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Reserve Organization of America
                                         Reserve Voice Newsletter for June, 2020
President Trump, reflecting ROA request, extends Title 32 Orders through mid-August
AP Photo by Evan Vucci

After
initial reports that National Guard deployments would have a “hard stop” on June 24, one day before servicemembers would be eligible for federal benefits, and White House receipt of an ROA letter asking for extension of orders, President Donald Trump announced he would extend orders for the Guardsmen, supporting states during the pandemic.

“The men and women of the National Guard have been doing a great job fighting the CoronaVirus. This week, I will extend their Title 32 orders through mid-August, so they can continue to help States succeed in their response and recovery efforts,” wrote President Trump in a tweet on Thursday.

Under Title 32 orders, National Guard members are entitled to federal benefits such as 9/11 GI Bill and an accelerated retirement schedule when they accumulate 90 days of active service.

ROA will continue to work to get the reserve servicemembers extended under this as well. Please see separate story on our advocacy during this situation, below.
ROA announces retirement of "revitalizer" legislative director Lukas

Retiring on May 31 after nearly six years as ROA’s national director of legislation and military policy, retired USAFR Lt. Col. Susan Lukas will take some well-earned leave, and help the association she was instrumental in revitalizing, through the 116th Congress, which concludes December 31.

“Susan has been a legislative director extraordinaire!  She will be missed in her staff role but knowing her for over 20 years I know her heart will continue to be with ROA and her dedication and love for Reserve Component members and their
families for fair and equitable treatment as one total force concept will always be there,” said ROA National President Col. Judi Davenport.  “The torch for RC legislation is in good hands with someone you have mentored, Kevin Hollinger.  God Bless in your retirement Susan -- now go and enjoy!”

ROA’s members and indeed the entire Reserve Component community, families, and veterans owe Lukas a great deal. She gave the RC a voice as co-chair of The Military Coalition’s Reserve and Guard Committee. She has been a courageous and pioneering voice in ROA’s expansion of membership eligibility, and all facets of revitalization, from digital and print communications, to our website, to her management of the resolutions process, and her leadership within the Department of the National Capital Region.

“Susan has lived a life of service to nation, in the Air Force, the Department of Veterans Affairs and here at ROA,” said Jeff Phillips, ROA’s executive director.  “She has completely rebuilt our legislation and military policy program from the ground up. ROA is today – because of her insight, expertise, and ability to communicate on the Hill and in the Pentagon – the recognized authority in Washington on the Reserve Components.”

Lukas established a tight focus on Reserve Component issues, concentrating on legislation and policy that would significantly enhance readiness and quality of life. A master of policy and legislation, she repeatedly discovered flaws in law and policy that created inequities for those ROA serves.  Then she relentlessly went after them.

A shining example of ROA’s success under her leadership is the equalizing of survivor benefits between families whose servicemember dies while on active duty and those whose loved one dies on inactive duty training.  The difference in benefits could be a factor of ten.  ROA fought for and won the equalizing of these benefits.

The influence of Susan Lukas was recently on display in the establishment by law of the military child identifier, which facilitates the identification to civilian schools of a child whose parent is in the military; school staff can now help the child, who may need extra support during this challenging time.

Look no further than the Title 32 story in this Reserve Voice Online to see yet another victory.

Since April, Lukas has been mentoring ROA’s director of legislation and her “number two,” serving Army National Guard Sgt. First Class Kevin Hollinger, a combat-wounded Ranger with 11 deployments, who recently passed his Virginia bar exam.  Hollinger has already proven a worthy Hill fighter on behalf of RC readiness and quality of life.

Susan, a life member of ROA, to our great good fortune, will remain active with ROA in non-staff capacities.

DoD provides COVID updates, resources

    • COVID-19 Media Fact Sheet (pdf)

    • EFMP & Me" Web Tool for families with Special Needs (pdf)

The Hill Online
States, companies set up their own COVID-19 legal shields
States and some companies aren’t waiting for Congress and the White House to work out a possible liability shield and are instead taking steps to insulate businesses on their own from lawsuits in the coronavirus era.

Many states have granted some form of liability immunity to health care workers and facilities. Utah and North Carolina have gone the furthest, passing laws that offer the strongest immunities yet for a range of industries as stay-at-home orders and business closures are eased.  READ THE FULL STORY HERE >
ROA works to ensure reservists are receiving the benefits they deserve
“ROA just scored a victory for our members of the Reserve and National Guard. A White House aide to President Trump notified ROA this morning that the president had directed the extension of title 32 orders for members of the Reserve Components activated for COVID-19 support.” said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey E. Phillips, U.S. Army (Ret.), ROA’s executive director in an email to association leaders.

ROA’s op-ed in The Hill May 24 (https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/499222-reserve-and-guard-face-federal-backstab-after-serving-nations-covid) and accompanying letter to the president (attached) achieved their goal.  MOAA asked to co-sign the letter, and we readily consented -- we appreciate partnerships in our fight for the RC.

We have thanked the president on Facebook and Twitter (@reserveofficer), and will send him a “hard copy” letter of thanks. This is what ROA does for our men and women in America’s Reserve force, and we should be proud of making a difference for our nation!

The next step is to address “one-day-shy” title 10 orders, which ROA is doing.

Here are links to the ROA op-ed and letter. They can also be found on www.roa.org .

Reserve and Guard face federal backstab after serving nation's COVID-19 crisis
By Jeffrey E. Phillips, opinion contributor — 05/24/20 01:00 PM EDT

Letter to President Trump, 89 day orders, ROA-MOAA
DOD Rethinks Response for Next Virus Wave, Starts Testing Troops for Antibodies
 DOD Photo by Marv Lynchard

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the Pentagon may re-think its response to a potential second wave of coronavirus outbreak, he told reporters Thursday, according to
AP.
 
“If one were to assume that the biggest wave that hit is the first wave, we’ve demonstrated that we have the hospital capacity, the ventilator capacity, all those other [things],” Esper said. “If we can handle that first wave, we can handle anything else after that.”
 
Instead of sending Navy hospital ships and setting up field hospitals that were under-used, Esper said Pentagon leaders may provide more targeted aid for communities.
 
“I think that’s a big lesson learned,” Esper said.
 
Leaders may also shorten the quarantine time for troops who have been exposed to the virus. Esper said members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force recently told him it may not be necessary to be isolated for a full 14 days.
 
Esper said the military is already performing antibody tests on service members who recovered from COVID-19 to determine if their plasma can be used to stop others from getting sick.
 
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Army Gen. Mark Milley also mentioned the antibody testing at a
town hall streamed online and said DOD will continue testing service members who recovered to see if they have antibodies.
 
“We may want to ask you to stick your arm out and donate blood,” Milley said.
DPA Contract to Produce 30 Million N95 Filters, Respirators
Army Photo by Sgt. Leia Tascarini

Working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense announced a $2.2 million Defense Production Act (DPA) Title 3 contract.

The contract was awarded to Hollingsworth & Vose based in East Walpole, Massachusetts.

“Hollingsworth & Vose to increase U.S. domestic production of 27.5 million N95 ventilator filters, and 3.1 million N95 respirators per month, starting in August,” wrote the
Pentagon in a press release.

The funds were authorized and appropriated through CARES Act funding and will assist in relieving “manufacturing bottlenecks” caused during the coronavirus pandemic.
During the month of June, the House and Senate are both in session and should be completing the FY21 NDAA

Although we know the schedule will continue to be altered, work has not stopped. There will continue to be a focus on COVID-19 relief.

ROA has sent all of our NDAA we are eagerly awaiting the release of the FY21 NDAA

Servicemembers doing their part even outside of the uniform

Air Force Capt. Ben Kram sews a face mask at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. Ben and his wife, Capt. Lauren Kram, have created and donated more than 500 masks nationwide to military bases, hospitals and nursing homes to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Air Force photo

All Present and Accounted For
by Capt. Steven J. Craig, USCGR (Ret.)
Reviewed by Capt. Paul F. Keane, USCG (Ret.)

“At 7:04 p.m., for one of the few times in Coast Guard history, a MAYDAY call for help would come from a Coast Guard Vessel.”

In All Present and Accounted For, author Steven Craig provides an hour-by-hour account of the grounding of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis and heroic efforts to save it.

After striking a reef, the ship rolled to a sixty-degree angle and the crew crawled their way to their duty stations. The Jarvis engine room flooded with icy water, while freezing rain, snow and high winds made repairs nearly impossible. Dead in the water without power, mountainous seas pushed the ship toward rocky cliffs... READ MORE >

Read Amazon Reviews here.

“Protecting the Force During the Pandemic

Now, more than ever, the Exchange is truly honored to serve our Nation’s heroes. Despite these unprecedented times, the one constant is our unwavering commitment to Warfighters and their families. Protecting the force is the Exchange’s top priority during the pandemic.” Said Tom Shull Director/CEO Army & Air Force Exchange Service. Please see the link below to see the full story about what the PX/BX is doing in support of these unprecedented times.
https://publicaffairs-sme.com/Community/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/2020_May_Newsletter.pdf

Newsletter
General Officer Announcements

Air Force Lt. Gen. Marc H. Sasseville for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, with assignment as vice chief of the National Guard Bureau, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 
Sasseville is currently serving as the commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region; and commander, First Air Force (Air Forces Northern), Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael A. Loh for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, with assignment as director, Air National Guard, National Guard Bureau, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 
Loh is currently serving as the adjutant general, Colorado National Guard, Centennial, Colorado.
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. This past month 10 new Law Reviews have been posted. The latest five are linked below. Please visit ROA’s Law Center webpage to access all of the more than 1200 ROA Law Reviews available online.

No. 20049 USERRA Forbids Employer Harassment of Reserve Component Personnel
No. 20050 Location Is an Aspect of Status
No. 20051 Paid Military Leave and Differential Pay for Federal Civilian Employees Who Are Members of the National Guard or Reserve
No. 20052 Important New Case on the Furlough or Leave of Absence Clause
No. 20053 Returning to Work for a Different Federal Agency—Be Sure that you Get USERRA Pension Credit for your Period of Service
To publish your reunion notice in Reserve Voice, email jphillips@roa.org or send by mail to
ROA Reunion Notice
1 Constitution Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

National 4th Infantry (IVY) Division Association
Dates:  22-28 June, 2020
Hotel Elegante Conference & Event Center
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Hotel PH: 719-576-5900
Info, Registration: www.4thinfantry.org

USS Taylor (DD/DDE-468) Reunion
Date: 27-31 August, 2020
Location: Hershey – Harrisburg, PA
POC: James G. O’Neill, 14200 Hollows Drive,
Montpelier, VA 23192 • ph: 804-212-8911
Email: oneillfalm@aol.com

USS Hornet (CV-8, CV, CVA, CVS-12), 72nd Reunion
All Ship's Company, Officers, Air Groups, Crew, Marines & Families
Date: Sept. 16-20, 2020 • Location: Buffalo, NY;
POC: Sandy Burket, email: hornetcva@aol.com
PO Box 108, Roaring Spring, PA 16673-9817
Phone: (814) 224-5063, cell: (814) 312-4976

USS Abnaki ATF96 Reunion
Date: 27-30 September, 2020, San Antonio, TX
Staybridge Suites Downtown Conv
POC: Steven Andersland  PH: 210-410-1820
Email: sandersland@outlook.com

USS Yellowstone AD 27 Reunion
Dates: 21-23 September, 2020
Location: Westgate Branson Woods Resort, Branson, MO
POC: Karen A. Bowen • 603-948-2821
30 Briar Drive, Rochester, NH 03867
Email: pkbowen@atlanticbb.net

USS Ranger CV/CVA-61 31st Annual Reunion
All former crew members
Dates: 30 September – 3 October, 2020
Location: Sheraton Norfolk Waterside
777 Waterside Dr., Norfolk, VA
POC: Tom Ballinger, Sec/Treas.  210-403-3302

12TFW  2020 Reunion
Includes 12th TFW MacDill AFB, FL; Cam Ranh AB & Phu Cat AB (Vietnam) & 12th FEW/SFW Bergstrom AFB, TX (Korea) and all supporting units. A memorial dedication to the 12TFW will occur during this event.
Dates: October 28-31, 2020
Location: Dayton, Ohio
POC: E. J. Sherwood, 12TFW Association
Email: EJ12TFW@cox.net • Ph: 480-396-4681
(Photo: Arlington National Cemetery)

During April 2020, ROA was notified of 35 of our ROA comrades passing from our ranks. On behalf of our membership, we thank these brave men and women for their many years of service and wish their families peace. READ MORE>

Published monthly by
Reserve Organization of America
1 Constitution Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002
WWW.ROA.ORG

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