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ReserveVoice: October 15, 2016

Legislative Update

Red Cap Event

The Department of Washington met with Rep Derek Kilmer (WA–6th) and his local district Military Representative, Eric Williams, at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon. The Congressman was very supportive of ROA’s initiatives for Veteran’s Status and Survivor Benefit Plan – Inactive Duty Status.  The Department was able to also use the issues for recruiting a 10 year Army Reserve Component member from their table who did NOT have Veteran Status because of never serving 180 consecutive days of service.

Continuing Resolution

Congress ended up passing H.R. 5325 (P.L. 114-223) as continuing resolution (CR) within the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill before the election recess.  The bill provides funding at the Fiscal Year 2016 levels for the government until 9 December 2016, except for the caveat that every federal agency would reduce funds by 0.496 percent for operations.
The 0.496 percent reduction does not apply to Overseas Contingency Operations funds or those under the Social Security Administration, Limitation on Administrative Expenses or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Account.
The CR does not allow funds for any “new” starts to projects, activities, operations or organizations not included in last year’s budget bill for FY 2016.

Military Personnel

The continuing resolution included funding for the Department of Defense in the various accounts to include Military Personnel.  Unfortunately, Guard and Reserve members may still be told to cancel their inactive drill or annual tour.  The reason this can occur is that it takes time for the funds to get to the unit level.  The funds must first be apportioned from the United States Treasury to the Department of Defense, to the service through the various commands and finally to the installations.  Here is an extract of instructions from the Treasury:

Military Construction

This account provided funds to the Guard and Reserve that would remain available until September 30, 2021.  This is not an unusual way to appropriation constructions funds because the services work with contracts that are issued throughout the life of the project.
Army National Guard  $232,930,000
Air National Guard    $143,957,000
Army Reserve   $   68,230,000
Navy Reserve     $   38,597,000
Air Force Reserve   $188,950,000

Additional military construction funds were given for construction projects identified on the unfunded priority list for fiscal year 2017 for the following Reserve Components.
Army National Guard  $67,500,000
Air National Guard      $11,000,000
Army Reserve     $30,000,000

Army Update

‘Patton’s Own’ Augmentation Company inactivates after 27 years

ROA member, Doug Cherry, touches history during a Sept. 28, 2016 inactivation ceremony at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. (Photo by Sgt. Brandon Hubbard)
Col. Douglas A. Cherry, the Third Army Augmentation Company reviewing officer, told the Soldiers the fact that the company was being inactivated in 2016 was actually a testament to its enduring successes.  “You are still here because you did everything right,” Cherry told the formation. > READ MORE

Navy Reserve

US Constitution and US Flag - Not the Same Thing

OK – so let’s lance the boil…  let’s talk about the current trend of people refusing to stand for the National Anthem.  Like it or not, it is exactly this freedom of expression for which we are willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice – and for which Shipmates have paid the ultimate sacrifice.  Is it a disrespectful expression?  Undeniably. 
HOWEVER, it is the Constitution that we have all sworn to defend – not the flag.  The Constitution in effect establishes that citizens can profess and pronounce things that are vile and fundamentally insulting to other people.  It is their right to do so – and it is our duty to protect their rights, no matter our own personal beliefs. 
As we wear the uniform, we are held to a higher standard than the rest of the citizenry.  As uniformed members of the Department of Defense we need to be especially clear in our thinking on freedom of speech - especially in emotional discussions such as this.  While the right to exercise free speech is protected, nobody is protected from the legal and proper repercussions of their actions.  As a citizen we have the right to free speech – but when we serve in uniform we have accepted that we may not exercise our rights at all times.  The manner in which we address the US flag is one of those situations. Navy leadership recently put forth a reminder of the existing policies
We would all be well served to remember there are repercussions for violating policy – regardless if you agree with the policy or not.

Marine Corps Reserve Update

USS John P. Murtha Commissioned

A new U.S. Navy ship will honor Colonel John Murtha USCMR (Ret), Pennsylvania's late longest-serving congressman.  The ship was commissioned on October 8th at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia.  > READ MORE

Toys for Tots

As the Marine Corps Reserve continues the celebration of their 100th anniversary, let’s take a moment to remember that it is the USMCR that runs the annual Toys for Tots program.  Only 71 days until Christmas!  Find your local drop-off location on the Toys for Tots website.

Coast Guard Reserve Update

Reserve Skills Synch with Corporate Culture; Influence Active Coast Guard Members

Shell’s corporate culture and values were what influenced LCDR Jerry Crooks USCG(Ret) to apply after he retired from the Coast Guard, but it was a career’s worth of involvement on behalf of his Shell mentor – a captain in the US Coast Guard Reserve – that prepared him for his transition.  > READ MORE

NOAA Update

Into Matthew’s Eye

NOAA WP-3D aircraft are specially outfitted to conduct this dangerous mission. > VIEW VIDEO
I would like to offer something for you to consider while we view the damage from this latest storm. We place various capabilities at further risk the longer we continue to operate in an overly-constrained fiscal environment.  The under-resourcing of programs means they are in a constant state of accelerated degradation to some extent – some great, some minor.  But, let’s be clear - when a program persistently lacks the resources it requires, it is by definition experiencing degradation beyond the planned rate.
NOAA has been under-resourced by the budget for years.  This impacts capabilities such as storm observation and prediction.  Should the country experience significant degradation in these capabilities, it will ultimately increase risk to life and property.  Many times, degradation begins to pop-up as small problems and otherwise minor issues.  So, I encourage everyone to be vigilant for any growing body of evidence.  Things that would otherwise be dismissed as simple maintenance issues or technical glitches when viewed in the aggregate may signal a bigger concern.

US Public Health Service Update

Computer Breach affects current, retired and former Commissioned Corps officers and dependents

The Surgeon General announced this week that the names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of current, retired, and former Commission Corps officers and their dependents may have been stolen or compromised.  > READ MORE

Air Force Update

Often times you will hear servicemembers refer to each other as “family” and if you are not in the service you may presume that only means the sense of camaraderie that exists, which is true, but it really does also mean family, as in multiple generations.  The following article is an example because ROA Past President Major General Wahleithner’s descendent Capt Wahleithner is one of the rescuers you will read about.

Reservists rescue aircraft crash victim

Capt. Jared Wahleithner (right) and 1st Lt. Christopher Dempsey, KC-10 Extender pilots with the 70th Air Refueling Squadron, used years of aircrew survival and first aid and buddy care training to help rescue an aircraft crash victim Sept. 17, 2016. The Citizen Airmen were taking part in the annual Clear Lake Splash In at Clear Lake, Calif., when a seaplane crashed during an attempted water landing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken Wright)

If not for the actions of two fast-thinking and well-trained Citizen Airmen, the last Saturday of summer may have ended in tragedy at Clear Lake, California.

Capt. Jared Wahleithner and 1st Lt. Chris Dempsey were ferrying passengers to shore Sept. 17, during the annual Clear Lake Seaplane Splash In, when a small amphibious aircraft crashed during an attempted landing.

Wahleithner and Dempsey, both KC-10 Extender pilots with the 349th Air Mobility Wing here, knew the Grumman Widgeon was in trouble when they noticed its landing gear was still extended as it descended toward the water. > READ MORE


UPT Class 67C

Date: October 28-30, 2016
Location: Mesa, AZ   
Contact: Jerry Engles for further information:

USS Voge (DE/FF-1047) Reunion

5-9 October 2016
Warwick RI
Reservations: call MRP at 817-251-3551or go
Reservation deadline:  24 August 2016
Contact: Tom Anderson/501-259-1369 or Jan Harris/
For additional Info go to Voge Facebook Page or email

USS Waldron DD-699

April 27-May 1, 2017,
Doubletree by Hilton at the Houston Hobby Airport
8181 Airport Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77061
Contact: Ron Wells,  Phone: 512-282-4507

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. 16099 The Client Is Responsible for Court Costs as Incurred
  • No. 16100 Don’t Do Military Duty on a Sick Leave Day
  • No. 16101 USERRA in the Virginia Supreme Court
  • No. 16102 ROA Files an Amicus Curiae Brief in the Federal Circuit
  • No. 16103 Update on Protecting the Civilian Jobs of National Guard Members on State Active Duty
  • No. 16104 Keep Participating in the Army National Guard as a Traditional Guard Member after you Start Drawing Active Component Retired Pay, and Convert to a Reserve Component Retirement upon Age 60
  • No. 16105 The Posse Comitatus Act and the Activated Reservist
  • No. 16106 How Does Section 4318 of USERRA Apply to the Regular Military Retiree who Leaves a Federal Civilian Job To Return to Active Duty, Completes a Period of Voluntary Active Duty, Returns to Federal Civilian Employment, and then Retires?
Visit the Service Members Law Center
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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