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ReserveVoice: July 30 2016

Legislative Update

During the Congressional recess the committee professional staffs continue to work on legislation.  Here are a few of the provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act and ROA’s view being shared with the House and Senate Armed Services Committee.
H.R. 4909
Section 345 – Study on Space-Available Travel System of the Department of Defense
Recently ROA sent a letter to the Department of Defense asking them to comply with Title 10 U.S.C. 2641b which allows spouses to travel with the reserve component servicemember.  DoD responded it is not “feasible” at this time to comply with the law because they provide travel primarily to active duty.  That response is disingenuous because the active component is a higher priority than the reserve component and will always have the first option to space available seats.  This means, if seats are available for reserve component members they cannot travel with their spouse.  We ask Congress to direct the DoD to comply with the law.
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 ROA believes families should not be penalized for a bureaucratic method for tracking duty status.  This proposal eliminated the different treatment for reserve component members.  Keeping faith with our all volunteer force and their families is a priority.
S. 2943:
Section 501 – Reform of distribution and authorized strength of general and flag officers The reserve component does not have a large number of general officer billets and if a 25 percent reduction is applied it will knock out the RC’s proportionality to the active components.  It was a hard fought battle to get representation for the Guard and Reserve; don’t let it slip away.
Section 591 – Applicability of Military Selective Service Act to female citizens and persons In 2015, 14.9 percent of active duty and 18.5 percent of National Guard and Reserves were females in contrast to when the percentage of women in uniform was just 2 percent in 1950. 
Additionally, women comprise 51 percent of the eligible population in this age range to serve in the event of an emergency and would double the available personnel.  Passing this provision is separate from the issue of combat positions.  ROA encourages passage of this provision which will reflect the current integration of the services.
Section 707 – Pilot program to provide health insurance to members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces ROA appreciates the Senate exploring ways to improve continuity of medical care and conducting a pilot program to increase availability of that care to reserve component members who do not live close to military installations.

Army Update

Fort McCoy–A World-Class Total Force Training Center

With readiness being the primary mission as stressed by Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark Milley, the ability of the U.S Army Reserve to have first rate training facilities both for its use and that of other components and entities of the U.S. Government is an exceptional benefit.  It is also a credit to the vision of the person for whom Fort McCoy is named, Maj. Gen. Robert B. McCoy, who procured much of the land for what became known as Camp McCoy; and to people like former Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird who saw the future of the camp as a Reserve and Guard training facility which led to its designation in 1974 as Fort McCoy and its continued expansion since then. READ MORE > (pdf)

Sea Services Update

Navy Reserve Moves to the Cloud

Beginning in August 2016, the Navy Reserve will expand access to the Navy Reserve with a pilot cloud program using Microsoft Office 365 (O365). The purpose of the O365 program is to bring Navy Reserve members the ability to perform duties in a cloud environment, anytime, anywhere. The initial phase will include e-mail services.
Reservists selected for the pilot program will need CAC authentication with a valid CAC and reader. Future enhancements will include Skype for business online, Office online, and a personal One Drive.
An "O365 Team" of 8,000 Selected Reservists will be nominated from the O365 registration process currently available on the Navy Reserve Homeport private site.

Air Force Update

Citizen Airmen

The August issue of the Citizen Airmen is on-line and includes an article on the change of command with Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, the first female Air Force Reserve Command commander and chief of Air Force Reserve.

Florida Air Force Reserve Supports SpaceX

Air Force Reservists from the 920th Rescue Wing supported SpaceX’s successful launch of a Falcon 9 Dragon spacecraft headed to the International Space Station from Space Launch Complex 40 here July 18, 2016, at 12:45 a.m. ET.

ROA Support for A-10 Capabilities

ROA’s executive director, Jeff Phillips, in an interview this week on ROA’s legislative initiatives (especially its veteran status and SBP-IDT reforms) with one of Washington’s defense-related journalists, was asked about ROA’s position on the A-10 – in other words, does ROA support the continued presence of the Thunderbolt II in the inventory.  Phillips said he is concerned that we are obsessed with technology and the F-35, which may become a superb weapon, is an example (to which the reporter just shook his head in evident recognition of the syndrome).  Phillips then recounted his Desert Storm experience: “I was in the 1st Cavalry Division well inside Iraq on the left hook maneuver.  It had been raining for days; grass was growing in the desert.  The only thing flying that we could see were Army helicopters – Apaches and Black Hawks – and A-10s.  We knew those A-10 pilots were looking out for us."

ROA has expressed its support of the A-10’s capability and cautioned that eliminating it long before anything can close that capability gap is not smart defense policy.  We hear much from defense officials that the A-10 cannot survive in contested airspace, which may be partially true (we note that it was designed to fight over Soviet tanks and their military’s sophisticated anti-aircraft arsenal).  But there is no other capability now or soon available, and the F-35 isn’t it . . . yet.

From Combat Boots to “Carharts”

By: Megan Myers
            Food security is a main priority for all nations in both developed and underdeveloped countries. The United States has positioned itself at “the top of the food chain” by an enduring commitment to the basic needs for survival – sustenance and protection.  The U.S. has taken the responsibility of ensuring that we as a nation are “food secure,” and helping other countries learn farming techniques to become agriculturally independent.  The U.S. military has helped to create food stability in two ways: assisting nations that are torn from war, and joining the agriculture industry once they are veterans.

            In 2008, the National Guard placed the Agribusiness Development Team in a rural area of Afghanistan to create agricultural practices with longevity and sustainability in mind.  In Iraq, Reserve and National Guard units engaged in helping the nation’s renewal, working to repair fundamental services such as local governance, electricity, and farming.  Reserve and National Guard teams, with their civilian experience, played a role that went beyond the first-order effect of providing a given capability, such as good farming practices: establishing rule of law and a stable society benefiting from sound governance is impossible when the people are starving. READ MORE >  (pdf)

Defending Veteran Access, Choice, and Accountability

ROA, along with other military associations, has stepped into the breach by intervening in an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to defend the constitutionality of the  Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act (VACAA), after the United States Department of Justice refused to defend the constitutionality of this much-needed legislation. Please see Law Review 16068.

Military Families

New TRICARE Regional Contracts in 2017

DoD awarded new regional TRICARE contracts on July 21, 2016.  The new contract includes a 9-month transition period and anticipates the start of health care delivery late 2017.  Improvements are added in the delivery, quality, and cost of your health care from previous contracts.  Most of these improvements will be behind the scenes. But, some changes you may experience include:
  • Shorter wait times for specialty care appointments
  • Improved communication between your military and civilian providers
  • Easier referral process

The East Region is a merger of the North and South Regions and includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa (Rock Island area), Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri (St. Louis area), New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (excluding El Paso area), Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.  The contract goes to Humana Government Business, Inc. of Louisville, Kentucky.
The West Region will include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa (excludes Rock Island arsenal area), Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri (except St. Louis area), Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas (southwestern corner including El Paso), Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The contract goes to Health Net Federal Services, LLC of Rancho Cordova, California.

Service Members Transitioning From Active Duty Can Keep Shopping Their Exchange

AAFES, DALLAS, July 28, 2016 – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service treats active-duty Soldiers and Airmen like family. When service members transition to Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) status, they remain family to the Exchange, keeping the shopping benefit they’ve earned. READ MORE >


Each year, more than 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the U.S. These students are eight times more likely to end up in prison, and three times more likely to end up unemployed.
       Additionally, there is a wide disparity in student achievement between affluent students and at-risk students, as well as white students and students of color.
       Many school districts, particularly in urban areas, are significantly underfunded and overwhelmed. With class sizes of 25 to 30, teachers understandably have trouble addressing the needs of the most struggling students.
        That’s where SAGA comes in. For more information please view attached SAGA Flyeror visit us online.

CIOR LANGUAGE ACADEMY: Ready on the Right, Ready on the Left, Ready on the Firing Line!

For the past three months an article has appeared in this space to announce recruitment for the upcoming CIOR Language Academy to be conducted in Muraste, Estonia in July.  From ROA members we were looking for French language students and English as a Foreign language teachers.  Calls came in for both these roles, plus those expressing a general interest in CIOR. 
The enrollment deadlines are imminent. Recruitment for this 16th iteration of the CIOR Language Academy is the most successful in years. We expect to have over 70 students and 14 faculty and staff members. The US will contribute eight French students and six faculty and staff. Other important national groups of students include Albania, Estonia, Georgia, Poland, and Ukraine.
Watch this space next year for announcements regarding CLA 2017.  For further information contact CAPT David Epstein, USN(Ret), Director at (650)787-0500 (PDT) 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   Telephone: 479-968-1236/479-280-2776

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

USS Turner Joy, DD-951 Biannual Reunion

21-25 September 2016
Holiday Inn Virginia Beach-Norfolk Hotel & Convention Center. 
5655 Greenwich Road, Virginia Beach, Va. 23462

Richard D. Haight, Reunion Coordinator - 
12359 Cold Stream Guard Ct., Bristow, Va. 20136
Details/info at the USS Turner Joy website:

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

USS Elokomin AO-55

Sep 22-25, 2017
Lisle (Chicago), IL
Contact: Ron Finet -
Phone: 262-742-4269

25th Anniversary Reunion: Desert Storm/Provide Comfort Civil Affairs veterans

24 September 2016 - 1600 – 2000 hrs
The Club at Andrews, 1889 Arnold Ave, Joint Base Andrews, MD
Co-Chair: COL (Ret) George Padar:
Co-Chair/Treasurer: LTC (Ret) F.R. (Frenchie) Verrier:
Publicity Chair: COL (Ret) Lilia (Lee) Vannett,
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  Reunion Flyer (pdf) or email one of the POCs

U.S.S. Walke (DD-723) Association

September 25-30, 2016
Asheville, NC
Reunion Contact: Gene Hansen -
PO Box 1695, Cahiers, NC 28717-1695
Phone: 828-883-7231

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

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. 16063 USERRA Rights of the Wounded Warrior
  • No. 16064 The Air Force Must Comply with USERRA
  • No. 16065 Right to Paid Military Leave Is a Matter of State Law, not USERRA
  • No. 16066 Under What Circumstances Is it Appropriate for a Reserve or Retired Army Soldier To Wear an Army Uniform?
  • No. 16067 USERRA’s Five-Year Limit Applies to the Employer Relationship
  • No. 16068 ROA and other Military Associations Step in To Defend VACAA
  • No. 16069 USERRA Applies all over the World to American Corporations and Institutions
  • No. 16070 Feres Doctrine Revisited
  • No. 16071 The Federal Tort Claims Act Precludes a Suit against the Individual Service Member or Federal Employee
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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