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A Day in the ROA Chaplain's Thoughts - Advent 2018

Posted By ROA National Staff, Monday, December 17, 2018


A Spiritual Fitness message from the ROA National Chaplain


Thanksgiving is a great door for us in America as it can open for us a time of thanks and expectancy. With Thanksgiving as a designated day behind us, we now look forward with hope and expectancy in celebrating our Judeo-Christian roots. The Jewish event of Hanukkah, celebrated this month, looks back to a miraculous time in history (nearly two hundred years B.C.). During the rededication of the Jewish Temple of Worship, oil for the temple lamp (enough for only one day) remained lit for the eight days needed to press and dedicate more oil for the duration.


The birth of Jesus, celebrated this month as well, introduced the Christian Era. Whether Jewish or Christian, this special season is marked by God visiting His people and bringing about miracles. The study of the entire Holy Scriptures begins and ends with God desiring to enter into the lives of people who seek Him as the Living God interested in His creation. It was, and is, His choice to be with us and to enter into our world. The celebration and worship brought forth with harp, orchestra, and vocal proclamations. Young children become fascinated, with eyes and ears wide open, listening to stories read and events proclaimed, of God’s entrance and actions. Adults look back, remember, recall, return and reflect pondering the best way to share what they now know with the children and grandchildren.


Today, we celebrate and proclaim God is with us in our history, our present and our future personal lives. Yes, it is true there is a materialistic connection to modern day Christmas and Hanukkah, but we also thrive in the true meaning of this special season. Truth and Life came from the portals of heaven to the mud, dirt, dust, pain, suffering and sin of this world just for you and me. God’s goal is restoration and not retribution for His creation. The materialism, without the spiritual, can have a celebration of such which leads to tiredness, busyness, festive and even some reflective depression and stressful moments.


A time of commercial emphasis, with a main focus upon economics and material gain, carries the baggage of trivialization; but it need not remain. Within the heart of many, this time of the year rings of hope and enchantment searching for ways of expression, love and appreciation from one person or group to another person or group. In my own reflection, I am reminded of a husband and wife team of historians who wrote, “there is no significant example in history before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion.” (Will and Ariel Durant; The Story of Civilization, 11 Volumes)


While our Judeo-Christian roots are very deep as well as very personal, they cannot just be casual nor superficial. I cannot treat God’s visitation lightly for the results of doing so not only affect me but the society in which I live. Faith or lack thereof has a definite impact not only on my present but my future as well. From Moses and Prophets to St. John the Revelator the march and echo is “Peace on earth with good will toward men.” Just as God “reached out of Himself” to impact my life, I am not content until I reach out to Him and then outside myself to my neighbor.




Sherman Reed

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

Army Reserve Ambassador, Emeritus

ROA National Chaplain




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Call to Action: Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2018

Posted By ROA National Staff, Thursday, December 13, 2018

ROA attended a press conference with Senator Tester (MT), Senator Gillibrand (NY), and Senator Daines (MT) on H.R. 299. They explained the bipartisan supported bill to extend disability and medical benefits to Navy Vietnam Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange in ships off the coast of Vietnam has been stalled. Two Senators have put a hold on the bill preventing it from going to the floor for vote. ROA has released the Following call to action to their members.


Please ask your members to call Senator Enzi (202-224-3424) and Senator Lee (202-224-5444) and ask them to release their hold on House bill H.R. 299 so it can go to the floor for vote. The rest of the Senate is ready to support the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2018. Our Vietnam Veterans are dying every day from their exposure to Agent Orange -- they deserve VA’s support for their service connected illnesses.

Senator Enzi knows that the estimated cost is considered unusually high compared to DoD estimates; unfortunately, the cost assumptions by the Congressional Budget Office have not been shared.

Senator Lee knows that there is more then enough science and medical studies supporting Agent Orange exposure to the Blue Water Navy veterans; one more study will not change the outcome.

These holds are preventing the bill from going to the President before Christmas. Vietnam Veterans were exposed to Agent Orange over 50 years ago, they should not have to wait any longer for the care they deserve!

Tags:  Blue Water Navy 

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With No Alternatives, Military’s Tribalism Must Go

Posted By ROA National Staff, Wednesday, November 14, 2018

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


“There is only one Army. … We cannot conduct sustained land warfare without the Guard and the Reserve,” the Army’s chief of staff, Gen. Mark Milley, has said. “It is impossible for the United States of America to go to war today without bringing Main Street.”


Defense Secretary James Mattis, recently discussing with a National Guard audience what is called “the Total Force,” told them they’re “considered every bit as much a part of that force as any active element.”  


After nearly 20 years of (undeclared) war, you’d think the message had gotten through.


You’d be wrong.




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ROA Intern and AFROTC Cadet Air Force Professional Development Training

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 14, 2018
by Owen Patterson
This summer I had the pleasure of working in an internship program as a legislative policy assistant under ROA’s wonderful legislative team.  This team, comprised of the wonderful Susan Lukas and skillful John Rothrock, taught me a great deal about advocacy, the reserve component, and the traits of model officers.  I will cherish the experience from this summer with ROA’s national staff and hopefully be able return to at some point in my career. READ MORE>

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Focus on defense budgets leaves Coast Guard high and dry

Posted By ROA National Staff, Monday, November 5, 2018

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


“Congratulations to Congress for passing the fiscal year 2019 defense budget. We won’t begrudge the accolades that resounded in Capitol Hill offices on the occasion of lawmakers simply having done their job. Yet the job isn’t fully done. The U.S. Coast Guard, essential to homeland security, remains unfunded for next year.


The Coast Guard and its reserve are managed and funded from two sections of federal law: Title 10, which governs the Department of Defense (DOD), under whose control Coast Guard units may operate in war; and Title 14, which governs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill would be the primary source of Coast Guard funding.


The Coast Guard is operating under a continuing resolution, its 34th CR since the start of FY 2010. As is the case with the other armed services, CRs erode readiness at a time when security threats are high — and increasing.”




Tags:  Budget  Coast Guard  Continuing Resolution  Defense Budget  USCG 

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Exciting Changes for ROA!

Posted By ROA National Staff, Friday, October 26, 2018

Exciting changes have come to ROA!  The 2018 National Convention voted on several Constitution and By-Law changes to membership.  ROA delegates strongly supported a vote of “AYE” to open membership to all ranks. Read about all of the changes here.


See the complete convention wrap-up to include briefings and photo gallery, click here.

Tags:  Expansion  Name  Ranks 

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Appointee or career, VA’s officials can take the agency to excellence

Posted By ROA National Staff, Monday, October 22, 2018

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


“Now led by its tenth “permanent” secretary, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is in its 29th year of being nearly everyone’s favorite federal punching bag.


Secretary Robert Wilkie appears right for the job, with experience as a House and Senate staffer, National Security Council official, Pentagon official, and a serving Air Force Reserve officer.


His success leading the nearly 400,000-person agency largely depends on the performance of VA’s thousands of supervisory federal civil servants. The VA budget grew from about $49 billion in 2001, when I joined VA as an appointee running its public affairs and White House liaison shops, to some $200 billion today — clearly Congress has funded VA for success.”



Tags:  VA  Veterans Affairs  Wilkie 

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Burn Pits, Battlefield Toxins, Disabled Troops and the Fight for Data

Posted By ROA National Staff, Tuesday, August 14, 2018

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


“I will advocate until they drape the flag over my coffin.” That’s what Rosie Lopez-Torres told the Reserve Officers Association her husband, Army Reserve Capt. Leroy Torres, would say about his struggle for fair treatment after being disabled by toxic fumes spewing from burn pits in Iraq in 2007.


“You pretty much have to be a full-time advocate, just to ensure that the system doesn’t lose you in the process … if you come back from fighting a war and have to fight to keep your job.  It’s been a huge sacrifice; it’s had a huge impact on our lives,” she said. “How do you endure being stripped of your dignity and the one thing that was your life’s dream?”


Tags:  Burn Pit Iraqi 

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NDAA Goes to President

Posted By ROA National Staff, Friday, August 10, 2018

On Friday, August 3, 2018, Congress sent the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2019 to the White House.  The President is expected to have a signing ceremony for the bill at Ft. Drum, New York on Monday, August 13, 2018.  The President has 10 days to sign the bill, not counting Sundays, and Monday is the 10th day after receiving the bill. 


Fort Drum is home to the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), located in northern New York, approximately 30 miles from Canada.



Tags:  Defense Authorization Act  NDAA 

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Congressional Action at Recess

Posted By ROA National Staff, Friday, August 3, 2018

The House has left town for the August Recess and will return on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. The Senate has started a shorter August Recess and will return on Wednesday, August 15, 2018.


The National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2019 passed both the House and Senate and will now go to the President for signature or veto. After Congress sends the president a final bill, he has 10 days (not counting Sunday) to act on it.  President Trump can sign the bill, not sign the bill so that it automatically becomes law after 10 days, or veto (Latin for “I forbid”) the bill.


The Department of Defense appropriations bill passed in the House on 28 June 2018. The Senate is expected to vote on the DoD bill mid-August when they return from August recess.


Tags:  Congress  NDAA  Recess 

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