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ReserveVoice: January 30, 2016

Legislative Update

Service Member Retirement Improvement Act (H.R. 4381). 

U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (TX-03) introduced a bill reflecting an important change suggested by ROA to the new blended retirement plan.  The bill ensures Guard or Reserve members’ can save for their Thrift Savings Plan without being penalized with limitations because they also contribute to a 401K with their civilian job.  Representative Johnson said, “Ensuring our troops and veterans receive fair treatment is top priority of mine, particularly as a 29-year Air Force veteran and POW for nearly seven years,” said Johnson.  “So when I learned that the IRS is able to limit many of America’s Guard and Reserve forces ability to save for their retirement if they also hold a civilian job, I wanted to do something about it.  This bill is all about doing the right thing by these selfless heroes and their families.  Our service members shouldn’t be penalized when it comes to saving for their retirement just because they happen to serve our country.
ROA Members Call to Action:  Contact your Representatives and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 4381 with Representative Johnson.

114th Congress, Second Session

Congress is off to a slow start as a result of the recent blizzard that brought Washington, D.C. to a grinding halt.  Hearings were cancelled as many members were not able to get back to D.C. after the end of their Martin Luther King Holiday recess, which was scheduled to end 25 January.  Congress will now return in time for the President’s Budget to be delivered on 2 February 2016.  The law requires the budget to be delivered not later then the first Monday in February.
  31 U.S. Code § 1105 - Budget contents and submission to Congress
(a) On or after the first Monday in January but not later than the first Monday in February of each year, the President shall submit a budget of the United States Government for the following fiscal year. Each budget shall include a budget message and summary and supporting information.

Army Update

This just in, as Reserve Voice is being prepared:

" Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley spoke this afternoon about the final report of the National Commission on the Future of the Army ( ) to leaders of all three compos and the military organizations directly associated with the Army, including ROA. He commended the commission's work in producing a professional and thorough report. The Army will follow a rigorously inclusive approach among this "One Army" community in developing a way forward regarding the report's recommendations and the opportunities they may present. ROA, part of that approach, is strongly encouraged by the collaborative and inclusive path the Army's leadership is taking. General Milley said he intends to "walk the talk" on the Total Army - we are "one Army" - and is showing he's serious about that."

The National Commission on the Future of the Army (NCFA) released its final report on 28 January. The report included 63 specific recommendations, some of which will require legislation, others can be handled by policy changed within the Pentagon. The main issues before the commission as laid out in their authorizing legislation were to address force mix/size and the allotment of Apache helicopters between the Regular Army and the Army National Guard.

On the sizing question, the report stated that the minimally acceptable level for the Total Army was 980,000.  Of this the Regular Army would have a force of 450,000 (they are currently at about 485,000), that ARNG would be at 335,000 (they are currently about 345,000), and the USAR would have 195,000 (they are currently at about 198,000).  Key findings also included that modernization funding must be increased – it has fallen off substantially in recent years as the army tried to maintain personnel and readiness. 

During the press conference at the release of the report, retired Gen. Larry Ellis, former FORSCOM commander, observed that at the various events conducted by the commission and interviews with hundreds of unit members, he had been surprised by comments from soldiers in the reserve components that they felt they were underemployed and could be used further. More emphasis should be placed on use of the statutory authority regarding mobilization of the Reserves found in Title 10 at section 12304B which permits mobilization of units as long as the mission is preplanned and funded. The section also needs further amendment to make it more flexible.  Use of Reserves under this authority is ideal for theater engagement and security assistance missions. The recommendation was for the Reserves to be used up to 3,000 man years under this authority which would be a substantial increase from present usage.

A topic that had caused substantial heated discussion over the past year and one-half was the proposal by DoD that all Apache units be moved to the Regular Army. The commission proposed that the Army maintain 24 manned Apache units, but that 20 be in the Regular Army and 4 remain in the ARNG. The commission also made a point of stating that the bickering between the Army leadership, military and civilian, and the Guard, must stop.

The commission strongly endorsed whatever it took to maintain the All-Volunteer Force indicating it was essential to achieving the highest level of capabilities and readiness. It went on to note that developing a true “one Army” Total Army culture was critical. The commission suggested pilot programs should be adopted to increase the use of multicomponent units and that recruiting efforts be realigned to meet the needs of the Total Force. Current practice has Army recruiters almost competing with themselves.

Another key finding was that both pay and personnel systems should be adopted that permit seamless transfers across the components perhaps leading to a true continuum of service practice.   

The commission resoundingly found that the Army was the strongest army in the world but that it needed to be properly sustained and maintained to keep it a quality force.  The chairman, retired Gen. Carter Ham, noted that the demand for ground forces by our combatant commanders exceeded the supply. By lowering the overall numbers of personnel there was some risk but that it was acceptable.  They made a strong pitch that the minimal level of funding for FY16 should be the president’s requested budget and that a return to sequestration levels as projected by the Budge Control Act would have a most negative impact.  They also strongly encouraged Congress and the Administration to return to a predictable schedule of budgeting and appropriations to eliminate the fiscal turmoil that has consumed DoD over the past half dozen years.   

Both the House and Senate will be holding hearings on the NCFA report in the weeks to come. Given the strong positive reception that Congress gave to the Commission on the Future of the Air Force that made its report three years ago and on which the NCFA was modelled, it seems likely that a majority of the recommendations of the commission will be enacted in some substantial way over the next couple of years.  Key to everything, however, is for the Army to receive its fair share of DoD appropriations.

Navy Update

Tifton native guides Navy reserve unit to the top (From the Thomasville Times-Enterprise)

By Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach | Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 5:01 pm

YORKTOWN, Va. — The U.S. Navy held a change of command ceremony on Nov. 15 during which Commander David “Chip” Bailey, a Tifton native, turned over command of Navy Cargo Handling Battalion TEN (NCHB-10) to Commander Troy Pugh in Yorktown, Va.
The ceremony took place at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, the Navy’s premier weapons facility which has historic ties for the nation and boasts a diverse industrial complex and naval expeditionary training facilities.
During Bailey’s tour as commanding officer, NCHB-10 outperformed all other cargo handling battalions in several key mission areas and setting records along the way. The battalion’s mission readiness score increased from 53 percent to 90 percent, the largest readiness increase in a 12-month period than any battalion on record. Their manning level grew 49 percent to 95 percent — worst to first. And NCHB-10 became the only reserve battalion to ever earn a higher readiness level than their active counterparts. The battalion bested all others in Sailor promotions and its Chief Petty Officer community grew by more than 300 percent.
“NCHB-10 is the best cargo handling battalion in the Navy for one reason — its sailors. In early 2014, we trailed all other battalions in virtually every performance metric,” said Bailey. “Today, no battalion stands more ready and capable to meet its mission.”
NCHB-10 has approximately 345 sailors of which 98 percent are reservists. The unit is rapidly deployable to provide expeditionary air, surface, terminal and fuel support globally to combatant commanders in support of contingency operations and humanitarian assistance. The battalion is comprised of 11 company-sized elements in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland and Virginia.
“Any commander in the Navy would be proud to have led this storied unit and its unmatched sailors. I’m especially proud, however, as I also served in NCHB-10 as an ensign almost 20 years ago,” said Bailey.
“This tour far exceeded my highest expectations and my expectations were pretty high. I’m always proud of my family and the sailors, chiefs and officers of NCHB-10 are definitely family. This is a place to validate your training and readiness programs, the Four Rs and/or throwing support to individuals.”
For achievements accomplished under Bailey’s command, NCHB-10 was nominated for the prestigious Navy Battle Efficiency Award, or Battle “E.” The Battle “E” is awarded annually to expeditionary commands for outstanding operational performance, level of proficiency in expeditionary skills and contingency mission readiness in both day-to-day performance and battle readiness. For his individual effort as Commanding Officer of NCHB-10, Commander Bailey was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.
Bailey is a 1982 graduate of Tift County High School and entered active duty in January 1986 completing Recruit Basic Training in Orlando, Florida. Selected for the Navy’s Direct Commissioning program in 1997, this was Bailey’s third tour as a commanding officer. He is a 1993 graduate of the University of Maryland, earning a bachelor of science in management studies. In 2009, Bailey earned a master’s degree in Military Operational Art and Science from the Air Command & Staff College in Montgomery, Alabama.
He has conducted four deployments in support of Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, as well as a mobilization supporting Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.
Bailey is qualified to wear the Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist insignia and the Navy Expeditionary Supply Corps Officer insignia. His personal awards include two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, a Meritorious Service Medal, a Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Navy Commendation Medals, two Navy Achievement Medals and the Navy Good Conduct Medal.
He is the son of Carolyn Ward Connor and the late David Bailey of Fitzgerald. He is the brother of Ward Bailey, and the nephew of Lee and Francine Liles, and Clyde and Ann Bailey also of Fitzgerald. Bailey is also the brother of Luke Bailey of New Freedom, Penn.
Bailey is married to Beth Wilfong Bailey, daughter of John and Yvonne Wilfong of Hickory, North Carolina. The Baileys have two children, Johnathan and Sarah.

Air Force Update

Obsession with technology may endanger defense capability – A recent ROA Blog raised concerns that, “A senior Air Force officer’s comments made in September illustrate the defense technocracy’s willingness to sacrifice proven and plentiful lower-tech weapon systems in pursuit of the alluring promise of technological advantage, endangering real combat capacity.”

Hurricane Hunters Fly into Blizzard

A 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron WC-130J Hercules, based at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., flies above the record-setting blizzard the morning of Jan. 23, 2016. The crew gathered data on the storm for the National Weather Service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nicholas Monteleone)


25th Reunion
26-28 February 2016

Registration: Details and Online registration is available at
You can purchase your banquet tickets, register for your hotel room at the special rate of $99 per night and also see updated schedule of events.

Reunion Date:
11th Airborne Division Association’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter, and former members of the 11th Air Assault Division and the
187th Regimental Combat Team
February 21-24, 2016
Myrtle Beach, SC
Artie Heape - (843) 846-4693 or
Herb Shapiro - (410) 827-6410
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
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

Reunion Date:
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 or 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. 16006 New Appellate Case on Veterans’ Preference
  • No. 16007 You Have the Right to Reemployment and the Employer Must Accommodate your Temporary Disability
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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