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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.”

 

READ THE FULL STORY

 

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.”

READ THE FULL STORY

 
 

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.

READ MORE

 

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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Burn Pit Exposure Effects

Posted By ROA National Staff, Wednesday, July 25, 2018

In ROA’s recent VLOG, Rosie discusses the problems her husband, Army Reserve Captain (Ret.) Le Roy Torres, faced as his health declined from burn pit exposure following his 2007 deployment to Iraq. 

CLICK HERE to watch the video.

Tags:  Burn Pit 

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Youth Obesity is a Matter of National Security

Posted By ROA National Staff, Thursday, July 19, 2018

Major General (Ret.) Jeffrey Phillips, Mission: Readiness member and executive director of the Reserve Officers Association, writes in the Military Times about the impact of obesity on the military and the importance of PE and healthy school meals.

 

Whether or not you consider military service an attractive option, it’s hard to argue against a strong military being essential to America’s security.

 

Yet the U.S. military faces increasing difficulty finding enough quality recruits to meet its already slimmed-down goals. According to the Pentagon, 71 percent of Americans age 17 to 24 are ineligible to join the military, primarily because they are too overweight or too poorly educated, or they have a record of serious crime or drug abuse.

READ THE FULL STORY

Tags:  National Security  Obesity  Youth Obesity 

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A War is a Crisis if No One on Our Side Shows Up

Posted By ROA National Staff, Friday, July 13, 2018

ROA member Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Dennis Laich is published in The Hill as an opinion contributor.

The Army is struggling to meet its enlistment objective of 76,000 recruits for fiscal year 2018; in fact, it has reduced its objective from its original goal of 80,000. Last year it achieved its objective of 63,000 recruits but had to accept more than 1,000 Category IV recruits to do so. These “CAT IV” recruits are applicants who score between the 10th and 30th percentile in aptitude tests.

CLICK HERE for the full story.

  

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Discharging Immigrants Breaks the Universal Code of Honor

Posted By ROA National Staff, Thursday, July 12, 2018

ROA is now becoming prominent in Washington media; this is our sixth op-ed in The Hill since March; Military Times is considering two more.

 

“The common bond that unites every soldier, sailor, airman and Marine is a commitment to duty, honor and country. Whether native born, naturalized, or not U.S. citizens at all, service members are unified not by a common heritage, race, religion or creed, but rather by this universal code that builds character, breeds conviction and encourages valor,” Emilio T. Gonzalez, then the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an immigrant and former U.S. Army soldier, testified before the Senate Committee on Armed Services in July 2006.

The ongoing discharge of immigrant recruits robs a U.S. military that is struggling to meet enlistment goals and profoundly betrays the very national values these young people seek to defend.

CLICK HERE for the full story.

 

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