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Citizen warriors must be ready to deploy — they shouldn't pay for health care

Posted By ROA National Staff, Tuesday, June 11, 2019

ROA Executive Director Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Jeff Phillips is published in The Hill as an opinion contributor.

Over the past year or so, ROA has written about the endemic inequities between service in the active-duty military and duty in the Reserve and National Guard, known as the reserve components.

These inequities are not, by and large, the result of malign forces conspiring against the Reserve and Guard. For decades, before World War II, the reserve components were considered the “strategic reserve,” meant to be used only in the event of a major call-up of forces, such as we saw in that war or, later, in Korea. The reserve components rarely were deployed; they trained on weekends and two weeks in the summer (thus the moniker “weekend warrior”).

Being such an inactive part of the military, they were accorded benefits, support and funding considered by the Pentagon and Congress to be commensurate with their usage. That wasn’t much, actually. Members of the Reserve and Guard got no medical care when not training, for example.

That perhaps made sense in 1972 when the reserve components were not fighting a war in South Asia or mobilized to Poland as part of our response to a resurgent Russia’s ambitions for Eastern Europe’s recapture.

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A Day in the ROA Chaplain's Thoughts

Posted By ROA National Staff, Monday, June 10, 2019

A Time for Personal Reflection
A Spiritual Fitness message from the ROA National Chaplain
Psalm 121:1-5

 

I have had quite a time since our ROA Leaders Meeting in March. Since that time, I have been “grounded” by my MD and under his care and guidance. I had to cancel all my appointments and speaking engagements for the past 80 days—and I feel that I have counted each and every one of them, if you know what I mean. I have now recovered to the point that I can now do day trips and will be resuming my regular schedule soon. I still cannot fly until after my exam on 1 August but am much improved.

 

One of those days when my entire schedule had been turned upside down – to include sleeping and eating – it was 0500 and I could not sleep so I went to our front porch and sat in one of those Tennessee rocking chairs with my Bible and iPad trying to read and gazing eastward. As the morning sun appeared over the eastern horizon, my focus was upon those layers of Tennessee hills, knobs, mountains and my mind went to the Psalms where the writer exalts us to “Look unto the hills from where our help comes”.

 

In a following verse he wrote, “my help comes from the Lord”. Then I thought, I am truly a blest person with a view “from the porch” such as this. My mind then went from that view to how I got to this particular location and juncture in life. I soon not only found myself reading Psalm 121 and reflecting on the “help” I had received – not only from God Almighty but from a freedom and liberty few people in the world today have experienced.

 

My thoughts then went to family, loved ones, friends and total strangers who had so much to do with the “land of liberty and opportunity” with inalienable rights handed to us from Creation. I am a person in debt – not of finances but of such intangible senses and movements. My life had been saved and preserved through my years of risk, danger, and places I never dreamed I would be when I raised my hand and took my Oath of Office and Commission. I thought of an older Italian Officer with whom I had a conversation, years back, and he said to me,” You are the Chaplain from America, aren’t you? When I think of America, I think of freedom”! The look on his face told me even more than his words. Wow. It is so easy for me to take for granted those intangible things.

 

I recall my first time to hear TAPS apart from a movie or place of lack of bonding. I was a Lieutenant and prior to my Chaplain years. I served on a Combat Team and another Lieutenant and I became good friends. We had many missions together and talked just as good friends do.

 

I was single and he was married with three children. He would say to me, “Sherman, the only way to live is to be married, have children early and grow up with them”. We talked about many things as young officers do on our missions. One evening our team had arranged to connect at a certain time in final preparation for our mission but Pete did not make it. I discovered he was dead.

 

Our Major knew we were good friends, so he asked me to represent the team and crew and visit the family. What a task for a young inexperienced airman (I was in the Air Force then). At his burial in Ft. Rosecrans, I did what I was supposed to do with a heavy heart. Then in the distance came the notes of TAPS.

 

This time it was so different. The loss was so heavy and the tears flowed freely as I thought of his wife and three young children. The military service was taking on a whole new meaning now. The return to duty had an entirely new dimension as well.

 

Later, I received an air mail-gram thanking me for my friendship and care for their son and family. It was signed by a mother and father who was a US Ambassador. As much as Pete and I had talked on those special times, he never mentioned his family roots. I still have that letter today.

 

The older I become (and someone recently told me that growing old is not for the faint-hearted) the more our special National Holidays related to the military have become. Just think of the opportunities we have to say thank you and display our gratitude for those (and us) who have given much. Our debt of honor and appreciation can be respectively displayed in numerous ways. I think of the National Peace Officers Day, the Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, POW/MIA Recognition Day to name a few.

 

We can choose to be thankful for people who put their Country and Nation first over self. Self-serving has always been temporary and never long lasting. Our world has never been peaceful when individuals place “self” first and over country. Someone else said that “Freedom never lasts forever, because its very vitality is built on a combination of elements that are dynamic and difficult to hold together and easy to corrupt”. (Os Guinness).

 

George Washington had it right when, as his first official act, he offered a prayer to God thanking Him at his installation as our President. My freedom has been achieved for me by previous generations, but now I must do what I can to sustain the freedom in my Republic and hand off that baton to those who follow.

 

Sherman Reed

CH (COL) Sherman R. Reed, USA (Ret.)

Army Reserve Ambassador, Emeritus

ROA National Chaplain

SRReed@nbc.edu

reedsherman@bellsouth.net

 

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Survey: Military Exchange

Posted By ROA National Staff, Monday, June 3, 2019

Congress is considering a merger of the exchange and commissary. Based on the draft report going to Congress there is a chance the proposed changes could disrupt exchange efficiency and/or result in increased exchange prices. ROA would like to know how often the exchange is used by Reserve and National Guard servicemembers and their families.

 

Survey Question: How often do you use the military exchange?

 

Click here to answer the question.

 

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WIMSA Seeks President/Executive Director

Posted By ROA National Staff, Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Women in Military Service for America (WIMSA) Memorial, at the ceremonial entrance to Arlington National Cemetery, is the only major national memorial honoring all women who have defended America throughout history. The Women’s Memorial mission is to:

 

  • recognize all women who have served in or with the United States Armed Forces – past, present and future;
  • document the experiences of these women and tell their stories of service, sacrifice and achievement;
  • make their contributions a visible part of our history;
  • illustrate their contribution, equal to that of men, in defense of our nation; and
  • serve as inspiration for others.

 

Click here to learn more about the Women’s Memorial and its mission.  

 

The Foundation is seeking a mission-focused individual who is a strategic thinker, a bridge-builder, and a proven leader to lead the next chapter of the organization. The President will serve as an Executive Director and will partner with the Board of Directors and staff to develop a strategic vision, build and maintain enduring relationships, and extend the visibility and impact of the Memorial Foundation. 

 

Click here to view complete details.

 

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Local ROA Chapter Spearheads Grassroots Initiative with U.S. Congressman

Posted By ROA National Staff, Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Last year, U.S. Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17), and Mr. Tom Pyke, his Constituent Services Director, heard four briefings about “Medical Claims without Medical Records.” The event was sponsored by the ROA Department of the Golden West Santa Clara County Unified Chapter GW/063. The Department is working with the Congressman’s office on two ROA Resolutions. It is hoped the two ROA Resolutions will soon become the language in Federal Law.

 

READ THE FULL STORY

 

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Retiring Guard and Reserve wait at the end of the military's pay line

Posted By ROA National Staff, Tuesday, April 23, 2019

ROA Executive Director Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Jeff Phillips is published in The Hill as an opinion contributor.

 

When an active-duty U.S. Navy officer retired after 20 years, her retirement check arrived as expected, about 30 days after her retirement date.

  

Yet when Lt. Col. Jackie Brich retired, the Air Force reservist heard nothing for more than six months. And she was lucky. One military retiree, commenting on an August 2018 Navy Times story on reservist retirement pay backlogs, responded, “One year and no pay yet.” Another wrote, “I’m at 10 months and holding.”

 

Holding the bag, that is.

 

It’s a bag too often empty because of balky technology and outdated processes that affect members of the Reserve and National Guard — and wouldn’t be tolerated for active-duty troops.

 

READ THE FULL STORY

  

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Reserve Chief’s Discuss the Coming Year

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 1, 2019
USAR: Global Strategic Overview.  The Army Reserve is focused on meeting the new National Defense Strategy and explain how they will need to modernize equipment and reorganize under Ready Force X.  A focus on funding and recruiting will be need by ROA and other associations to help the Army Reserve meet their goals.
 
USAFR: When we take care of our Airmen, They take care of the Mission.  Lt. Gen Scobee is focusing on airmen and providing them the resources to meet the National Defense Strategy.  He has established three goals: Prioritize Strategic Depth and Accelerate Readiness, Develop Resilient Leaders and Reform the Organization.

USCGR: 
Changing of the Guard A paradigm shift in Reserve governance Rear Admiral Sibley reviews recent Coast Guard Reserve contributions and what the future holds.  “While we remain ready to respond to planned contingencies, we must always be looking over the horizon to identify the risk posed by the unknown.”

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ROA Meets with the Honorable James Stewart

Posted By Administration, Saturday, March 30, 2019
A roundtable discussion with Mr. Stewart, Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness was held on Mar 27, 2019 with Reserve Component (RC) military service organizations.  Mr. Stewart retired from the United States Air Force as a Major General after 37 years of service in the active and reserve components.  He met with ROA, the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), the National Guard Association of the United States NGAUS, and the Fleet Reserve Associations (FRA).  READ MORE >

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Henry J. Reilly Scholarship Program for the 2019-2020 Academic Year is Open

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Henry J. Reilly Scholarship Program for the 2019-2020 Academic Year is now open. Applications are due by April 17, 2019, at 11:59 PM Pacific Time Zone.  The applicant portal link is https://aim.applyISTS.net/ROA/

In its third year, ROA will award up to twenty $2500 scholarships to students pursuing courses of study leading to certificate, associate, bachelor, and graduate degrees.

Applicants should use the online scholarship portal, managed for ROA by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc.  ISTS will be the point of contact for applicants throughout the process and they will provide ROA with finalist applications -- a ROA committee will make the final selections.

Jeffrey Phillips, interim co-chair of the ROA STARs Foundation said, “Recognizing that today’s students may be well beyond their twenties, we removed age limits.” Scholarship recipients will be notified in mid-June; checks will be made out to their college/university and mailed to the recipients in August.

The program supports scholarships, fellowships, internships, and other programs.  You must either be a regular or associate member or the child/grandchild of a regular or associate member of ROA.

The scholarships are funded by the Henry J. Reilly Memorial Library and Scholarship Fund, itself funded by the ROA’s STARs Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization through which donors both help students and honor Reilly’s love of education.

Brigadier General Reilly was ROA’s first president. A colonel when the U.S. entered World War I, he commanded the 149th Field Artillery Regiment, 42nd (“Rainbow”) Division. His regiment fought with distinction in France. After the war, Reilly became a brigadier general in the Officer Reserve; he was also a well-known authority on military affairs, speaker, author, and correspondent. He helped General of the Armies John “Black Jack” Pershing found the Reserve Officers Association in 1922.

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Tonic for a divisive Congress: Look to the ‘spirit of 96'

Posted By ROA National Staff, Wednesday, February 6, 2019

ROA Executive Director Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Jeff Phillips and Legislation and Military Policy Director Susan Lukas are published in The Hill as opinion contributors.

 

A month into its occupation of Capitol Hill, the 116th Congress already shows signs that its capacity for divisive infighting will rival, if not best, the impressive displays of its predecessor. Everyone, it seems — the headlines, TV talking heads, think tanks, taxi and Uber drivers, bartenders — is fixated on this newest incarnation of divided government.

 

Congress long has used caucuses to mitigate the divisive threat posed by “factions”; for example, it established the Democratic-Republican caucus in April 1796 to oppose a treaty with Great Britain that unfairly treated American sailors. The concept took hold: during the 115th Congress, the House list of registered caucuses ran 107 pages.

 

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