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November 15, 2017


Legislative Update
Army Update
Army National Guard Update
Naval Update
Air Force Update

Air National Guard Update
Military Life

Law Reviews

Legislative Update

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2017 UPDATE

(Photo: U.S. Capitol Historic Society)

The much-anticipated annual defense authorization bill cleared a House-Senate Conference Committee late last week and includes the following key points of interests for Reservists and National Guard members:

  • Establish a $700 billion defense authorization plan for fiscal 2018
  • 2.4 percent pay raise for all Active/Reserve/National Guard members
  • Boost military end strength by more than 20,000 service members, to include:
    • 8,500 new soldiers (7,500 in active duty, 500 each in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve)
    • 5,000 new sailors (4,000 in active duty, 1,000 in the reserves)
    • 5,800 new airmen (4,100 in active duty, 900 in the Guard, 800 in the Reserve)
    • 1,000 new active-duty Marines
  • Permanent extension of the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance, which pays about $300 a month to military widows and widowers to offset other lost benefits (which were set to expire in May 2018)
  • Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) will remain untouched for now
  • Adds 90 new joint strike fighters to the military’s fleet and a third new littoral combat ship, but cancels controversial plans for a new “Space Corps” in favor of less ambitious bureaucratic changes within the Defense Department’s space programs.

Lawmakers on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees have maintained for months that a sizable boost in defense spending is needed to keep up with military readiness and modernization shortfalls.

The U.S. House and Senate will still need to approve the conference committee legislation in the coming weeks by an up-or-down vote. The president has stated he will support the legislation. READ HERE>

Army Reserve Update

Alaska Army Recruiter Uses Own Plan to Fill Army Ranks

Sgt. 1st Class Robert Masterman flies his single-engine propeller aircraft while on a recruiting mission to Kipnuk, Alaska, Sept. 22, 2017. Masterman recruits future Soldiers in several villages scattered across a 50,000-square-mile area in southwestern Alaska. (Photo Credit: Sean Kimmons)

As a new recruiter working remote Alaskan villages scattered across an area larger than many U.S. states, Sgt. 1st Class Robert Masterman travels with a "go box" filled with Army pamphlets, t-shirts, mugs and other swag he hands out to potential recruits. But it's his uniform that attracts people to him, including veterans who chat with him about today's Army.

The Army Reserve and the Alaska National Guard were looking to put a recruiter in the Bethel-region

(about 500 miles east of Anchorage) to reach out to Alaska natives living in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region. With a high propensity of families who have served in the military and have a knack for outdoor survival skills, it was thought the area could be a hotbed for quality recruits.

"We've got the arctic experts here. All around us," he said, adding there has been a renewed interest for that expertise as Russia builds up its forces in the Arctic. "The easy part is to teach them to be Soldiers and then they become our arctic warfare specialists.”

Masterman says "I believe in the mission, believe in protecting this country, this state and having the network of National Guard Soldiers out here to protect the communities." READ HERE>

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Army Reserve Cyber Operations Group

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from the Army Reserve Cyber Operations Group, part of the 335th Signal Command (Theater), Phoenix Detachment, conduct Cyber operations training at the Arizona Cyber Warfare Range, in Mesa Ariz., June 4. The ARCOG has had a busy first year since its establishment in October 2016. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Erick Yates)

The Army Reserve Cyber Operations Group (ARCOG), 335th Signal Command (Theater) at Adelphi, MD, has kept its cyber warriors busy this year with operational training and exercises designed to keep its Soldiers skills laser sharp and focused for the required training, missions and support facing them. The ARCOG is a newly formed cyber brigade created from the Army Reserve Information Operations Command in October 2016. It is in the process of building its force through readiness and advanced cyber security training to perform cyber missions in support of Army Reserve Cyber Command (ARCYBER). READ HERE>

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Army National Guard Update

Golden Knights and Air National Guard vets spread positive image to future Soldiers

U.S. Army Recruiting Command recently hosted a Soldier For Life event at the Perris Tandem Camp airstrip to spread the positive image of the Army in southern California. Included in the event were members of the elite Golden Knights team.

For four years the Army has downsized in troop numbers due to congressionally mandated numbers, but the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act changed that and allowed for an increase of 6,000 in recruiting numbers starting this year. The Army met its recruiting goal of 68,500 Soldiers for the active-duty force this past fiscal year, while the target numbers for the Army Reserve and National Guard have also increased. This past January's increase from 62,500 to 68,500 marked the largest mid-year recruiting increase in the history of the Army's all-volunteer force. The goal for 2018 is 80,000.

Events similar to the Recruiting Command generates positive vibes and could pay dividends as Army recruiters make the push to meet the end-strength goals set by Congress.

Each of the guests received the opportunity to take part in a tandem jump with a member of the Golden Knights. The Army's parachute demonstration team regularly attends recruiting events to build positive community relationships. Often, this helps dispel stereotypes of the Army by interacting with the public. READ HERE>

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Naval Services Update

Happy 242nd Birthday USMC!

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller speaks to Marines and guests attending the Boston’s Semper Fidelis Society Luncheon. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Samantha K. Braun)

Below is the Birthday Message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps:

Seventy-Five years ago today, after months of fighting at Henderson Field and along Edson's Ridge, Marines on Guadalcanal spent the night of 10 November, 1942 planning and preparing. Although the Battle of Guadalcanal would continue for three more months, the plans laid on our Corps' most sacred day became integral to the amphibious campaigns that followed. Success at Guadalcanal proved to be the turning point that ultimately paved the way for Allied victory in the Pacific.

Those warriors defended their positions in brutal conditions against a formidable enemy -- and triumphed. Through every major conflict our Nation has seen since the Revolution, Marines performed their duty with utmost courage, devotion, and raw determination. Their valiant deeds in the face of overwhelming challenges give us confidence and inspire us to meet the trials of today.

As we pause to celebrate the birth of our Corps this year, we honor the legacy that was passed down to us and we recommit ourselves to carrying those traditions into the future.

This November 10th marks 242 years of warfighting excellence. At places like Trenton, Tripoli, Chapultepec, Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, Chosin, Khe Sahn, Fallujah, Sangin, and so many others, Marines have fought with an inner spirit -- a spirit that bonds us, binds us together as a cohesive team. It's that intangible spirit that has formed the foundation of our warfighting reputation for the past 242 years. Now it's our responsibility to ensure we honor and carry on that legacy. The American people expect a Corps of men and women who are committed, selfless, willing to sacrifice, who epitomize honor, courage, commitment, virtue, and character. We owe our Nation and our predecessors no less.

Today, as we celebrate our 242nd birthday, we must remember who we are, where we came from, and why we're here. We must remember the past, honor those who are no longer with us, focus on today's battles, and get ready for tomorrow. We can and will prevail as we always have, in any clime and place. But we must prevail together, united by the unyielding spirit in each of us that makes our Corps unique -- that willingness to put our Corps and fellow Marines ahead of ourselves. Victory in battle comes through the integrated efforts of many -- teamwork.

We value the sacrifices and contributions of every Marine and Sailor, as well as our family members without whose support we would not be able to accomplish our mission. And we remain committed to being our Nation's Expeditionary Force in Readiness that sets the standard for honor, discipline, and courage. I am proud of each and every one of you.

Happy Birthday, Marines!
Semper Fidelis,
Robert B. Neller General, U.S. Marine Corps Commandant of the Marine Corps

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Air Force Update

AF Leadership Discusses Need for Budget as End of CR Looms

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank)

At a recent State of the AF review, Secretary Heather Wilson explained, ““The fiscal 2018 continuing resolution is actually delaying our efforts to increase the readiness of the force, and risk accumulates over time,” Wilson said. “We are stretching the force to the limit, and we need to start turning the corner on readiness.”. Not having a budget affects the Air Force Reserve when they have to delay training in support of operations during a CR. ROA’s Legislative Agenda included a proposed biennial budget for Military Personnel funds which would ensure two-years of funding. READ MORE>

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Air National Guard Update

Colorado ANG Supports the Vice President

The Colorado ANG ran into an unexpected “glitch” to support Vice President Pence’s trip with Secretary Wilson when they visited military installations. Because an Arctic cold wave was expected in Colorado right when they were flying into Buckley Air Force Base in Air Force Two the unit needed an operational deicer truck. As is always the case, the requirement was identified after duty hours, but this did not stop them from ensuring the needed equipment was on hand. READ MORE>

Montana Air National Guard and U.S. Military Joins Brazil
Army Exercises in Amazon

US military personnel are taking part in the largest international army operation ever held deep in the Amazon jungle of northern Brazil, in a sign of closer U.S.-Brazil defense ties.

Troops from Brazil, Colombia and Peru will set up a temporary military base in their tri-border region for a week-long logistics exercise in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, Brazilian army officials said.

About 50 U.S. personnel will be present for the exercise, including 19 observers and 31 members of the Montana Air National Guard who will be based out of Manaus providing air transportation, a U.S. embassy statement said.

The United States will provide a Hercules C-130 transport plane to move personnel and equipment, the Brazilian army said. READ HERE>

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Military Life

On-Line Exchange Available to Veterans

It is official! Veterans with an honorable discharge can now shop AAFES on-line. This newly expanded benefit includes National Guard and Reserve members. The Exchange estimates 18.5 million Veterans can access just in time for the holidays. READ MORE>

First Lady Visits Military Families

Recently the first lady, Melania Trump visited military families in anchorage, Alaska. Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage includes National Guard and Reserve units. On November 1, President Donald J. Trump proclaimed November 2017 as National Veterans and Military Families month. (Photo by Mark Thiessen/Associated Press) READ MORE>

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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. 17103 Helping the Army Reserve Work Out Problems with the Civilian Employers of Army Reserve Soldiers
No. 17104 Being a Supervisor Is Part of the Status to which the Returning Veteran Is Entitled to under USERRA
No. 17105 Executive Order Authorizes Air Force To Recall up to 1,000 Retired Aviators to Active Duty—Yes, they Will Have USERRA Rights
No. 17106 Firing you Probably Violated USERRA
No. 17107 Don’t File an EEO Complaint for a USERRA Violation

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ROA's chief of staff, retired USAFR Chief Master Sgt. Lani Burnett, confronts another marvel of info technology, the inadvertently "inverted screen" display.

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

12th TFW, MacDill AFB, FL; Cam Ranh AB & Phu Cat AB; 389 TFS & 480 TFS, Da Nang, Vietnam; 555th TFS 1964-66 and 12th FEW/SFW (Bergstrom AFB, TX & Korea), and all supporting units
Date: 4 – 7 April 2018 • Location: Tucson, AZ
Contact: E. J. Sherwood • email: • Phone: 480-396-4681

USS San Marcos (LSD-25) Reunion
May 4-6, 2018
Sheraton Society Hill, Philadelphia, PA
Contact: Jack Lieberman

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

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