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ReserveVoice: April 30, 2016

Legislative Update

March on the Hill

Congratulations Department of Texas ROA members who attended the March 2016 National Council and Senior Leaders Meeting!  Your visits to Representative Veasey (TX-D-33rd) resulted in him submitting SBP-IDT legislation to the House Armed Services Committee.  It was successfully included in HR 4909, 2017 NDAA House bill.
Section 624—Equal Benefits Under Survivor Benefit Plan for Survivors of Reserve Component Members who Die in the Line of Duty during Inactive-Duty Training
This section would amend section 1451(c)(1)(A) of title 10, United States Code, to eliminate the different treatment under the Survivor Benefit Plan accorded members of the Reserve Component who die from an injury or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty during Inactive-Duty training, as compared to the treatment of members of the Armed Forces who die in the line of duty while on Active Duty.
ROA is working with other Representatives and Senators on legislation as a result of ROA members participating in the annual March on the Hill. 

HR 4909, 2017 NDAA House Markup

The House Armed Services Committee recently released their draft version of the NDAA legislation.  By far, the health care reform will affect the majority of Guard and Reserve members, both past and present.  Here is a summary of those changes


Section 701—TRICARE Preferred and Other TRICARE Reform
  • Establishes TRICARE Preferred as the new self-managed, preferred provider option to replace TRICARE Standard and Extra.
  • Terminates TRICARE Standard and Extra beginning on Jan 1, 2018.
    • Individuals must elect TRICARE PRIME, TRICARE Preferred or TRICARE for Live as of Dec 31, 2017.
  • Keeps TRICARE Prime as the managed-care option currently in existence.
  • Adds an annual enrollment fees and fixed dollar copayments for Active Duty family members and retirees who join the Armed Services on or after Jan 1, 2018 and enroll in TRICARE Preferred or in TRICARE Prime.
  • Adds an annual enrollment fee for TRICARE Preferred for beneficiaries who were in the Active Duty or retired categories prior to Jan 1, 2018.
    • The fee may not be put into place until 90 days after the Comptroller General submits a report, NLT Feb 1, 2020.
  • Enrollment fees, deductible amounts, and catastrophic caps are by calendar-year.
  • Report on the baseline assessment of network adequacy and beneficiaries’ access to care under the TRICARE health care provider network NLT Sep 1, 2017.
  • Submit an implementation plan, NLT Jun 1, 2017, to improve access for TRICARE beneficiaries.
    • Must be reviewed by the Comptroller General NLT Dec 1, 2017.
  • TRICARE Reserve Select means the TRICARE Preferred option.
  • TRICARE Retired Reserve means the TRICARE Preferred option.
Section 702—Reform of Administration of the Defense Health Agency and Military Medical Treatment Facilities
  • Require the Defense Health Agency to become responsible for management of military treatment facilities
  • Establish an executive-level management office consisting of professional health care administrators to manage health care operations, finance and budget, information technology, and medical affairs across all military treatment facilities.
  • Submit an interim report NLT Mar 1, 2017, on the preliminary plan to implement these changes.Must be assessed by the Comptroller General NLT Sep 1, 2017.
  • Submit a final report NLT March 1, 2018. Must be assessed by the Comptroller General by Sep 1, 2018.
Section 703—Military Medical Treatment Facilities
  • Establish the requirements for military medical treatment facilities to support medical readiness of the Armed Forces and the readiness of medical personnel.
  • Must submit an updated Military Health System Modernization Study report NLT 270 days after enactment of this Act.
  • Must submit an implementation plan to restructure or realign the military medical treatment facilities NLT 2 years after the date of the enactment.
Section 704—Access to Urgent Care under TRICARE Program
  • Ensure urgent care is available through 11:00 p.m. at military treatment facilities the Secretary determines to be appropriate NLT 1 year after enactment of this Act.
    • If urgent care is unavailable at the military treatment facilities, access to urgent care through the TRICARE network providers would available through 11:00 p.m.
  • Eliminates the preauthorization requirement for urgent care.
Section 705—Access to Primary Care Clinics at Military Medical Treatment Facilities
  • Must expand the primary care clinic hours at military treatment facilities during the week and on weekends beyond the standard business hours of the installation.
Section 706—Incentives for Value-Based Health under TRICARE Program
  • Develop and implement value-based incentive programs as part of the TRICARE contracts to encourage health care providers under the TRICARE program to improve the quality of care and the experience of the covered beneficiaries.
  • NLT 1 year after implementation and annually thereafter through 2022, SecDef would provide briefings on the quality performance metrics and expenditures.
Section 707—Improvements to Military-Civilian Partnerships to Increase Access to Health Care and Readiness
  • Improve military-civilian partnerships to deliver health care to beneficiaries in a more effective, efficient, or economical manner.
  • Provide military health care providers additional training opportunities to maintain readiness requirements for delivering medical care.
Section 708—Joint Trauma System
  • Submit an implementation plan to establish a Joint Trauma System to serve as a reference body for all trauma care; establish standards of care for trauma services; coordinate the translation of research from the Defense Centers of Excellence into standards of care; and coordinate the lessons learned from joint trauma partnerships into clinical practice.
  • Comptroller General will review the implementation plan NLT 120 days after the implementation plan is submitted.
Section 709—Joint Trauma Education and Training Directorate
  • Assess the number of traumatologists needed to meet the requirements of the combatant commanders and to establish a Joint Trauma Education and Training Directorate to create enduring partnerships with civilian trauma centers. These military trauma surgeons and physicians, along with the clinical support teams, would be embedded within civilian trauma centers to maintain professional readiness to treat critically injured patients.
  • Submit an implementation plan NLT July 1, 2017.
Section 710—Improvements to Access to Health Care in Military Medical Treatment Facilities
  • Ensure military medical treatment facilities implement and consistently practice the following requirements:
    • first call resolution,
    • standardized appointment scheduling,
    • increased provider productivity, and
    • managed appointment utilization through maximizing use of telehealth and secure messaging.
  • Implement the requirements by February 1, 2017, and provide a briefing NLT March 1, 2017.
Section 711—Adoption of Core Quality Performance Metrics
  • Adopt core quality performance measures agreed upon by a collaborative group of Federal agencies, health plans, national physician organizations, employers, and consumers.
  • Use the core quality measures to evaluate performance of the Military Health System and the TRICARE network.
Section 712—Study on Improving Continuity of Health Care Coverage for Reserve Components
  • Study the options for providing health care coverage to certain current and former members of the Selected Reserve.
  • Submit a report of the findings and recommendations NLT 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Section 741—Study on Display of Wait Times at Urgent Care Clinics, Pharmacies, and Emergency Rooms of Military Medical Treatment Facilities
  • Must study the feasibility of displaying average wait times at urgent care clinics, pharmacies, and emergency rooms of military medical treatment facilities.
  • Must submit a report which includes the estimated costs for displaying wait times NLT Mar 1, 2017.

The Pentagon is making a huge mistake on military retirement

James R. Sweeney II and John A. Biedrzycki Jr., Special to Military Times

The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act created the blended military retirement system for which the Department of Defense had been screaming. Now, the Pentagon is trying to gut its overall value and availability to junior enlisted and officers before its implementation in 2018.

The Reserve Officers Association and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States supported exploring a new blended retirement system, as recommended by the 2015 Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission report. We support fresh thinking, and we like giving service members a choice, compared to most things military where there is none. Read the rest of the article on

Army Update

USARC Hosts Senior Leader Conference

The USARC hosted a Senior Leaders Conference at Ft. Bragg, NC earlier this week.   The program was hosted by LTG Talley, the Chief of the Army Reserve. The conference included a Who’s Who of Army leaders:  the Acting Assisting Secretary of the Army, Hon Patrick Murphy;  the Chief of Staff of the Army, GEN Mark Milley; the Command Sergeant Major of the Army, Dan Dailey;  and the FORSCOM Commander, GEN Abe Abrams.  The CSA reiterated that readiness was his number one priority and stressed not only his desire to work closely with the Army Reserve, but also the key role that the USAR will play in the future as the Regular Army is downsized.   GEN Abrams highlighted partnership successes and future opportunities.  The Army Reserve also celebrated its 108th birthday!
No official word yet on who will be nominated as the new Chief of the Army Reserve.  A name is pending at the White House and a nominee may be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks.  LTG Talley is scheduled to conclude his tour as the CAR within the next two months.
Although only at the beginning stages of the legislative process, preliminary indications are that the House Armed Services Committee might support modest personnel increases for the Army.  Under current law, the Regular Army and the ARNG are set to lose personnel over the next two years with the active component dropping to 450,000 and the ARNG to 335,000.

Civil Affairs Roundtable Helps Frame the Future of the Force

The Civil Affairs Association, in partnership with the National Defense University Center for Complex Operations (NDU-CCO), the U.S. Army Peacekeeping & Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI), Foreign Area Officer Association, Reserve Officers Association, Alliance for Peacebuilding and the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, held its annual Civil Affairs Roundtable in Ft. McNair’s Marshall Hall in Washington, DC on the 4th and 5th of April.
The main purpose was the presentation of the 2015-16 Civil Affairs Issue Papers, co-published between the Association, PKSOI, and the U.S. Marine Corps Training Command, on “Civil Affairs: A Force for Engagement and Conflict Prevention.” The Roundtable closes and opens an annual cycle, including the fall symposia and spring roundtables and centered around the Issue Papers as the main deliverable. The cycle serves as a platform for the most operationally experienced community of CA practitioners since World War II to have more direct and visible input on the discussion of the future of CA – as a national strategic capability to end and prevent wars – at the command and policy levels, as well as capture their insights and lessons for future posterity and research.
“The objective of employing this crowdsourcing method,” explains Association president Joe Kirlin, “is to give young leaders and the upcoming generation, something not previously done in a systemic way, an opportunity to have a voice in the future of a force in which they have arguably the greatest interest. So far, it has been paying off very well. People in many places are recognizing the great value of this work because in good part they are recognizing the great values-added of Civil Affairs, regardless of component or branch of service.”
“If in the future we are to fight war among the people, we must understand them.  How you do that when you are a global power with global interests … that will be a real trick,” Dr. Joseph Collins, Director of the host NDU-CCO noted in his opening remarks on the strategic value of CA.
Mr. Thomas C. Hushek, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) provided a keynote address. Based on his extensive personal experiences with development and diplomacy in conflict environments, Hushek concluded that U.S. military Civil Affairs activities provided invaluable support for the other two “D’s.” He opined that future demands were likely to continue growing, with a resultant need for even greater civil-military cooperation in the future in order to effectively address global, complex challenges including such problems as violent extremism, population migration, and the growth of transnational illicit networks.  He emphasized the importance of identification and comprehension of the underlying drivers of conflict as a prerequisite to responding to the threats which emanate from them. He exhorted the CA Regiment, especially its Reserve Component, to continue building closer “steady state” planning and professional development relations through the CSO and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Center for Civil-Military Cooperation.
In addition to introducing the 2015-16 Issue Papers, the Roundtable set out to respond to a challenge laid out at last November’s Symposium from Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Deputy Commanding General of Futures for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, to help the Army “think, learn, analyze, and implement solutions” to Army Warfighting Challenges (AWFC) that would improve the Joint Force’s ability to consolidate gains and achieve sustainable outcomes in conflict management.
To accomplish this, Issue Papers first-place winner Major Arnel P. David from the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Strategic Studies Group led a professional development workshop to produce CA-related inputs to the AWFC, representing a general consensus of the Civil Affairs Regiment.  Overall, the various groups found most CA tasks applicable to nearly all the AWFCs and the new Army Warfighting Function, Engagement. White papers and articles are being drafted by several officers and NCOs to inform the broader community and get integrated into the Army’s ongoing learning campaign by this summer.

 Over the past 20 years, national security strategies and foreign policy directives, the workshop noted, “engagement” has been increasingly mentioned. Given this significance, the workshop quickly concentrated on the central question of how CA, as part of a larger set of tools and capabilities, can help improve the efficacy of Engagement for the Joint Force and nation. Groups then broke out to explore a variety of topics —from education to new capabilities—to address this issue.

ROA Executive Director Retires from USAR

On 29 April, in a full military honors ceremony at Ft Myer, Virgina, ROA executive director, Maj Gen Jeffrey Phillips retired after a nearly 37 year career.

Air Force Update

Senior Leader Changes 

Maj. Gen. Maryanne Miller was nominated for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as Chief of Air Force Reserve and Commander, Air Force Reserve Command.

Maj. Gen. Ronald B. "Bruce" Miller has been selected to be the next deputy to the chief of the Air Force Reserve, HQ, USAF, Washington, D.C.

Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel was nominated for appointment to the rank of general and  assignment as chief, National Guard Bureau, Pentagon, Washington, D.C..

Air Force Maj. Gen. Leon S. Rice was nominated for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and for assignment as director, Air National Guard, National Guard Bureau, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Navy Update

Co-sponsors Needed

It is not too late to contact your Representative and Senator and ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor for “Blue Water” exposure to Agent Orange.  If they are already a co-sponsor, ask them to contact the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to schedule a hearing on this issue.
H. R. 969, “Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2015” clarifies presumptions relating to the exposure of certain veterans who served in the vicinity of the Republic of Vietnam, and for other purposes. 
S. 681, “Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2015” clarifies presumptions relating to the exposure of certain veterans who served in the vicinity of the Republic of Vietnam, and for other purposes.

Military Families

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.

What to Do if the IRS Sends an Audit Notice
It's the envelope no taxpayer wants to open: an IRS audit notice. What should you do if one arrives?
5 Ways to Maximize Military Benefits and Save Money
Between basic training, PCSing and deployment, joining the military presents some unique financial challenges. But there are also great benefits, including some from USAA.
How to Prep Your Finances for a Natural Disaster
Five steps you can take now to be more prepared if a disaster strikes.
Not All Aid is Created Equal
Aid for college can be beneficial, or it can be the first step into a deep financial hole.
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.

Don't Leave Your Child Alone

"Don't leave your child alone." It sounds like a no-brainer — but the realities of daily life make it hard to ensure your kids are always supervised, or to understand and follow child supervision guidelines closely. Military life — with deployments, moves, and other disruptions to your routine — can make it even more challenging.
Guidelines or laws for the minimum age that children can be left alone vary among states (for example, Georgia suggests 8 as the minimum age, while Tennessee recommends 10), and installations have separate policies for families to follow (for example, the Camp Pendleton policy states that children under 12 cannot be left alone at home). The bottom line: Parents need to do their research to keep their kids safe and sound - and there are resources that can help.

Call 800-342-9647 to ask the Military OneSource call center for help finding the state and installation guidelines or laws you need for supervising your kids.

TRICARE’S Nurse Advice Line: the Right Choice for Active Adults

Do you know that more than half of all adults 65 and older have three or more chronic medical problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or arthritis? Older adults can have multiple health problems and not know whether they need to see a doctor or can administer self-care.  Have you considered TRICARE’s Nurse Advice Line (NAL)?

If you are suffering from a rash, a sinus infection, or perhaps you just have a common cold; there is help! When you call the NAL, a registered nurse will help you assess if you can handle your health concern with self-care or if you need to see a medical professional.

Since its launch, the NAL has been able to increase patient safety and further ensure a positive patient experience. Military Health System (MHS) Patient Centered Medical Home (PCHM) team members can access live NAL information so they are aware of their patients’ situation and can provide follow-up, if needed.

The NAL is a great medical assessment tool that provides access to care, especially after hours and when traveling, which is great for retirees on the move. When you don’t know what kind of care you need, the NAL helps you access the right type of care at the right time. The NAL can also help you find a doctor and schedule next-day appointments at military hospitals and clinics when available.

The NAL is an easy option for beneficiaries to get information on their medical problems quickly and at any time. To access the NAL dial 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273) and select option 1. Get more information about the Nurse Advice Line on the TRICARE website.

CIOR Language Academy

ROA is the US member of CIOR, the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers. The CIOR Language Academy provides English and French language training to reserve officers of NATO countries and other friendly nations.  The 2016 course will run from 18 to 29 July at the Police and Border Guard College, Muraste, Estonia.  Muraste is located on the Gulf of Finland just 20 km west of Tallinn. A fee of 380 euros covers food, lodging, and airport transportation. Since 2000, these courses in the two official NATO languages have been staffed primarily by reserve officers. 
You can participate in two ways:

1.  As a French student.

Students may take examinations to assess their proficiency in accordance with NATO's STANAG 6001. The levels for each skill are: 0 (no
proficiency), 1 (survival), 2 (functional), 3 (professional), 4 (expert), and 5 (highly-articulate native).  CLA is designed for students at levels 1, 2, and 3.  A student at the "0" level is unlikely to make much progress in such a short course, but, above that, an intensive course like this can result in improved skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking.  Even one year of high school French or Spanish may be a sufficient foundation for real progress. 

2.  As an English instructor.

Thanks to an anticipated expansion of student load, there is a renewed need for English language instructors. Certification in ESL is not required. Preferred applicants will have a background in teaching. A variety of disciplines is desirable. This work can be very satisfying. If you have an upcoming European study trip, this may fit in well with your summer plans.
For further information contact CAPT David Epstein, USN (Ret), Director at (650)787-0500 (PDT) or


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
U.S.S. Wilhoite (DE/DER-397)
September 12-15, 2016
Crowne Plaza at the Airport
2829 Williams Boulevard, New Orleans, LA
Contact: Elisabeth Kimball
236 Linker Mountain Road, Dover, AR 72837
U.S. Navy Ship USS Perkins (DD26, DD377, DDR877) 26th Annual Reunion
September 14 - 17, 2016, San Pedro CA
Contact: George H. Melgarejo
1280 West 2nd Street, San Pedro, CA 90732
Phone: 310-831-5417
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:

Richard D. Haight
USS Turner Joy DD-951
Reunion Coordinator
12359 Cold Stream Guard Ct.
Bristow, Va. 20136
USS Bon Homme Richard (CV/CVA-31) Ship Company and Air Group & USS Bon Homme Richard (LHD-6)
August 31-September 4, 2016, Nashville , TN
Contact: Ray King
3030 Old Orchard Rd., Eau Claire, WI 54703
Phone: 715-456-5933
U.S.S. John R. Craig (DD-885)
September 20-25, 2016
Holiday Inn, Nashville Airport
Nashville, Tenn.
Contact: Jerry Chwalek
9307 Louisiana Street, Livonia, MI 48185

Reunion Date:
UPT Class 67C

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

Contact: Ron Finet
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. 16029 Dot the Is and Cross the Ts To Obtain Reemployment
  • No. 16030 USERRA and Defined Contribution Pension Plans
  • No. 16031 Sergeant Kelly Hance’s USERRA Saga Continues
  • No. 16032 April 2016 Important New USERRA Pension Case
  • No. 16033 Don't Let the AFGE Override the USERRA Rights of PHS Officers Assigned to BOP
  • No. 16034 Enforcing USERRA against State Government Employers—Good News from New Mexico
  • No. 16035 USERRA Applies to Local Government
  • No. 16036 It Is Illegal for the Air Force To Discriminate against an Air Force Reservist in Hiring for a Civilian Position
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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