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ReserveVoice (CORRECTED): March 30, 2017

The Henry J. Reilly Scholarship Program
for the 2017-18 Academic Year Opens March 31

Applications are due by May 1, 2017
 

Revitalizing a major ROA program, the Association’s president, Col. James R. Sweeney II, USMC (Ret.), announced today that for academic year 2017-2018, ROA will award up to ten $2500 scholarships to students pursuing courses of study leading to certificate, associate, bachelor, and graduate degrees.
 
“We are excited to offer Henry J. Reilly scholarships again,” said Sweeney. “This popular program is of great value to ROA members and their families.”
 
The scholarships are funded by the Henry J. Reilly Memorial Library and Scholarship Fund, part of the ROA’s STARs Foundation through which donors both help students and honor Reilly’s love of education.
 
Applicants should use the online scholarship portal,  (https://aim.applyISTS.net/ROA), managed for ROA by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. ISTS will be the point of contact for applicants throughout the process.  ISTS will provide ROA with finalist applications, and an ROA committee will make the final selections. We have learned that MS Edge browser causes an error in the registration process; please use another browser, such as Safari or Explorer.
 
The portal opens at 12:00 A.M. PDST on March 31, 2017; all applications are due by 11:59 P.M. PDST on May 1, 2017.  It is anticipated that half of the scholarships will go to certificate and undergraduate study and half for graduate study.
> READ MORE

Legislative Update

ROA’s Legislative Agenda

ROA’s Legislative Agenda is now posted on the ROA website and several bills have already been introduced on issues included in the agenda.  Next month the House and Senate will be on recess from April 8 - 24, which gives ROA members an opportunity to meet with their Congressional delegation at home and ask them to co-sponsor the following bills.
Operational Support:  Fix Pre-Planned Involuntary Call Up (10 USC 12304b)
  • Resolve inequities in benefits and entitlements afforded to Reserve Component members based on mobilization authority in line with other involuntary duty statuses.
    • H.R.1384, “Reserve Component Benefits Parity Act”.  To amend titles 5, 10, 37, and 38 of the United States Code to ensure that an order to serve on active duty under section 12304a and 12304b of title 10, United States Code, is treated the same as other orders to serve on active duty for determining the eligibility of members of the uniformed services and veterans for certain benefits and for calculating the deadlines for certain benefits.
Taxes:  Update Tax Laws and Policies to Reflect Changes in the Military
  • Pass an omnibus tax bill for Guard and Reserve servicemembers to include the new blended retirement Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), military duty travel and rollover requirements.
    • H.R.1317, “Servicemember Retirement Improvement Act”.  To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow members of the Ready Reserve of a reserve component of the Armed Forces to make elective deferrals on the basis of their service to the Ready Reserve and on the basis of their other employment.
Veteran Status:  Extend Federal Hiring Preference for Reserve Component Members
  • Confer veteran status for purposes of federal hiring veterans’ preference on Reserve Component members after 180 “cumulative” days on active duty versus “consecutive” days on active duty.The legislative initiative is due solely to ROA’s leadership.
    • S. (TBD), “Better Workforce for Veterans Act”.To amend titles 5 and 38 United States Code, to improve the authorities of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to hire, recruit, and train employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Bill Supports Resolution

There is an additional bill that has been introduced that ROA members can ask their Senator or Representative to co-sponsor
H.R. 569, Reserve Retirement Deployment Credit Correction Act
  • This bill provides for retroactive calculation as of October 7, 2001, (the start of combat operations in Afghanistan) of qualifying active duty or active service days as a member of the Ready Reserve to reduce the eligibility age for receipt of retired pay for non-regular service. The current calculation date is January 28, 2008. (15-11 Expand Eligibility for Early Retirement)

Coast Guard Funding

ROA continues to work the proposed funding cuts to the Coast Guard.  While it appears the President has withdrawn his proposal to reduce the Coast Guard budget it is not going to receive any of the funding increases given to the Department of Defense.  The Coast Guard fiscal year 2018 budget will be no higher then what was given in fiscal year 2017.  ROA has requested Congress increase the Coast Guard Reserve funding for additional end strength and equipment.
 

Family Readiness Unit Awards


ROA members among DoD Reserve Family Readiness Unit Awardees

The Reserve Components’ finest family support units, leaders, and volunteers received recognition March 24 in the Pentagon’s Medal of Honor Hall of Heroes by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Integration Matthew P. Dubois, himself a Navy retiree and a member of ROA
 
Dubois is currently the senior official in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Accompanied by a full house of supportive audience members from recipient commands, he presented the 2016 Reserve Family Readiness Award to units from the Army and Air National Guard, Army Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve.
 
One unit recognized, the 434th Air Refueling Wing, comprises a command led by an ROA member.

“The men and women at the 434th Air Refueling Wing always seem to go the extra mile to take care of each other and their families,” said Col. Scott Russell, commander of the wing’s 434th Mission Support Group.  “It was nice to see them get some recognition for it.” Russell is chairman of ROA’s national membership committee.

Air Force Reserve, 434th Air Refueling Wing, Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind.; Col. Lorenza Shaw, commander; to his right is Col. Scott Russell, commander of the wing’s 434th Mission Support Group; Russell chairs ROA’s national membership committee.  Second from right is Brig. Gen. Albert V. Lupenski, Director, Air Force Reserve Plans, Programs and Requirements.

“I want to recognize the support that our veteran organizations like ROA (Chapter of the Golden West) and MOAA (Silicon Valley Chapter) have played in our success,” said Cmdr. Amy Hunt, commander of the award-winning Navy Operational Support Center San Jose. “By welcoming us into their ‘family’, it has enabled us to do more for our active, Reserve, and veteran families in the Bay Area.  We have benefited from both moral and financial support, and as a CO – the loneliest job in the Navy at times – I've found a network of friends that I can turn to for companionship and advice.”
 
DoD’s Reserve Family Readiness Award program, established in 2000, recognizes the top unit in each Reserve Component demonstrating outstanding family readiness in support of superior mission readiness. The awards have been co-hosted since 2005 by MOAA; award criteria includes innovative approaches to family readiness and the presence of command emphasis.
>  See The rest of the Awardee photos here
 

Army Update

Army Reserve Begins Construction on Training Center


Army Reserve and elected officials breaking ground on the new facility (Photo by Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris)

The Army Reserve’s 99th Regional Joint Command began construction of a $20 million training facility at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. Fifteen Reserve units comprising more than 600 Reservists will use the facility, which will contain “classrooms, a learning center, a library, storage cages, and a weapons simulator.”  
The 87,000 square foot facility is expected to be completed in January 2019. It is intended to provide a greater set of services on base for Reservists when they visit.
 

Army Chief States Army Will be Engaged in More Urban Warfare

The Army Service Chief General Mark Milley stated the Army will be engaged in a lot more urban warfare in the future. Speaking at the Center for New America’s Future of War event, Gen. Milley said more and more people are moving into what he termed, megacities: cities where the population reaches or exceeds 10 million people. With more heavily concentrated urban centers, conflict will center on capturing and maintaining control of these population and economic centers.
 
However, Gen. Milley noted the Army is used to fighting in more desert and mountainous environments, which means the Army needs to adapt its current unit structure. Instead of deploying larger brigade combat teams, there might be smaller company or battalion sized units commanded by more seasoned officers. These units will also be more spread out into smaller fighting units due to urban restrictions on amassing large amounts of troops.
 
Beyond just changes to the unit model, Army soldiers will most likely require more ethical and legal training. Soldiers will be interacting a lot more with civilians in urban settings than in desert and mountain terrain. Much like during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Army soldiers will need to learn to quickly distinguish who is an enemy combatant and who is an innocent civilian. Frequent distinguishing between friend, foe, and innocent may be an additional reason the Army is considering having higher ranked, more experienced officers commanding combat units. The hope is this increased experience will help guide soldiers through the rough and tumble of urban conflict and limit civilian casualties.
 

Army Looking for New Ground Combat Vehicle Prototype by 2022

The U.S. Army has indicated they want their next generation combat vehicle prototype by 2022. The Army has been using the M1 and M2 Abrams since the 1980s when they were developed to fight the Soviet Union. Since then, the Army has been attempting to build a new generation combat vehicle, a task that has taken on new urgency since near peer competitors like Russia have fielded advanced tank capabilities.
Unfortunately, the Army has had difficulty developing a new ground combat vehicle (GCV). Some notable failures were canceling the Future Combat System after spending over $18B on development. This was followed by the failure to replace the M2 Bradley with a new ground combat vehicle when that program was cancelled in 2014.

At this point, the Army seems to be taken a much more open approach to what type of GCV they want. They have not indicated whether the next generation GCV will be an infantry vehicle, a replacement for the M1 or M2 Bradley, or even the Stryker. Perhaps the aim is to provide more flexibility in order to adapt to changing battlefield requirements. However, the lack of direction could lead to another fiasco where unclear requirements results in no field-worthy platform.
 

President Trump Nominates Ryan Newman as the Army’s General Counsel

The White House announced the president will nominate Ryan Newman, the acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice, as the Army’s General Counsel.

Newman has both a military and legal background having graduated from West Point in 1998. He then served as a tank platoon leader, scout platoon leader, troop executive officer, and squadron adjutant at Fort Hood, Texas. In 2003, he was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom where he received the Bronze Star for meritorious service.

After leaving the Army, he attended University of Texas’ Law School and received his J.D. From there, he clerked for various judges including Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. Newman went on to work for a legal firm Jones Day and then transitioned as the chief counsel for Senator Ted Cruz.

Naval Services

Naval Reserve Warrior Training Event Registration Deadline Rapidly Approaching

Who: It is open to all O-3 to O-5 unrestricted line officers. Secret Clearance is required.
 
What: Naval Reserve Warrior Training is a three-day voluntary event intended to train reserve officers in various blue (warfighting) and green (high velocity lines of effort). The training topics may include Littoral Combat Ship, the Surface Mine and Warfighting Development Center, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense/Aegis Ashore, ISR Platforms, DDG 1000, MQ-4C, AGS, Directed Energy Weapons, LX-R, and UWW.
 
Expected waterfront training visits include: Submarines, Littoral Combat Ship, Aegis, Amphibious vessels, SPECWAR Group, and Coastal Riverine Squadron.  Anticipated Aviation assets include: F/A-18, F-35, E-2, SH-60 and P-8.
 
Beyond training seminars and site visits, there will also be informal venues providing ways for officers to discuss reserve career mentoring, APPLY preparations, and promotion boards with peers and senior officers.  RDML John Mustin (Deputy Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet) will host the event and speak to the Navy’s Surface Force Strategy.  Several other active and reserve Flag Officers have been invited to attend.
 
Where: San Diego, CA
 
When: June 23 at 7:00 to June 25 at 16:30.
 
How: Online Event registration link
Registration deadline is 23:59 Pacific Time on 09 April 2017
 
POC Information:  (Primary) CAPT Robert Nowakowski, robert.nowakowski@navy.mil,  robertn@qti.qualcomm.com, (M) 760-420-4613; (Alternate) CDR Patrick Newbrough, patrick.newbrough@navy.mil, patrick.newbrough@gmail.com (M) 757-971-3417.
 

U.S. Navy Tests Its New Railgun


What once was considered science fiction is becoming the next generation of naval warfare. The U.S. Navy released footage showing a capabilities test of the BAE electromagnetic railgun. The railgun is still under development so its full capabilities are not fully known, but an official factsheet states railgun projectiles can reach speeds up to Mach 6.
 
The railgun uses electricity to launch projectiles with immense speed, which can be used in anti-surface, missile defense, anti-aircraft, and shore support missions. Given the incredible velocity projectiles are fired from the railgun, the railgun’s lethality extends over 100 miles. Expanding the range and force of U.S. Navy projectiles is imperative given the increasing lethality and range of Chinese and Russian missile technology

Marine Corps Update


Marine Corps Reservists Prepare for Deployment

Approximately 300 active and reserve marines are preparing for deployment to Central America by training at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  This summer they will complete duty in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.  They will be training at rifle ranges, for underwater egress and to counter improvised explosive devices.

Not exactly boots on the ground . . . (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Melissa Martens)

USPHS Update

PHS Assignments to Department of Veterans Affairs

Senator Tester is proposing a bill, tentatively titled “Better Workforce for Veterans Act” that would allow Commissioned Offices of the regular Corps of the Public Health Service be assigned to VA as a way to fill vacancies.  The PHS mission “…to protect, promote, and advance the health and safety of our Nation” is a good fit with VA because it would enable them to work with the veteran cohort and be part of VA’s research programs.  Currently PHS officers can be assigned to 22 federal departments and agencies including the Department of Defense.  Adding the VA to this list of assignments would benefit both PHS and VA.  ROA supports this effort and believes reserve officers could also perform duty with the VA.

Air Force Update

Kentucky Air National Guard Unit Return from Iraqi Deployment

23 Kentucky Air National Guardsmen returned from their Iraqi deployment. They deployed as part of Kentucky’s 123rd Contingency Response Groupon January 4, 2017 to help secure and operate an air base in Mosul recaptured from ISIS. From this airfield, the ANG unit provided logistical support vital to the continued Mosul siege operation.
 

Air Force Plans on Shrinking Land-Based Intercontinental
Missile Stockpile

The Air Force plans on continuing to shrink its intercontinental ballistic missile stockpile from 450 to 400 as part of New START signed under President Obama between him and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The treaty called for a reduction in nuclear warheads and intercontinental ballistic missiles over 10 years. The treaty will end in February 2021.
 
The reductions are in direct contrast to President Trump’s call for a nuclear buildup. President Trump has consistently called for the U.S. to build up its nuclear forces.
 

 Could the F-15 be Getting the Boot?


McDonnell Douglas F-15C (Photo U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Rogers)
 
During a House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing, Major General Scott West, indicated the Air Force is considering retiring the F-15 (specifically the F-15C and F-15D models). He did indicate they were in the preliminary stages and had not reached a final decision. However, they would be making one relatively soon and if they did decide they wanted to replace the F-15 with an updated F-16, they might begin phasing out the F-15 by fiscal year 2019.
 
The F-15 has had ongoing maintenance issues due to their old age, which has limited how the Air Force can use them. This has adversely impacted their ability to conduct operations and fly sorties. In addition, with the introduction of the F-22, some believe the F-15’s air-to-air capabilities have been superseded and its presence in the Air Force’s force structure is no longer necessary. Some in the Air Force believe given their advanced age, it is best to retire the platform.
 
On the other hand, other voices contend the F-15 should not retire and be replaced by the F-16 because of the different missions the two planes are designed to handle. F-15 planes are air-to-air fighter jets while F-16s have air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities. The added capabilities make the F-16 more versatile, but usually not as effective for air-to-air combat as the F-15.
 
The debate rages on as readiness issues, shifting Air Force pilots from the F-15 to the F-16, and comparing capabilities and capacities factor into the final Air Force recommendation to Congress.

All-volunteer force seminar at William and Mary

When the U.S. moved to an all-volunteer military in 1973, most political and military leaders assumed that if the United States again fought a major, long-lasting war the nation would reactivate the draft. That didn’t happen: the U.S. fought the long and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with an all-volunteer force, even as service members were deployed for multiple tours of duty. This symposium, in the wake of those wars, evaluates the AVF.  How well has it worked?  Will it work in the future? 

On April 27, 2017, key national policy makers, former government officials, military officers, and scholars who have drawn different conclusions about the relative successes and failures of the AVF will gather at William & Mary to hold a frank conversation about a critical piece of our national defense.  ROA member Maj. Gen. Dennis Laich is among the panelists. > READ MORE

Military Families

Many Military Family Services Are Exempted from
Federal Hiring Freeze

On March 7, Anthony Kurta, the acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness issued a memorandum stating employees in military exchanges, morale, welfare and recreation programs, and family readiness programs are exempt from federal hiring freeze. Commissaries are not exempt though, which has faced some pushback from some Department of Defense officials. Many commissary employees are hired without appropriated funds and are instead funded through commissary revenue. Therefore, there is a question why they should be subject to the same hiring freeze other government agencies are undergoing since they are not receiving government funds.
Regardless, the exemption for military family service hiring is to ensure there is not a disruption in services. This may still be difficult because every exemption requires submitting a reason why those services are critical to national security needs. This process is cumbersome and can cause further hiring delays, exacerbating labor shortages like in childcare facilities.
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy is seeking a highly qualified candidate for appointment as Director, Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA).  The role is a Senior Executive Service Tier 3 position and reports directly to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Position closes April 6.  Interested candidates may apply through USAJobs using the following link: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/465382800/

Did you know that TRICARE offers free publications that explain your TRICARE benefit? Check out the new publications at
www.tricare.mil/publications.

Reunions

To publish your reunion notice in Reserve Voice, email jphillips@roa.org or send by mail to
    ROA Reunion Notice
    1 Constitution Ave NE
    Washington, DC 20002

USS Waldron DD-699

April 27-May 1, 2017,  www.usswaldron.org
Doubletree by Hilton at the Houston Hobby Airport
8181 Airport Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77061
Contact: Ron Wells,  Phone: 512-282-4507    hughronwells@yahoo.com

U.S.S. Lawrence Association (DDG-4 & DD-250)

May 2-7, 2017 Website: www.usslawrence.com
Doubletree by Hilton, Jacksonville Riverfront
1201 Riverplace Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207
Hotel: 904-398-8800
Contact Craig Bernat, Phone: 814-322-4150  dguts@usslawrence.com

U.S.S. Carpenter DD 825 Reunion

May 18-22, 2017
891 So. Walnut, #205, Nashville, Tenn.
714-776-4019
Contact: Jimmie Kennedy  Kennjd3@gmail.com

1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment

May 31 - June 4, 2017
Location: Columbus, GA
Download Registration Forms at Steel Tigers Website: www.steeltigers.org/home.php
or by mail to: Bob Basner, P.O. Box 38, Birch Run, MI 48415

11th ACR / Blackhorse Association Reunion

When: Jun 7-11, 2017, http://www.blackhorse.org/reunions.cfm
Hilton Marietta/Atlanta
500 Powder Springs St, Marietta, Georgia, 30064
Contact:  Scott Harrison, Phone: 813-944-8808, Email: sharrson@gmail.com

“Big Red One” 98th Annual Reunion

Hosted by Society of the First Infantry Division
Date: July 26-30, 2017
Location: Westin Crown Center, Kansas City, Missouri
Details & reservation forms are available on Society’s website: www.1stID.org,
Email: SFIDPA@gmail.com or Phone: 215-654-1969

U.S.S. Yellowstone (AD-27) Association Reunion

August 23-27, 2017
Hilton Gardens, Columbus , Ga.
Contact: Paul W. Bowen, Secretary/Treasurer & Reunion Planner
Cell: 352-208-5400  Email: bowp@centurylink.net

U.S.S. John R. Craig DD885

September 6-10, 2017
Norfolk, VA
Website: www.ussjohncraig.com
Contact: Jerry Chwalek  jermail@ameritech.net
Phone: 734-525-1469

U.S.S. Randolph/CV-CVA-CVS 15

September 17-24, 2017
2008 Radisson Hotel Cincinnati Riverfront
668 West Fifth St., Covington, KY 41011
Contact Sal Rizza,  321-454-2344

USS Ranger CVA/CV-61

(all former crew members, Squadrons, Marine detachment or T.A.D.’s
September 20-23, 2017
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Warwick RI
Contact: George Meoli   Email:  uss.ranger@yahoo.com
Phone: 203-453-4279

USS Bremerton CA-130/SSN-698

24-29 September 2017
Portland, Oregon
Contact: N. Polanowski   Ph. 585-365-2316
Email: rpolanowskiWstny.rr.com

The Distinguished Flying Cross Society Biennial Convention

September 24-28, 2017,  dfcsociety.org
Dallas, Texas,
Contact: Bruce Huffman, Phone: 518-578-7089,  bhuffman@dfcsociety.org

USS Wilhoite DE/DER 397

Date: October 2-5, 2017
Crowne Plaza Dayton  Ph: 1-800-689-5586
33 East Fifth Street, Dayton, Ohio
Contact: Elisabeth Kimball  Email: sailingsway1987@gmail.com
Ph: 479-280-2776
Website: www.usswilhoite.org

12th TFW, MacDill AFB, FL; Cam Ranh AB & Phu Cat AB; 389 TFS & 480 TFS, Da Nang, Vietnam; 555th TFS 1964-66 and 12th FEW/SFW (Bergstrom AFB, TX & Korea), and all supporting units

Date: 4 – 7 April 2018  •  Location: Tucson, AZ
Contact: E. J. Sherwood • email: EJ12FW@cox.net • Phone: 480-396-4681

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. 17015 USERRA Makes It Unlawful for an Employer To Discriminate Against You Based on Regular or Reserve Military Service, Recently or Long Ago.
  • No. 17016 Proving a Violation of Section 4311 of USERRA: A Case Study
  • No. 17017 Case Study in Proving a Violation of Section 4311 of USERRA
  • No. 17018 USERRA and the CAA
  • No. 17019 Presidential Executive Order 13607 Establishes Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses, and Other Family Members, April 27, 2012: Expanded Coverage of 34 CFR 668.18 To Include Mobilizations of 30 Days or Fewer
  • No. 17020 USERRA Information Available
Visit the ROA 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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