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June 15, 2018


Legislative Update
Army Update

Naval Services Update
Air Force Update

Military Life
Jobs on the Hill
Law Reviews

ROA national convention registration now open!

ROA is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2018 national convention in Omaha, Nebraska!

This year’s national convention promises many exciting events for ROA members to include an update on TRICARE, a professional development seminar, a banquet with a congressional speaker (invited), awards presentations, speaker presentations, a State of the Association address, a detailed update on current legislation, and training on conducting grass-roots activities. All this while connecting with old friends and making new ones.

Please spread the word within your departments and chapters about this exciting opportunity! Hotel rates are low and registration fees have been reduced. Help us reach our goal of increasing attendance by 15 percent.

To register, or for more information, visit our website:

Legislative Update

Veterans’ Creed unveiled at ROA

Representatives from among the 11 veterans and military service organizations sponsoring the Veteran’s Creed pose in front of the Minuteman statue in the ROA headquarters with Veteran’s Creed originators, retired Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., former Chief of Staff of the Army (third from right) and Dr. Joel Kupersmith, professor of medicine and director, Georgetown University Veterans Initiatives (seventh from right). Nebraska Congressman Don Bacon, a retired USAF brigadier general, is second from left, and Pennsylvania Congressman Conor Lamb, a former Marine Corps major, is fifth from left.

The rollout for the newly established Veteran’s Creed was held on Flag Day, June 14, also the Army’s 243rd birthday, in the atrium of the ROA Minuteman Memorial Building in Washington. Attending the ceremony were three Congressmen and several serving and retired generals and admirals, including former Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, Jr.

Opening the Veteran’s Creed rollout ceremony at ROA’s Minuteman Memorial Building on Flag Day and the Army’s 243rd birthday, Executive Director Jeff Phillips told the group of Congressmen, administration officials, veterans and military service organizations and congressional staff, “Veterans are a well of strength for America, and this creed enjoins those of us who served to continue our service to the nation we love.”

“The Veteran’s Creed calls to those of us who have served, expressing our ethic of continued service to nation,” said ROA’s executive director, Jeff Phillips, a 37-year veteran of the Regular Army and Army Reserve. “We expect this creed to have significance to veterans and the nation they served – and will always serve.”

Over the past few months, a group of veteran and military service organization leaders have discussed the need for a Veteran’s Creed. General Casey, now retired and in service helping others become better leaders, Dr. Joel Kupersmith, professor of medicine and director of Georgetown University’s Veterans Initiatives, and a group of respected national military and veteran leaders led the charge to develop the creed.

Florida Congressman Brian Mast speaks to the audience, invoking the deep meaning of creeds and how, once internalized such as his own Army creed, they enrich our ability to serve. Representative Mast was injured in Afghanistan while serving as a Joint Special Operations Command bomb disposal expert; an improvised explosive device that he found took both of his legs.

The Veteran’s Creed is a set of principles for veterans to encourage pride in being a veteran, continued service, leadership, honor and sense of mission in society.
Each element is rooted in shared military tenets, the missions of participating veteran service organizations, and in the altruistic ethos of veterans themselves. It is also meant to remind Americans that the principles and values veterans learned in the military – integrity, leadership, teamwork, selfless service – can greatly benefit our country.

The creed is meant to inspire veterans to continue to serve and lead in their communities and our country, and to continue to make a difference in our world. The Veteran’s Creed states:

I am an American Veteran.
I proudly served my country.
I live the values I learned in the military.
I continue to serve my community, my country and my fellow veterans.
I maintain my physical and mental discipline.
I continue to lead and improve.
I make a difference.
I honor and remember my fallen comrades.

The leadership of ROA, AmVets, DAV (Disabled American Veterans), HillVets, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Student Veterans of America, Team Rubicon Global, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Wounded Warrior Project spoke at the event.

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Vice President visits IN Reserve units

(Photo: Scott S. Russell)

On 18 May, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (center) met members and their families of the Indiana National Guard and the 434th Air Refueling Wing -- the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command – at a business roundtable “meet and greet” in Indianapolis. U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN) (fifth from left) was also in attendance at the event.

During the “meet-and-greet” the vice president personally thanked Reserve Component service members for their service and continued commitment to Indiana and the nation.

Col. Scott S. Russell (USAFR) (fourth from left) attended the meeting as both a member of the 434th Air Wing and as a ROA member from the Department of Indiana. READ MORE>

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Reserve Component Mobilizations — By the Numbers
(as of 12 June 2018 )

The Department of Defense publishes contingency activations of the Reserve Components on a weekly basis. When DoD considered stopping the contingency reporting earlier in 2017, ROA was instrumental in pressing DoD to keep it as a reporting requirement. This information is important because Congress uses this information to gauge how the Reserve Component is being used for operational missions which results in authorizations and appropriations.

Additionally, this report reminds the President and Congress that the Reserve Component is still being used for contingency activations despite years of drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Army Reserve Update

New Connecticut National Guard medical helicopter unit set to deploy

(Photo: National Guard)

The Connecticut National Guard's newest unit, which has spent the past two years training with new, specialized helicopters, will deploy soon to provide care and transport to the sick and wounded in support of military operations in southwest Asia.

The unit represents a new capability for the National Guard. It received the first of three Blackhawk helicopters specifically outfitted for medical evacuation in the spring of 2016, even before becoming a fully operational unit in the fall of 2016.

Thirty members of the detachment are deploying and will spend about a year providing aeromedical evacuation, enroute critical care and medical support while transporting patients. Five of the members deploying are women. The unit will join the 70 guardsmen from Connecticut already deployed in support of operations around the world.

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Guardsmen remain on alert as volcano continues to blow in Hawaii

(Photo: AP)

As the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island continues to spew lava and ash, the state’s National Guard troops are playing a central role in keeping citizens safe.

Operation Pa’a Mau — which includes both Army and Air Guard personnel — has been underway since May 14. With help from active duty Marines, soldiers and sailors as well as Guardsmen from other states, the Hawaii Guard is securing and assessing the area around the explosion and staying prepared for any necessary air evacuations.

“Our mission here is to save lives, prevent human suffering and to allow the people affected by volcanic activity to live their lives the best they can,” said Army Command Sgt. Maj. Elva Schaben, who has been deployed on the operation for the last month.

A total of 380 Guard troops have been activated in response to the volcano. Some are helping the Hilo Police Department patrol the area, while others are operating closer to the fissures, taking gas measurements to assess the risk to the surrounding communities.

Naval Services Update

USMCR conduct ITX 4-18 training event

Lance Cpl. Gage Vielee, a USMC Reservists from Mississippi, participates in Integrated Training Exercise 4-18, in Twentynine Palms, California, on June 8, 2018, the largest annual Marine Forces Reserve training exercise. (Photo: USMCR)

Gage Vielee is a native of Chatawa, Mississippi, and manager at Bebo’s Casino in Kentwood, Louisiana. But, to the Marines of Truck Company, 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, he’s known as Lance Cpl. Gage Vielee, a motor transportation mechanic and hard-charging warfighter with the Marine Corps Reserve.

“Becoming a Marine was a calling,” said Vielee. “I was in a rut for a very long time, working three jobs. It was like something just hit me one day while I was at work. I remember thinking 'I should go talk to a recruiter.' I went and spoke with one, and, that day, I was signing the papers. And, to top it off, I'm the first Marine in my family.”

Reserve Marines, like Vielee, spend at least two consecutive weeks each year furthering their capabilities at annual training exercises across the globe. This year, he and his Baton Rouge based unit are spending June at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, conducting an exercise called Integrated Training Exercise 4-18.

ITX 4-18 is a service level training event which aims to prepare units for combat under the most realistic conditions possible. The Marines are taking advantage of MCAGCC Twentynine Palms’ expansive desert to replicate conditions they could very well face on a possible, future deployment. “So far I think it's been very interesting,” Vielee said. “The heat gets to you. But I think if you ever deploy to the Middle East, then this is a great place to come train for it. Within the first couple days, I've had a lot of fun, and I'm hoping to learn quite a bit while I'm here.”

While his duties as a manager don’t involve inspecting, maintaining, and repairing a fleet of motor transport vehicles which serve an entire battalion of Marines, Vielee has used the skills he has learned in the Marine Corps to further himself in the positions he possesses in the civilian workforce.

“My civilian job benefits a great deal from me being in the Marine Corps,” Vielee said. “The classes that I attend teach leadership skills and how to manage, communicate and teach others about culture. Since my job is to manage other people in the civilian world, it's given me a better understanding of how to work with people and manage them. I've benefited a great deal from the Marine Corps.”

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USCG Reserve mentorship

Lt. Steven Graff, with the Coast Guard Office of Reserve Affairs, shakes the hand of a graduate during the graduation ceremony for members of the Direct Entry Petty Officer Training class 03-18, 29 March 2018 at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, N.J. (Photo: CWO John Edwards)

The U.S. Coast Guard Reserve has a unique program called Direct Entry Petty Officer Training, or DEPOT, program. The program was specially designed to bring prior-service and well-qualified civilians into the Coast Guard.

Lieutenant Graff (pictured above) is a prime example of a mentor leader. Graff recently volunteered from the Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., to act as a company mentor to DEPOT class 03-18 during their training at the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May, N.J. During the 3-week course he provided insight on what serving in the Coast Guard was like. He, in fact, as a prior Navy and Air National Guard member, understands the challenges of coming to a new service and new career later in life.

His advice was, “take care of your family, yourself, and your shipmates, and be ready to serve your country. This is not a full-time or part-time job, it is a career to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” READ MORE>

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Air Force Update

ROA Intern for Summer Semester

(Photo ROA)

ROA Intern Owen Patterson joined the national staff for the 2018 summer semester from the University of California Berkeley. This is the third year that ROA has sponsored an intern from Berkeley. Owen is a cadet in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Course and is pursuing his bachelor of arts degree in economics. His experience with the New York State Assembly as a legislative research assistant, campaign staffer, and legislative intern prepared him to immediately go to work on legislative projects for ROA, such as summarizing the Defense Appropriations bill.

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Reimbursement increase for inactive duty training

Some Reserve Citizen Airmen attending inactive duty training outside normal commuting distances at Air Force Reserve locations will be seeing an increase in the maximum reimbursement for actual travel expenses under a revision to the Joint Travel Regulation.

Reservists will be eligible for this entitlement if they reside outside the defined commuting limits of 150 miles or more away from their duty station. Additional increases will be seen in authorized career fields from $300 to $500, for travel performed on or after April 1, 2018.

Heroic Airman Helps Victims of Deck Collapse

(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Cristina J. Allen)

New Jersey Air National Guard member, Senior Airman Samantha Massey helped rescue several individuals when the Rogue Water Tap House deck collapsed. While on temporary duty, she and two other airmen were at the establishment when an upper deck collapsed hurling patrons 12 feet onto another seating area under the deck. As I came down the stairs, I looked back and there were a bunch of people screaming,” said Massey. “There was mud and blood everywhere and there were people with serious injuries.” READ MORE

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Military Family

Department of the National Capitol Region Challenge

(Photo by Department of the NCR)

The Department of the NCR elected board recently approved a motion to sponsor three participating Reserve Component members to the 2018 National Convention. The Executive Board believes it is important to increase the presence of currently serving National Guard and Reserve at the September 2018 meeting. Bob Carmack suggested we have a representative from the Army, Navy, and Air Force to provide a multi-service viewpoint in the professional development seminar and at the general assembly meetings. A stipend of $750 will be given to each selectee to offset the registration, hotel, and transportation cost of attending the convention. The Department President has issued a challenge to other departments to meet this initiative.

(Photo courtesy of the Exxchange)

Healthier Choice items and tags are now positioned throughout Exchange main stores and Expresses to make identifying better-for-you products easier. This signage highlights BE FIT approved products. Nearly 400 items are now BE FIT approved, including fresh fruit, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, trail mix and nuts, tuna, grass-fed meat snacks and jerky, veggie chips, frozen entrees, bottled water, and more. Visit your Exchange or to find out more about Healthier Choices of the Exchange. READ HERE

TRICARE benefits

ATTN Retirees
: The TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) will end on December 31, 2018. Retirees are eligible to enroll in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) for coverage effective January 1, 2019. There is NOTHING you need to do right now BUT in order to continue dental coverage for 2019, you MUST select a plan during this fall’s Federal Benefits Open Season (Nov 12 - Dec 10, 2018) in order to have dental coverage on January 1, 2019. You will not be automatically enrolled into a FEDVIP dental plan.

FEDVIP offers a choice of ten (10) dental carrier options, including Delta Dental, the current administrator of the TRDP.

Delta Dental is taking new enrollments in the TRDP until 10/31/18. Current enrollees should continue to use their TRDP benefits with confidence throughout the rest of this year.

Go to for TRICARE Retiree Dental Program and FEDVIP transition information and updates. If you have specific questions email your Delta Dental National Guard and Reserve representative, Joe Montoya at

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Free download pet owner’s app

The dog days of Summer are here and with it a recently created and helpful mobile app from the Army Public Health Center - milPetEd, short for Military Pet Education.

The app provides Soldiers, family members and retirees with animal health information, an interactive Veterinary Treatment Facility finder, and even a section where users can submit pictures of their furry, feathered or finned friends.

Go to for more information.

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Shopping the Exchange Generates $219 Million for Military Quality-of-Life Programs

DALLAS – Last year, the military community generated $219 million for critical Quality-of-Life programs as active-duty Soldiers, Airmen, military retirees and their families, as well as honorably discharged Veterans, shopped through the Army & Air Force Exchange Service.

Over the last 10 years, Exchange shoppers have contributed $2.4 billion to support military Child Development Centers, Youth Services programs, fitness centers and other programs that make life better for service members and their families.

100 percent of Exchange earnings are invested in the military community, with about two-thirds going to dividends supporting Quality-of-Life programs and the remaining third used to improve the shopping experience in store and at

“Shopping the Exchange puts money right back into our military communities,” said Exchange senior enlisted advisor Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes. “This is what the Exchange is all about: Supporting our military members and their families.”

The 2017 $219 million dividend was generated in part by Veterans, who were welcomed home with a lifelong online military exchange shopping benefit introduced on Veterans Day 2017. By shopping the Exchange online, Veterans make life better for those who wear the uniform today through increased dividends while also enjoying the great shopping experience and savings they remember from their days on active duty. Veterans can visit to determine eligibility.

All branches of service benefit from shopping the Exchange. Because the Exchange also serves the Navy and Marine Corps at select stores and online, portions of the dividend are contributed to those branches’ Quality-of-Life programs. For 2017, the $219 million was distributed as follows:

  • Army: $124 million
  • Air Force: $ 76 million
  • Marines: $ 15 million
  • Navy: $. 4 million
The Exchange dividend is a key aspect of the organization’s mission to enhance the lives of service members and their families. Shoppers receive convenient access to tax-free goods at exclusive military pricing while making an investment in local military communities.
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Member Updates

Twenty Henry J. Reilly Scholarship recipients chosen

Concluding their judging of the nearly 50 qualified scholarship applications, ROA’s judge team has chosen 20 recipients for academic year 2018-2019, who will be awarded $2,500 each. The number of scholarships is double last year’s ten.

“The quality of these scholarship applications – reflecting the quality of the young applicants – was astounding,” said ROA’s executive director, Jeff Phillips. “These are America’s future leaders, and we should be proud the ROA family has such wonderful young people within its community.”

Upon their notification later this month, ROA will issue a news release publicly congratulating these star-performing scholars.

ROA’s membership shows increase

Fully three months into its March 31-April 1 fiscal year, ROA’s membership has experienced a modest rise. Sustained growth among term (annual) and associate memberships has been the case for more than a year, with monthly increases in these membership categories every month since April 2017. These gains have recently overcome losses, largely within the association’s aging membership, now sadly passing from our ranks.

“This growth in ROA membership reflects the association’s revitalization, and the confidence of members that we are back, “punching above our weight” on Capitol Hill on behalf of the Reserve Force,” said Jeff Phillips, ROA’s executive director. “What we are seeing is the positive effect of our departments and chapters telling the ROA story and attracting new members and retaining existing members.”

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Jobs on the Hill
Three good sources for legislative related job opportunities

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Law Reviews:
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. Please see ROA’s Law Center webpage for more information on service members’ law.

No. 18046 Service Members Deserve the Right To Vote—Please Help them Exercise it
No. 18047 Sections 4314 and 4315 of USERRA-OPM’s Responsibilities under USERRA
No. 18048 Section 4319 of USERRA-USERRA Applies all over the World to American Employers
No. 18049 You Can Have the Right to Reemployment in more than one Job

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To publish your reunion notice in Reserve Voice, email or send by mail to
ROA Reunion Notice
1 Constitution Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

77th Armor Regiment Reunion
Dates: June 21-24, 2018
Location: Hilton El Conquistador Resort
10000 N. Oracle Rd., Tuscon, AZ 85704.
Registration forms:
Contact: Robert L. Basner, 989-624-4593; e mail:

Society of the First Infantry Division, "Big Red One" 2018 Reunion

Dates: August 1-5, 2018
Location: Westin Lombard, Ambler PA 19002
Contact: • PH 215-654-1969

U.S.S. John R. Craig DD885
Dates: September 5-9, 2018
Location: Bloomington, Minnesota
Contact: Jerry Chwalek
Email: • 734-525-1469

Army, 1st Signal Brigade (Vietnam & Korea)
5-9 September 2018
Location: Menger Hotel, San Antonio, TX.
POC: John Keenan • (913) 633-2639 •

USS NIMITZ (CVN-68) Association 21st Shipmates' Reunion
Dates:12-16 September 2018
Location:Courtyard Marriott, 1001 Intrepid Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19112
(Historic Navy Yard, Philadelphia)
POC: Tim Gildea, (215) 480-4260,
Note: Open to present and past members of ship's crew, Marine Detachment, embarked staffs, specialty detachments, and air wing. Reunion participants may bring guests.
Information & Registration form:

U.S.S. Perkins 27th Annual Reunion
September 13-15, 2018
Kansas City, Missouri
POC: Barry Buchanan • Ph 816-792-3040

Vinh Long Outlaws Association Biennial Reunion
September 13-17, 2018
North Charleston Marriott • Charleston, SC
POC: Jim Donnelly email:
Info & Registration:

39th Engineer Battalion Alumni Association
Dates: September 30 - October 3, 2018
Location: Desert Diamond Hotel & Casino, Tucson, AZ
Hotel: 877-777-4212 (refer to 39th Engineers block)
Form & Info:
March 2018 Newsletter with reg form

More Info: 39th 2018 Arizona Reunion Information
Contact: Bill Ray, 817-239-0787,

USS Taylor (DD/DDE-468)
Dates: 07-11 October, 2018 • Location: Colorado Springs, CO
POC: CDR James G. O'Neill USNR-RET
Email: • Phone: 804-212-8911

Patron Four Five Association (VP-45) 15th Biennial Reunion
Dates: October 24-28, 2018 • Location: Grand Hotel, Pensacola, Florida
POC: Doug "Pooh Bear" Mitchell (President)
Phone: 678-650-7500Email:

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