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ReserveVoice: August 27, 2015

Legislative Update

ROA Advocacy Website Changes

The ROA Advocacy page has been renamed Legislation and Policy.  The order of the pages were changed to bring the two member activity webpages (Call to Action and Resolutions) up to the top to better showcase ROA is a member driven association.  Here are some of the changes:
  •  Call to Action page has been added for when we need members to take action such as on the petition discussed below.  It will also be where we post draft e-mails and letters members can send to their Representative of Senator on legislation campaigns.
  • Resolutions were updated to post the 2015 resolutions passed in July 2015 and 2011 and 2012 were removed to reflect the 3-year cycle ROA has for resolutions.
  • Legislative Agenda was changed so more documents can be placed on that webpage.
  • Position Papers are now filed alphabetically instead of being numbered.  This was done to make it easier for ROA members or Congressional staff to find specific papers.
  • Legislative Letters were updated for all of the letters that have been sent to Congress and DoD this year.  All of the pages have been updated to reflect the current year (114th Congress) and two years of the 113th Congress.
  • Testimony was updated for showing only the 114th and 113th Congress documents.

ROA Petition on Survivor Benefits for Guard and Reserve Families


Recently ROA supported a Congressional amendment to provide the same survivor benefits for spouses and children whose loved one was a Guard or Reserve member who died in the line of duty on inactive duty orders. 

Unfortunately, it was not included in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act even though this legislative proposal was funded in the Defense budget.  To make matters worse, the proposal included debt relief to Guard and Reserve family members who were erroneously overpaid survivor benefits. 

Please sign the ROA petition to Congress and share the link with everyone who would be willing to sign the petition in support of this legislative change.  We can properly recognize the sacrifices of those who die in the line of duty by signing this petition.  (Sign the Petition)  - See more at: https://www.roa.org/advocacy/call-to-action#sthash.FgMGmlyZ.dpuf
 

Introducing the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program
(TRDP) New Mobile Directory

When TRDP beneficiaries see a TRDP network dentist, they save money! And now, there is a new mobile dentist directory at trdp.org that makes it even easier to find a TRDP network dentist.

At home or on the go when using a smartphone or tablet, the mobile directory detects your mobile device and automatically optimizes the network directory for your device.

You can search by ZIP code, address, or dentist name and filter by location/distance. You can also search by dental specialty to find a TRDP network dentist who fits your specific dental care needs.

Once search results are provided, you can press on the dentist’s listing to call the dentist directly to see if he/she is accepting new patients and make an appointment. The mobile directory even uses your device’s mapping capabilities to give you driving directions to the dental office!

Ready to get started? Access the new mobile directory by clicking on the Find a Dentist link on the trdp.org homepage or by going directly to trdpnetwork.org.  And watch the Save Money video to learn about how to save money by using a TRDP network dentist!
 

ROA 2015 Legislative Agenda

Army Update


An Afghan National Army Commando and a U.S. Special Forces soldier assigned to Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force–Afghanistan direct ANA soldiers during a battle with insurgents in Gelan District, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, 8 February 2014. (U.S. Army photo)
 
The Army Capabilities Integration Center functions much like the Army’s think tank.  ARCIC, in its own words, “develops Army concepts that provide strategic and operational direction through the Army Concept Framework. ARCIC also supports Combatant Commanders by evaluating capabilities needed for the future force in a range of operational environments.

“We look at the future, determine the threats the Army will face and the missions it will receive, and come up with the operational concepts required to organize its structures and the capabilities needed to drive its programs.

“ARCIC's mission is to develop, evaluate, and integrate concepts, requirements and solutions for the Army - across DOTMLPF, warfighting functions, and formations - to provide Soldiers and units the capabilities they need to support Combatant Commanders. ARCIC actively supports the Army's transition to a future force - one that is focused on developing adaptive leaders and organizations, modernizing equipment, and revolutionizing training.”

ARCIC Director Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who holds a doctorate in military history, is one of the Army’s visionaries: McMaster made Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world, in 2014.
“It is heartening to see the Army reward such an extraordinary general officer who is a thought leader and innovator while also demonstrating sheer brilliance as a wartime brigade commander,” said former Army vice chief of staff, retired Gen. Jack Keane when McMaster was named for promotion to lieutenant general.

"Major General Herbert Raymond McMaster might be the 21st century Army's pre-eminent warrior-thinker," another general wrote. "Recently tapped for his third star, H.R. is also the rarest of soldiers—one who has repeatedly bucked the system and survived to join its senior ranks."

Lt. Gen. McMaster issues recommended readings each week, gathered from journals and other sources.  ROA is honored to be among the recipients and will share these readings in Reserve Voice, linking to the ARCIC library website.

We also offer in this issue a piece by Lt. Gen. McMaster himself on the foundational Army Operating Concept: Continuity and Change: The Army Operating Concept and Clear Thinking About Future War.
 

Army Reserve Joint Light Tactical Vehicles  (JLTV)


Oshkosh photo

ROA’s 2015 Legislative Agenda for the Army Reserve included the need for Joint Light Tactical Vehicles and High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles.  The JLTV replacement moved forward with award of a contract to Oshkosh for 17,000 vehicles for the Army and Marines.  The Army Reserve does not anticipate receiving the new JLTV’s until FY 2022.  ROA will continue to keep this as a priority to ensure no delays would occur for delivery to the Army Reserve.

Navy Update

Coast Guard Gets a Forever Stamp

 
Recently, the Coast Guard was honored with a Forever Stamp.  According to the United States Postal Service,  “This stamp honors the United States Coast Guard for its role in protecting the security of the nation and advancing its vital maritime interests.
 
In an oil painting on masonite, renowned aviation artist William S. Phillips depicts two icons of the Coast Guard: the cutter Eagle, a three-masted sailing ship known as “America’s Tall Ship,” and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, the standard rescue aircraft of the Coast Guard.
 
One hundred years ago the agency received its current name, when President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the 1915 “Act to Create the Coast Guard.” The origins of the Coast Guard, however, go back to 1790, when President George Washington signed into law an act that provided for a fleet of ten boats, or “revenue cutters,” to aid in “the collection of duties … imported into the United States.”
 
Today’s Coast Guard has 38,000 active-duty men and women; 8,000 Reservists; and many volunteer auxiliary personnel. In addition to saving lives at sea, their responsibilities include enforcing maritime law, overseeing aids to navigation, carrying out icebreaking operations, protecting the marine environment, responding to oil spills and water pollution, ensuring port security, supporting scientific research at sea, combating terrorism, and aiding in the nation’s defense.
 
Phil Jordan was the art director for the stamp.”

Air Force Update

Air Force A-10 Close Air Support

The potential removal of A-10s from the Air Force inventory continues to be of particular interest to Congress, based on legislative language they included in the National Defense Authorization Act asking for more analysis from the Air Force before approving its drawdown request.  The Air Force believes current platforms can fulfill multiple missions, including close air support.  No doubt a result of the substantial pushback, in which ROA has participated, there is now Pentagon discussion about developing a replacement aircraft referred to as the A-X.   If the service still intends to eliminate the A-10 during such development – which would take years if not decade – an enormous gap is created.  Gaps notwithstanding, one would hope the talk of a new close air support all-star is serious and not meant to defuse opposition to the A-10’s demise . . .

Department Update

New Member category

During its July 2015 convention (link to flikr site), 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 ROA.org 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!”

Reunions:

Outfit:
Reunion Date:
Location:
Contacts:
USS Bon Homme Richard (CV/CVA-31)
September 15-19, 2015
San Antonio, TX
Frank Pulliam  417-684-1358
Outfit:
Reunion Date:
Location:
Contacts:
USS Elokomin
September 24-27, 2015
Cleveland, OH
Robert O’Sullivan, Theeloman@verizon.net, 617-288-3755
Ron Finet, Finet@hotmail.com, 262-742-4269
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

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. 15070 What Happens when your Probationary Period Is Interrupted by a Call to the Colors?
  • No. 15071 New Air Force Memorandum on USERRA’s Five-Year Limit
  • No. 15072 Being a Nurse Practitioner, rather than simply a Registered Nurse, Is Part of the “Status” to which You Are Entitled upon Reemployment
  • No. 15073 Recent Favorable USERRA Case from Massachusetts
  • No. 15074 Descending Escalator or Employer’s Changed Circumstances?
Visit the Service Members Law Center
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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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