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ReserveVoice: June 15, 2016

Legislative Update


H.R. 5293, Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2017
S. 3000, Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2017

Pay Raise

The House recommendation provides all military personnel a 2.1 percent increase and the Senate provides a 1.6 percent increase in basic pay, effective January 1, 2017.  This follows the same increases included in the House Armed Services Committee (2.1 percent) and Senate Armed Services Committee (1.6 percent).  Now that Congress has begun their long recess these decisions are on hold until they return on 5 September.  Speculation is a 6-month continuing resolution will be completed which will allow the next President to work with the new 115th Congress on the rest of the FY 2017 budget.  

National Guard and Reserve Equipment

The House Committee recommendation provides $1,000,000,000 for National Guard and Reserve Equipment and the Senate provides $9,000,000.  The Senate includes funding for two C-40s for the Navy Reserve and 2 C-130J aircraft for the Air National Guard.


[In thousands of dollars]
  House Senate
ARMY RESERVE 140,000  115,000
NAVY RESERVE 50,000 207,500
AIR FORCE RESERVE 140,000 115,000
ARMY NATIONAL GUARD 330,000 250,000
AIR NATIONAL GUARD 330,000 192,500
TOTAL, RESERVE EQUIPMENT 1,000,000 900,000


S. 2206 NOAA Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention Act (CBO Extract)  
S. 2206 would authorize the appropriation of $183 million a year through 2020 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to conduct certain hydrographic activities (the measurement and description of features that affect maritime navigation). 

Recruiting.  Title II would authorize NOAA to spend appropriated funds to recruit members for the commissioned officer corps. On average, the corps admits about 30 new members each year.

Education.  Title II also would authorize NOAA to pay certain expenses related to higher education for people serving in the commissioned officer corps or those who commit to serve in the corps after completing a college degree.

USERRA.  The bill could increase the costs of complying with existing mandates by making personnel in the NOAA commissioned officer corps eligible for protections under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Protections under that act require public and private employers to grant various allowances to members of the uniformed services.

Army Update

This issue’s Army update will be a bit different from the usual.  In June our legislative intern, Megan Myers, an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, attended a briefing by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.  This week she attended a Center for Strategic & International Studies discussion of China's response to the South China Sea arbitration ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, featuring Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the United States, Ambassador Cui Tiankai.
We asked Megan to synthesize what she heard from General Milley with what she heard from Ambassador Tiankai, especially in the context of America’s “pivot” east.  Her response: Ambassador Tiankai said that China rejects the arbitration.  Territorial issues not subject to tribune and the decision was not made in good faith.  He said that the proceedings did damage to the international community, opening the door to intensified conflict and confrontation and undermining the authority of international law.
After hearing the Ambassador speak, I see the discussion from General Milley from a different perspective. The Chinese Ambassador warned the U.S. to not get involved with recent events in the South China Sea because it did not involve our jurisdiction.  I was taken aback – Americans are generally told that China is a huge threat because of their population and their military tactics, then one of the biggest leaders within China is warning the U.S. to choose our battles carefully.  Ambassador Tiankai emphasized several times that China wants to maintain a peaceful relationship and open communication with the U.S.; he said tensions started to rise 5-6 years ago with the pivot to Asia and that no one has benefited from this decision in the long run.  He maintains that China favors collaboration and negotiation and is committed to keeping sea lanes open.
It is interesting that General Milley said China is one of America’s biggest threats, and in apparent contrast Ambassador Tiankai mentioned that they want to maintain an open line of communication.  The ambassador said that intensified military activities on islands and reefs only destabilize the region.

Ambassador Tiankai said that China will oppose the ruling of the court in regards to the South China Sea.  China is not backing down, and has warned the U.S. to stand down because it is not a concern of ours.  Tiankai directly said that the U.S. has the most powerful military in the world; however, what is worrisome is the fact that General Milley said that the U.S. Army currently is the least ready that it has been in decades. Milley also said that China wants to be the top military influence by 2049; however, Tiankai did not mention anything about trying to establish dominance.
My classes at Berkeley have attempted to ingrain in my mind that the United States should cut military funding, and that the our global dominance with “the West is the best” influence is morally wrong.  For the most part, I have chosen to disagree with this liberal ideology; I agree with General Milley that the United States needs to change our tactics by predicting future possibilities to ensure that the United States remains the dominant force on a global scale.

Air Force Update

Miller takes AFRC helm July 15

ROA welcomes incoming U.S. Air Force Reserve Chief Maj. Gen. Maryanne Miller, who assumes the leadership of Air Force Reserve Command from Lt. Gen. James F. Jackson today. 
General Jackson made news this week when he said that modernization of F-16s in the USAFR must keep pace with that of active-duty and Air National Guard fighters as the Air Force begins an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar upgrade and service life for the Fighting Falcon.

 Incoming USAFR chief Miller will become the first female in the history of the Air Force Reserve to be Chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of the Air Force Reserve Command. Before taking command, Miller will be promoted to lieutenant general.
ROA sends farewell and thank you to Major General Jackson, who was a supporter of ROA and a strong advocate for his reservists and their families!

F-16s assigned to the 93rd Fighter Squadron of the 482nd Fighter Wing at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida: U.S. Air Force photo

Sea Services Update

ROA proudly announces that we have filled the Sea Services Section Director position – Capt. Brett Korade, who just retired following a 25-year active duty career as a Navy pilot.  Brett transitioned from the AC to the FTS officer community at the 13-year mark, and spent his last tour as the Legislative Division director for the Chief of Navy Reserve, Vice Adm. Robin Braun.  He worked with Marshall Hanson during the first year of his Pentagon tour, and continued his relationship with ROA over the following two years, working closely with our current legislative director, Susan Lukas, on a number of initiatives.  Brett is a life member of ROA and a great asset to our team!  You will all meet him in September at the convention in Reno, but until then here is a quick word of introduction from Brett:

Greetings all!  I am excited to come aboard ROA and continue working for the Reserve members in all the services following my retirement.  I look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with ROA.  One of my takeaways from my time working for Vice Admiral Braun and in the legislative arena both in the Pentagon and on the Hill is that the best solutions are informed by listening to those who are on the deckplates.  Accordingly, I want everyone to know – whether in the Sea Services or one of the other components – that I am always open to input and suggestion (please take note of my email and cell phone number below).   I hope to bring the Sea Services Section a fresh perspective with a focused and integrated strategic approach to accomplishing the objectives laid out in the ROA legislative agendas.  I grew up as a commercial fisherman in Long Island in the family business from the time I was 12 until I graduated from RPI and headed off to flight school as an ensign.  What that means is that I know how to pull a sled really hard for a really long time, and I am not afraid to head into stormy waters (which is where your feedback is crucial – I want to make sure I am pulling the sled in the right direction!!)  So, I would like to thank the leadership of ROA for its trust in offering me this position; Susan for her sage advice over the recent years; and you all, for being what I have come to understand is regarded as one of the most insightful and strongest advocate organizations in the DC area.  See you all in September!!
     CAPT Brett Korade USN(Ret)
     703.321.6994 (c)

Navy Reserve

Reflecting the evolution on the nature of warfare, there has been a name change -- what used to be the Navy Information Dominance Force is now the Navy Information Force -- a move that better aligns with the perspective and focus shift from information dominance to information warfare.  There is also a solid vision toward more intricate integration of RC and AC forces.  Rear Adm. Bob Sharp, Commander of the Office of Naval Intelligence, closed out his remarks during the annual 2-day Naval Information Force Reserve (NAVIFORES) Commanders Conference in Tampa last month by foot stomping the importance of leveraging the value of civilian skill sets brought to bear by Reservists, and he finished by observing that the future will require is to combine forces in ways we have never done before.  Sounds like a pretty good trajectory!

Marine Corps Reserve

The training conducted and the resulting readiness achieved during the two-week long ITX 4-16 in Twenty Nine Palms has produced a Marine Corps Reserve with enhanced readiness for deployment alongside their AC counterparts.  During the exercise in the southern California desert, the Marines of 4th Marine Division combined individual, unit and company tactics to ultimately incorporate ground, mechanized, artillery and air assets in an integrated two-day long final exercise.  The result?  Marines ready to function as a MAGTF.  Not Reserve Marines doing a Reserve mission.  These are Marines who are prepared to deploy anywhere in the world . . . and in addition they hold a second full-time job in the civilian world: Twice the citizens.

Coast Guard Reserve

In the Commandant’s Mid-Term Report on his Strategic Intent, Admiral Zukunft spotlighted a grave concern in the Coast Guard.  Specifically, he is concerned that the Coast Guard Reserves are at the lowest level since the Korean War. The mission impact of this anorexic Reserve force structure is that there is limited ability to surge in response to a crisis while sustaining operational mission requirements.  And should there be a combined crisis -- say a massive hurricane and a terrorist attack -- the USCG would have to accept a significant increase in mission “risk” to respond – that’s a euphemism for “it would be tough for us to do it all.”  ROA has put this on the front burner in discussions with 32 other military and veteran service organizations in Washington, DC.  Stay tuned for developments throughout the coming year!

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Budget constraints are not only affecting the military.  On July 7th, NOAA sent Dr. Stephen Volz  to testify before the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Environment.  During the hearing, Dr. Volz was able to communicate the strategic importance of the existing satellite system that supplies environmental data.  These satellite constellations are aging and, in some constellations, over 50 percent of the satellites are no longer functional.  We are not simply talking about weather observation and storm prediction.  This is a national defense issue.  The ability to execute successful strategic and operational missions is dependent our ability to account for environmental impacts and implications.  As the era of fiscal constraint continues to persist, it is not just defense that is struggling.  The whole of government is paying the price -- and NOAA is on the front lines in DC telling their story and explaining the grave implications.


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
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
USS Elokomin AO-55
Sep 22-25, 2017
Lisle (Chicago), IL

Contact: Ron Finet
Phone: 262-742-4269
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

Reunion Date:
UPT Class 67C

October 28-30, 2016
Mesa, AZ   
Contact Jerry Engles for further information:
USS Voge (DE/FF-1047) Reunion
When:  5-9 October 2016
Where: Warwick RI
Reservation deadline:  24 August 2016
Contact: Tom Anderson/501-259-1369 or
 Jan Harris/
Reservations: call MRP at 817-251-3551
or go
For additional Info please 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. 16058 VA Must Comply with Veterans’ Preference in Contracting, Supreme Court Says
  • No. 16059 Discrimination, Harassment, Spoliation, and USERRA
  • No. 16060 FedEx Violated USERRA in the Computation of a Bonus
  • No. 16061 Reinstatement Rights as a Title 32 AGR after Title 10 Statutory Tour
  • No. 16062 Waiver Provisions in the SCRA and USERRA
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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