president was on the island nation.”

Tech. Sgt. Tripp Gilbert a reserve loadmaster from the 701st Airlift Squadron, adjusts cargo on a C-17 while in Havana, Cuba for a presidential support mission. The diplomatic mission was the first time a sitting U.S. president has visited the communist nation in 88 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Wayne Capps)

Navy Update

It just got easier for Reserve sailors to make the
Navy's toughest paygrade

Mark D. Faram, Navy Times March 27, 2016


Reserve sailors' shot at making senior chief jumped this year, but master chief chances stayed about the same. Here, sailors man the rails on aircraft carrier John C. Stennis.(Photo: MC2 Patrick Enright, U.S. Navy)
 
Reservists' shot at earning the star of a senior chief jumped nearly six percentage points this year.
 
Master chief quotas for reserve, however, have the same chances.
 
That's according to the latest quotas for E-8 and E-9 for Reserve and Full-Time Support, whose boards convened Feb. 28. The results are expected in April. The quotas offer 251 spots for 1,823 chiefs seeking E-8 and 42 slots for 424 E-9 hopefuls. Year over year, senior chief has the lowest percentage for selection of the senior enlisted paygrades.

In the full-time support ranks, opportunity was ticked up at both paygrades.
 
For those competing for FTS E-8, opportunity rebounded this year to 6.5 percent, with 53 of 810 eligibles slated to move up.
 
Selection to FTS E-9 saw a third straight year of higher opportunity, with 22 of 116 eligibles and an 19 percent chance to get a second star.
 

Coast Guard Update

Guarding Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Did you know the Air Force Reserve is not the only component supporting missions into Cuba?  The Coast Guard Reserve, Port Security Unit 308, has been in and out of Cuba several times in the past few years.  Coast Guard Reservists deploy to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to patrol the waters in and around the military installation.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Bradley Walker, a tactical coxswain with Port Security Unit 308, holds his 16-month-old son, Anderson, before he boards a plane with the rest of his unit to deploy to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally, U.S. Coast Guard)

Member Updates


The Winter 2016 issue is now
Available online here

USAA Online Resources for Military Families

Below are some current articles courtesy of USAA that contain valuable information, videos and online resources. USAA has a wealth of financial education articles on a wide variety of topics at your disposal. 
 
Why Some Married Couples File Separate Taxes
Most married couples file joint federal income tax returns, but there are a few instances where it may make sense to file separately.
 
Active Duty? Learn How to Lower Debt Costs
Military service need not come with heavy financial or legal burdens.
 
7 Ways to Ease the Stress of Buying a House
It pays to prepare before you search for a new house.  Here are seven home buying tips to help with your next home purchase.
 
5 Things to Know About Inheriting an IRA
Inheriting an IRA certainly can be a financial boost, but it presents opportunities for costly missteps.
 
How Do I Know if My Car Has Been Recalled?
Millions of vehicles are affected by manufacturer recalls each year.  One of the biggest dangers is simply not knowing whether your vehicle has been recalled.
 
The USAA Member Community serves as the place for members to seek/give advice and tips around items that are most important in their lives. Financial Advice Blog: A New Military Retirement System is on the Horizon
Army & Air Force Exchange Service Public Affairs
NEWS RELEASE: 16-022 —  March 21, 2016
EXCHANGE MEDIA CONTACT: CONNER HAMMETT – hammettc@aafes.com
 

Exchange Named a ‘Best for Vets’ Employer by Military Times

 
DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service has been named a ‘Best for Vets’ employer for the third straight year by Military Times.
 
The designation recognizes the Exchange as having a company culture and policies that cater to military veterans. The Exchange was also named a Best for Vets employer in 2014 and 2015.
 
“We value the talent, skillset and unique perspectives veterans bring to the Exchange and this award reaffirms our commitment to our core value of ‘family serving family,’” said Leigh Roop, executive vice president and chief human resources officer for the Exchange. “It’s about giving back not only through providing great products and services, but to provide career opportunities to those who sacrifice so much to protect our freedoms. It’s the least we could do.”
 
In 2015, the Exchange made nearly 1,300 new hires of veterans. In addition, the organization employed more than 3,400 United States Armed Forces veterans last year, which comprised 10 percent of the organization’s overall workforce.
 
Sightline Media Group, which encompasses Military Times, Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times, based the rankings on a more than 90-question analysis of a company’s efforts to connect with veterans and provide an environment for their success. The Exchange ranked No. 54 on this year’s list.


DoD to Announce Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal Today

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,
 
I'm pleased to inform you that this afternoon Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will announce that President Obama, by Executive Order, has established the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal (IRCM).  This decision was based on the recommendation of both the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to create a medal that distinctly recognizes our Service members battling terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria.
 
To qualify for award, a member must have been present in Iraq, Syria, or the contiguous waters or airspace of either country, on or after June 15, 2014, for a period of 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days.  Service members who were killed or were medically evacuated due to wounds or injuries immediately qualify for award, as do members who engaged in combat.   
 
Previously, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (GWOT-EM) was authorized to recognize service in Iraq and Syria.  Service members awarded the GWOT-EM for qualifying service in Iraq or Syria between June 15, 2014 and March 30, 2016 remain qualified for that medal.  However, such members, upon application to their respective Military Department may be awarded the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal in lieu of that GWOT-EM; however, they may not receive both medals for the same act, achievement, or period of service.

The GWOT-EM continues to be awarded to recognize members deployed outside of Iraq and Syria for Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.
 
The Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force are the approval authorities and will promulgate guidance for award procedures to their Military Departments.

For your reference, this photo depicts the IRCM design and includes text describing the symbolism of each design element.
 
More information about the IRCM will be available this afternoon following Secretary Carter's public announcement at: http://www.defense.gov/News/News-Releases  
 
Please let me know if you have any questions about the new campaign medal and I will ensure our subject matter experts provide answers.  In the meantime, many thanks for your tremendous support for the Department and our Service members, veterans and their families.
 
Best wishes,
David
 
David L. Nokes
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
 Community & Public Outreach
Pentagon, Room 2D982; 703-693-0309, DSN 223
david.l.nokes.civ@mail.mil

Military Families

April begins the "Month of the Military Child" and Military One Source is providing information to help keep our military children safe.  Here is information they have provided to focus on many issues facing military families.
 
Parenting can be especially tough for military families, who may be away from their support systems or go through deployments with only one parent at home. Raising kids can be complicated, but keeping them Safe and Sound doesn’t have to be.
 
Everyday situations—like leaving kids alone in the car, putting too many stuffed animals in a crib, and losing track of kids while multitasking—can be avoided to keep your kids safe. The first step is to identify the common risk factors for child neglect in your life:
 
Inadequate Supervision – Supervision can be the difference between a safe or dangerous situation. Be there for your kids — or make sure someone you trust is.
Physical and Environmental Hazards – Steps toward a safe home are leaps toward child safety. Take the first steps today.
Distracted Parenting – It’s easier to connect with your kids when you find time to disconnect from emails, texts, and games. Be present with your kids.
 
Your kids’ safety depends on you—but you don’t have to do it alone.  Go to Military OneSource’s Safe and Sound to find information about these common neglect scenarios and tips for how to prevent them. Take advantage of tools and resources, such as childproofing checklists, recommendations for child care, and information for finding the state and installation guidelines or laws you need for supervising your kids.
 
Visit Safe and Sound today, or call Military OneSource now at 800-342-9647 for tips and resources to help you avoid neglectful situations and be the best parent you can be for your military kids.

Exchange Kicks Off 2016 “Because of You Program”
With $10,000 Gift Card Giveaway

 
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is celebrating the Month of the Military Child in April by kicking off its first Because of You sweepstakes for 2016, giving authorized shoppers a chance at $10,000 in gift cards.
 
With the worldwide $10K Shopping Spree Giveaway, one grand-prize winner will take home a $5,000 Exchange gift card. Five runners-up will each win $1,000 gift cards. The Exchange is teaming up with Oberto to offer the prizes.
 
The sweepstakes is part of the Exchange’s Because of You program, which has expanded in 2016 to celebrate military families as well as honor active-duty troops, allowing the Exchange to express gratitude for their service and sacrifice.
 
“April, being the Month of the Military Child, is the perfect time to unveil the Exchange’s yearlong campaign to celebrate military families,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “Military families—especially children—face unique challenges. It’s a privilege to recognize the dedication of these families along with the sacrifices of active-duty service members.”
 
Authorized shoppers 18 and older can enter the $10K Shopping Spree Giveaway online from April 1-30 at www.shopmyexchange.com/becauseofyou. Winners will be chosen at random and notified no later than May 19. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.
 

Reunions:

Outfit:


Reunion Date:
Location:
Contacts:
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  ej12tfw@cox.net or 480-396-4681
USS Carpenter, DD 825, Shipmates Assn. Reunion
May 19 – 23, 2016 – Branson, MO
Registration and Activities website
 
Information Contacts
Coy Ritchie: 303-690-5118
Jimmie Kennedy: 714-776-4019
The USS Ticonderoga (CV/CVA/CVS-14, CG-47) reunion will be in Las Vegas, NV, May 19-23, 2016, at the Gold Coast Hotel.

Contact: Floyd Frank: (702) 361-6660 or papacva14@aol.com
U.S.S. Wilhoite (DE/DER-397)
September 12-15, 2016
Crowne Plaza at the Airport
2829 Williams Boulevard, New Orleans, LA
Website: www.usswilhoite.org
Contact: Elisabeth Kimball
236 Linker Mountain Road, Dover, AR 72837
479-968-1236/479-280-2776
canerday@centurytel.net
The biannual reunion of the USS Turner Joy, DD-951, will take place 21-25 September 2016 at the Holiday Inn Virginia Beach-Norfolk Hotel & Convention Center.  The hotel is located at 5655 Greenwich Road, Virginia Beach, Va. 23462
Details and registration information can be obtained at the USS Turner Joy website: http://www.ussturnerjoy.com
 

 
Richard D. Haight
USS Turner Joy DD-951
Reunion Coordinator
12359 Cold Stream Guard Ct.
Bristow, Va. 20136
Rickh20136@verizon.net
U.S.S. John R. Craig (DD-885)
September 20-25, 2016
Holiday Inn, Nashville Airport
Nashville, Tenn.
Website: www.ussjohnrcraig.com
Contact: Jerry Chwalek
9307 Louisiana Street, Livonia, MI 48185 jermail@ameritech.net
Outfit:

Reunion Date:
Location:
Contacts:
UPT Class 67C

October 28-30, 2016
Mesa, AZ   
Contact Jerry Engles for further information: 
jengles386@gmail.com
USS Elokomin AO-55
Sep 22-25, 2017
Lisle (Chicago), IL


Contact: Ron Finet
Finet@hotmail.com
Phone: 262-742-4269

Law Reviews:

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


Former Service Member’s Law Center director, retired USNR Capt. Sam Wright, provides periodic law review updates.  Please see ROA’s Law Center webpage for more information on service members’ law.
  • No. 16018 Favorable Appellate Decision on Section 4311 of USERRA
  • No. 16019 Does Army National Guard Recruit Have Right to Get out of Apartment Lease?
  • No. 16020 USERRA Applies to Paid Internships
Visit the Service Members Law Center
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Reserve Voice is published on the 15th and 30th of each month 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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