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ReserveVoice: March 15, 2017

Highlights from ROA’s winter leadership meeting.

ROA National President Col. James Sweeney, USMC, (Ret.) (at left) talks with members of the association’s Executive Committee and ROA staff at their meeting, March 12.

At their annual leadership meeting at ROA’s Minuteman Memorial headquarters March 12-13, the association’s Executive Committee passed the fiscal year 2018 budget (ROA’s fiscal year April 1 to March 31); the budget programs a modest “surplus” of $15,137 more in operating revenues than expenses, promising a year of adequate cash flows, and represents a continued financial recovery.  The budget funds a new full-time director of development to provide ROA an integrated and comprehensive fundraising capability; that is key to our association’s continued financial recovery and ability to fulfill its founding purpose.  The difficult decision to terminate The Officer magazine for FY2018 was approved; the magazine, now issued digitally, is more expensive than we can currently afford. In its place, ROA will upgrade Reserve Voice, potentially to an attractive print-option format for those who like to read print.  We will also increase our social media activity.
     ROA’s National Council met during the leadership meeting. Col. Alfred M. Diaz, USA (Ret.), was elected chairman, Department National Council Members; he fills the unexpired term of the late chairman, Lt. Col. Duane J. Richards, USA (Ret.). Col. Judi Davenport, USA (Ret.), was elected to serve as DNCM vice chairman, filling the unexpired term of Colonel Diaz. Both positions will be up for election during the National Convention, 21-23 July 2017. Selectees will serve a two-year term.
     Winter storm Stella drove the cancellation of the March 14 STARs gala, which will now be incorporated into the ROA National Convention banquet July 22, at the Crystal City Hyatt Regency, across the Potomac from Washington.  We deeply appreciate our sponsors and guests for their understanding and continued support of ROA’s STARs!


    The March 15 ROA Defense Education Seminar on the cyber mission
within the Guard and Reserve was moved to April 7.

Legislative Update

Reserve Forces Policy Board

ROA attended the quarterly Reserve Forces Policy Board on March 8.  The board discussed the Department of Defense’s Duty Status reform for a proposed RFPB duty status reform recommendation report to the Secretary of Defense.  The proposed reform would reduce the number of duty status to streamline the process for performing duty.  There are now more than 30 duty statuses; and if reduced would require more than 400 changes to the law.
(What is this man in the middle thinking?)

Additionally, they discussed how to establish an accepted definition of how an operational reserve would be ready, capable, available and sustained.  This included reviewing the recent change in the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act that removed the requirement for all Guard and Reserve Chief positions to be designated as a 3-star billet.  Eliminating this designation removes the Guard and Reserve Chiefs from decision-making strategic meetings held by the Secretary of Defense and service secretaries.
The Reserve Forces Policy Board transition report titled, “Improving the Total Force using the National Guard and Reserves”, provides more information on these issues.

House Guard and Reserve Caucus Meeting

Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS)  

The House Guard and Reserve Caucus Co-Chairs, Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS) and Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN), both National Guardsmen, recently met with the Guard and Reserve service chiefs to discuss their services priorities for Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018.  Lt. Gen. Charles D. Luckey, Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command and Vice Adm. Luke M. McCollum, Chief of Navy Reserve Commander, Navy Reserve Force both discussed the country will face global environments where every domain will be contested and lethal.  It will be imperative for the Guard and Reserve to maintain levels of readiness that will allow them to immediately contribute during the most critical 90 days of response.

Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN)

Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, Chief of Air Force Reserve, and Commander of Air Force Reserve Command, explained the Air Force Reserve is facing pilot shortages, as well as positions in other critical fields, and how they are working to fill critical positions through non-prior service accessions.  Lt. Gen. Rex McMillian, Commander, Marine Forces Reserve; and Commander, Marine Forces North, discussed how their reserve forces need to concentrate drill weekends on maintaining readiness and not on administrative requirements that did not contribute to operational levels.
Finally, Rear Adm. Kurt Hinrichs, Director of Reserve and Military Personnel, discussed the shifting role of the Coast Guard Reserve to a stronger mobilization support role as one of the five military services.  Budget cuts were made four years ago, and now with another 18 percent proposed cut ROA believes the Coast Guard will find it difficult to fulfill their mission.  ROA sent a letter to the White House protesting the proposed budget cuts.

Army Update

Army is Considering Allowing Soldiers to Grow Beards

The Army is reviewing its longstanding policy of prohibiting beards on soldiers while serving on active-duty. Increasing pressure has been mounting from Army soldiers as beards have started to come into fashion. Also, in the light of the fact that Sikhs and other religious minorities are now allowed to grow facial hair, it has caused the Army to reassess grooming policies more generally.
Several factors impede the adoption of beards in the Army. First, tradition and the desire to project an image of uniformity and professionalism. Some older Army soldiers and commanders consider clean-shaven soldiers to project an image of professionalism, while beards can give the impression of being unkempt. The Army has traditionally not allowed beards in the service, which can make adopting new norms to reflect the growing desire for millennials to sport facial hair difficult to catch on. The second and more practical reason is concerns about facial hair interfering with gas masks. Facial hair can make gas masks fit less well, which can expose soldiers to chemical attacks.
A possible compromise solution addressing gas mask safety concerns is for any soldier wanting to serve in a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense force must be clean-shaving. More generally, the Army could require soldiers to shave their beards if they are engaged in combat zones.

One of the Last Soldiers Enlisted Through WAC Retires From the Army Reserves

Diana Moyers-Siebel retired from the Army Reserve. She is one of only four women left in the military who enlisted through the Women’s Army Corps or WAC. WAC was set up during World War II as a way for the military to recruit women to serve in the military and provide support functions for the rest of the force. WAC tended to restrict the roles women could perform in the armed services, a job landscape that looks remarkably different than the one currently where women can participate in 95% of the Army’s jobs.
Moyers-Siebel joined the military in 1978 and the two days before she commenced basic training, WAC was ended. She eventually joined the Army Reserve where she worked as a paralegal as part of the Judge Advocate Group (JAG) Corps. She is the last women working in JAG who was part of WAC.

Army Reserve Selects New Command Sgt. Major

Command Sgt. Major Ted Copeland has been selected as the 13th command sergeant major for the Army Reserve. Copeland has a military police background having entered the service as one back in 1984.  His previous assignment was at the 79th Sustainment Support Command in Los Alamitos, California.
Upon the announcement that CSM Copeland would be the Army Reserve’s new CSM, Lt. General Charles Luckey, the commander of the Army Reserve, succinctly stated what he is tasking Copeland with, “His mission mandate will be simple; use all the tools in the box to unleash the power of this team as we build and sustain the most capable, combat-ready and lethal federal reserve force in the history of the United States.” ROA looks forward to working CSM Ted Copeland to continue to improve the Army Reserve’s readiness. We wish him the best in his new endeavor.

Naval Services

The U.S. Navy Reserve celebrated the its 102nd birthday on March 3, 2017 at the Naval Heritage Center in Washington, D.C. Whether serving full-time or being deployed, Reservists are side-by-side with active duty contributing to operations. ROA appreciates the Navy Reserve's contributions to our nation’s defense.  Pictured are Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Luke McCollum; ROA's executive director, Jeff Phillips; and ROA's director of sea services, retired Capt. Brett Korade, before the about-to-be carved up USNR 102nd birthday cake, purchased by ROA donations.

Air Force Update

Air Force Reserve 920th Rescue Wing Hosts Joint Medical Exercise

The Air Force Reserve 920th Rescue Wing hosted MEDBEACH, the annual joint medical training exercise designed to reinforce the joint training concept. The benefit of this training exercise is it fulfills the training requirements in a variety of areas including mass casualty, natural disaster, disease containment, chemical, biologic, radiologic, nuclear and explosive warfare. 
Providing realistic training scenarios on a host of issues confronting the military’s medics aims to maintain the medical survivability rate upwards to 90%. Beyond the practical hands-on experience confronting crises, the joint exercises remind the Air Force the medical community remains a Total Force. As Major Stephen Grant, the 920th’s training coordinator stipulated, “the working relationship among the 45th SW [active-duty] and 920th RQW [reserve] is imperative, so it’s a no-brainer that we should also train together.”

Air Force Reserve Supports Operation Atlantic Resolve

The Air Force Reserve airlifted 207,000 pounds of cargo including several UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve (OAR). OAR is a U.S. military operation meant to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the Baltic states as part of retaining the integrity of NATO.

The operation helps foster greater interoperability between not only U.S. Air Force components, but with their European counterparts. OAR’s air mission extends beyond transportation lifts and includes medical operations, training, exercise support, and other air support operations. Neither are they limited to the Baltic states, but will be spread out across NATO allies as part of broader reassurance campaign.

All-volunteer force seminar at William and Mary

When the U.S. moved to an all-volunteer military in 1973, most political and military leaders assumed that if the United States again fought a major, long-lasting war the nation would reactivate the draft. That didn’t happen: the U.S. fought the long and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with an all-volunteer force, even as service members were deployed for multiple tours of duty. This symposium, in the wake of those wars, evaluates the AVF.  How well has it worked?  Will it work in the future?

On April 27, 2017, key national policy makers, former government officials, military officers, and scholars who have drawn different conclusions about the relative successes and failures of the AVF will gather at William & Mary to hold a frank conversation about a critical piece of our national defense.  ROA member Maj. Gen. Dennis Laich is among the panelists. > READ MORE

Military Families

Federal Hiring Freeze Negatively Impacts Military Family Services

President Trump’s 90 day federal hiring freeze has posed challenges for military commissaries, childcare facilities, and other services for military personnel and their families. The federal hiring freeze’s effect varies by base since some on base services had adequate employee levels before the freeze was enacted while others are cutting back service due to job gaps. This is further exacerbated because the military cannot relocated civilian employees to other base locations that are facing severe labor shortages.
So far, Army and Air Force exchanges have scaled back some of their operations, while Navy Exchanges and the Defense Commissary have not limited operating hours. However, the Navy and Commissaries indicated if the hiring freeze extended past 90 days, they would probably have to begin scaling back their services. Some of the military family services are exempted from the federal hiring freeze including child care, but each hire requires the commander’s approval before the hiring can occur. Considering the long hiring process for childcare workers, the need for a commander’s signature for every new employee will further delay the process.
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy is seeking a highly qualified candidate for appointment as Director, Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA).  The role is a Senior Executive Service Tier 3 position and reports directly to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.  Interested candidates may apply through USAJobs using the following link:

Did you know that TRICARE offers free publications that explain your TRICARE benefit? Check out the new publications at


To publish your reunion notice in Reserve Voice, email or send by mail to
    ROA Reunion Notice
    1 Constitution Ave NE
    Washington, DC 20002

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

U.S.S. Lawrence Association (DDG-4 & DD-250)

May 2-7, 2017 Website:
Doubletree by Hilton, Jacksonville Riverfront
1201 Riverplace Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207
Hotel: 904-398-8800
Contact Craig Bernat, Phone: 814-322-4150

U.S.S. Carpenter DD 825 Reunion

May 18-22, 2017
891 So. Walnut, #205, Nashville, Tenn.
Contact: Jimmie Kennedy

“Big Red One” 98th Annual Reunion

Hosted by Society of the First Infantry Division
Date: July 26-30, 2017
Location: Westin Crown Center, Kansas City, Missouri
Details & reservation forms are available on Society’s website:,
Email: or Phone: 215-654-1969

U.S.S. Yellowstone (AD-27) Association Reunion

August 23-27, 2017
Hilton Gardens, Columbus , Ga.
Contact: Paul W. Bowen, Secretary/Treasurer & Reunion Planner
Cell: 352-208-5400  Email:

U.S.S. John R. Craig DD885

September 6-10, 2017
Norfolk, VA
Contact: Jerry Chwalek
Phone: 734-525-1469

U.S.S. Randolph/CV-CVA-CVS 15

September 17-24, 2017
2008 Radisson Hotel Cincinnati Riverfront
668 West Fifth St., Covington, KY 41011
Contact Sal Rizza,  321-454-2344

USS Ranger CVA/CV-61

(all former crew members, Squadrons, Marine detachment or T.A.D.’s
September 20-23, 2017
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Warwick RI
Contact: George Meoli   Email:
Phone: 203-453-4279

USS Bremerton CA-130/SSN-698

24-29 September 2017
Portland, Oregon
Contact: N. Polanowski   Ph. 585-365-2316

The Distinguished Flying Cross Society Biennial Convention

September 24-28, 2017,
Dallas, Texas,
Contact: Bruce Huffman, Phone: 518-578-7089,

USS Wilhoite DE/DER 397

Date: October 2-5, 2017
Crowne Plaza Dayton  Ph: 1-800-689-5586
33 East Fifth Street, Dayton, Ohio
Contact: Elisabeth Kimball  Email:
Ph: 479-280-2776

12th TFW, MacDill AFB, FL; Cam Ranh AB & Phu Cat AB; 389 TFS & 480 TFS, Da Nang, Vietnam; 555th TFS 1964-66 and 12th FEW/SFW (Bergstrom AFB, TX & Korea), and all supporting units

Date: 4 – 7 April 2018  •  Location: Tucson, AZ
Contact: E. J. Sherwood • email: • Phone: 480-396-4681

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. 17015 USERRA Makes It Unlawful for an Employer To Discriminate Against You Based on Regular or Reserve Military Service, Recently or Long Ago.
  • No. 17016 Proving a Violation of Section 4311 of USERRA: A Case Study
  • No. 17017 Case Study in Proving a Violation of Section 4311 of USERRA
  • No. 17018 USERRA and the CAA
  • No. 17019 Presidential Executive Order 13607 Establishes Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses, and Other Family Members, April 27, 2012: Expanded Coverage of 34 CFR 668.18 To Include Mobilizations of 30 Days or Fewer
  • No. 17020 USERRA Information Available
Visit the ROA 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.

Copyright © 2017 The Reserve Officers Association, All rights reserved.

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