- Law Center
By Jenny Swigoda
ROA, Content Manager
Published on Wednesday, March 26
On the heels of the release of the President’s Budget and the recently released Quadrennial Defense Review, the Senate Armed Services (SASC) Subcommittee on Personnel met today with leaders from Reserve Officers Association and other military-related associations to receive testimonies on issues that face the military in the constraints of personnel given the current fiscal climate.
Legislative Director CAPT Marshall Hanson, USNR (Ret.) delivered oral testimony and also submitted a written testimony on behalf of ROA and pointed to inequities in programs and resources available to members of the Reserve Component. As the Army expects to make extensive cuts to end-strength numbers, CAPT Hanson pointed out that this proposed scenario would become more reliant on the RC. And while there has been a steady influx of studies that point to a Total Force more reliant on the Reserves, the Army has pushed back against using the Reserve Force in times of crisis.
“Cutting the Reserve and Guard as well as the active forces will make achieving readiness goals even more difficult,” said CAPT Hanson. “This is why there is a need for caution before making compensation cuts to the Reserve Force. Compensation needs to keep pace with the nation’s ever-increasing reliance on the Reserve and Guard. Yet DoD wants to reduce monthly reimbursement, has suggested changes to retirement, and cost increases to benefits.”
CAPT Hanson went on to describe issues Reservists face when it comes to health care. He painted an eerie picture of Service Members needing to reenroll into different military health care programs as they transition in and out of Active Duty.
“Reserve Force members have proven themselves over the last 13 years and should have a health care program fit for warriors…If any warrior is asked to take a risk, their benefits should not be discounted — because no one is part-time in a war zone.”
This Reserve gap has been a point of contention from ROA and members of the RC at large and ROA is working steadfastly to bring these issues to the attention of committees such as the SASC.