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October 15, 2018


Legislative Update
ROA Update
Army Update

Naval Services Update
Air Force Update
Military Life
Jobs on the Hill
Law Reviews

“RED CAP” Legislative Update – Deploy to action!

The ROA legislative team needs your help ASAP! Please call your two U.S. Senators and request they support and vote for the “Family Savings Act of 2018” (H.R. 6757).

The bill, if passed, would create a new tax deferred savings account and removes the age restriction for contributions to a traditional IRA, which is currently set at age 70 ½. It also includes a slightly modified version of “The Servicemember Retirement Improvement Act," a bill aimed at giving Reserve and National Guard members military retirement savings options equal to the active components.

ROA has advocated for this legislation so that members of the Reserve and National Guard can contribute to both personal and military 401(k) retirement plans.

The “Family Savings Act of 2018” (H.R. 6757) passed the U.S. House of Representatives on September 28th by a vote of 230-170 and needs to be completed by the U.S. Senate before the end of the year and this congressional session.

To contact your U.S. Senator, call the United States Capitol switchboard in Washington, D.C. at (202) 224-3121 or go to for your Senator’s office phone number.

ROA national convention a HUGH success!

Maj. Gen. Richard Evans III, USAF Director of Reserve Forces and Mobilization at USSTRATCOM (left) was the keynote speaker at the September 29 ROA National Convention general assembly in Omaha. U.S. Rep. Donald Bacon (NE-2) (right), a retired USAF brigadier general, was the keynote speaker at the September 29 banquet. (Photos by Henry Plimack)

ROA has just completed a successful national convention in Omaha, Neb., and we thank everyone who attended the late September event, called by some attendees the best in years!

There were a variety of great speakers for the general session, service section meetings, medical seminar, joint professional development training session, ROAL workshop, and ROA Academy.

ROA also presented 20 awards to outstanding people, servicemembers, and units for their consistent support of and promotion of national security programs and ideals. AWARDEE LIST

On the last day of the convention, ROA passed several historic Constitution and Bylaw changes, including expanding membership eligibility to all ranks. An organizational change passed creating a “doing business as” name, “Reserve Organization of America”; the DBA does not change ROA’s traditional, chartered name.

According to the Small Business
Administration, “A DBA lets you conduct business under a different identity from your own personal name or your formal business entity name.” For ROA a DBA means the congressional charter need not be changed and ROA can use both the Reserve Officers Association or the Reserve Organization of America names when conducting business.

Be sure to mark your calendar for September 26-29, 2019, when ROA’s next national convention will be held at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown in Des Moines, Iowa!

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Legislative Update

126,000 service members in crosshairs for separation as DoD’s ‘deploy or get out’ policy takes effect

Reservist Pfc. Charles Baker draws blood from Pfc. Luis Rodriguez during Soldier Readiness Processing at Camp Clay, Georgia. Being behind on a medical exam will no longer make a soldier non-deployable. (Sgt. Gary Hone/Army)

The Pentagon’s new hard line on troop readiness took effect earlier this month, and 126,000 service members — active duty, National Guard and Reserve — now find themselves on a path to separation if they do not become deployable in the next 12 months.

“Deploy or get out" was an early policy priority of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to improve the overall readiness of U.S. military forces. It was formalized in February and gave the services until Oct. 1 to be ready to begin holding troops accountable. Those intervening months also gave troops time to prepare, to get rid of administrative, legal or medical blocks that may have previously kept them in a non-deployable status.

“Excluding trainees, approximately 6 percent (126,000) of the total force were non-deployable as of Aug. 31, 2018,” DoD said in a statement to Military Times. “This includes temporary as well as permanent non-deployable service members. The reasons vary, but they are predominantly medical.”

Additionally, exemptions as outlined in the policy, include (1) Combat wounded, (2) Pregnant and post-partum service members; (3) Soon-to-retire, and (4) Case-by-case exemptions.

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Reserve Component Mobilizations — By the Numbers
(as of October 9, 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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DoD Travel Card

The Department of Defense (DoD) Government Travel Charge Card (GTCC) program provides travelers with an effective, convenient, and commercially-available method to pay for all authorized travel expenses as required by Public Law 105-264. The existing GSA SmartPay 2 (SP2) master contract ends on 29 November 2018. A new SmartPay 3 (SP3) master contract was awarded to Citibank and will begin on 30 November 2018. DoD has determined that a new card will not be issued prior to the transition and all card holders will retain their current GTCC. All card holders should keep their current card and utilize as authorized.

DoD Quarterly Suicide Report -- CY2018 Q2

The Department of Defense recently released the Quarterly Suicide Report (QSR) for the second quarter of Calendar Year 2018. The QSR is intended to provide timely and accurate suicide data reporting to allow leaders at all levels to have near concurrent information that facilitates decision-making related to suicide prevention. One of the principal goals of this QSR is to improve the relevance and availability of data to bolster suicide prevention efforts.

For the second quarter of 2018, the military services reported the following:

- 75 suicide deaths in the Active Component
- 14 suicide deaths in the Reserves
- 27 suicide deaths in the National Guard

Members and their families who need support can reach out to Military OneSource, which offers free and confidential support 24/7 for those in crisis. The number is 1-800-340-9647 or go to

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Army Reserve Update

Wanted: More National Guard members for Drill Sergeant duty

A U.S. Army drill sergeant “corrects: a recruit during her first day of training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Jan. 31, 2017. (U.S. Army photo/Stephen Standifird)

As the Army works to add tens of thousands of soldiers to the ranks in coming years, it's in need of drill sergeants who can train new recruits -- and leaders say National Guard noncommissioned officers have a lot to gain by considering the three-year assignment.

About 2,700 of the Army's drill sergeants come from the Reserve's 108th Training Command at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Now, the Reserve component is reaching out to Guard NCOs to help them carry out their mission. READ MORE>

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Army’s new combat fitness test

A TRADOC senior leader participates in the strength deadlift, during an exhibition of the new Army Combat Fitness Test Aug. 1, 2018, at Fort Eustis, Va. (U.S. Army photo/Tristan Biese)

U.S. Army fitness officials recently released the manual for the upcoming Army Combat Fitness Test.

Beginning this month, the service will conduct a large field test of the ACFT, involving soldiers from 60 battalions across the active-duty, National Guard and Reserve components.

"While the ACFT is backed by thorough scientific research and has undergone several revisions, there are still details that have not been finalized," according to the ACFT Field Testing Manual released Sept. 6. "The purpose of the Field Test is to refine the field administration and scoring of the ACFT."

The new ACFT includes: Strength Deadlift; Standing Power Throw; Hand-Release Pushups; 250-Meter Sprint-Drag-Carry; Leg Tuck; and a Two-Mile Run

The six-event ACFT is scheduled to officially replace the Army Physical Fitness Test in October 2020. READ MORE>

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Naval Services Update

Happy 243rd birthday U.S. Navy!

The U.S. Navy celebrated its 243rd birthday on Saturday, 13 October 2018. Congratulations to all our ROA shipmates who have served and are currently serving in the Navy! A special thanks goes out to all the families who have supported the men and women who proudly serve our nation.

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Navy announces FY-19 GMT requirements

The Navy recently announced fiscal year (FY) 2019 General Military Training (GMT) requirements via Naval Administrative Message (NAVADMIN) 226/18, released Sept. 12. The new requirements apply to all members of the Active and Reserve service members.

The number of mandatory topics has been reduced to five to empower commanders with a greater ability to decide what training their personnel should receive. Military GMT requirements and resources for the mandatory and 13 additional command-discretion training topics are available on My Navy Portal at under the “Professional Resources” drop-down menu by selecting “General Military Training.” READ MORE>

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Air Force Update

ROA Air Section Awards

Outstanding Junior Officer of the Year

Maj. Gen. Eric Overturf, Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of the Air Force Reserve, Capt. Theresa Eckard, Chief Master Sgt. Shane Smith, ROA National Air Force Vice President. (ROA Photo)

Captain Theresa Eckard, Flight Commander, 16th Intelligence Squadron was awarded the ROA Outstanding Junior Officer of the Year provided threat assessments from Oct 2016 to Sept 2017 that ensured future operations and safety of embassy personnel as well as providing new operational priorities. During that time, she also authored three international exchange studies and became the PhD expert to the new Air University advanced research program.

Outstanding Non-Flying Unit Award

Maj. Gen. Overturf, Lt. Col. Shirley Whitney, CMSgt Smith (ROA Photo)

Lt. Col. Shirley Whitney, accepted the ROA Outstanding Reserve Non-Flying Unit Award for the 439th Contingency Response Flight for Oct 2016 to Sept 2017. During this period the unit let two real-world operations, conducted two non-contingency response exercises and supported eight Air Fore Reserve Command, United States Army, United States air Forces Europe and North Atlantic Treaty Organization operations. This cumulated in an impressive 18.6 thousand training hours accumulated while moving 11.2 million pounds of cargo and 6.4 thousand personnel.

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Florida National Guard Called-up Ahead of Hurricane Michael Landfall

Hurricane Michael over Cuba (CNN Dynaimage Photo)

The military had barely recovered from Hurricane Florence and they were already gearing up to respond to Hurricane Michael which quickly moved from a tropical storm to hurricane status. By Tuesday, October 9, Florida and Alabama both declared a state of emergency in anticipation of high winds and rain. The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters went into Hurricane Michael as it strengthened from a Category II to a Category III. The annual hurricane season runs from June to November.

Hurricane Hunters: In the eye of Michael

Maj. Jeremy DeHart, a 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron aerial reconnaissance weather officer, reviews data on Hurricane Michael before sending it to the National Hurricane Center. (Master Sgt. Jessica Kendziorek/Air Force)

As Hurricane Michael blasted into the Florida Panhandle at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, packing 153 mile-an-hour winds, airmen with the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, were inside the belly of the beast. READ MORE>

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Military Family

Flu Season Occurs November 2018 to March 2019

Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Walgreens are providing free standard (Quadrivalent) flu shots to enrolled Veterans of the VA health care system. During the program, which runs through March 31, 2019, enrolled Veteran patients nationwide have the option of getting their flu shot at any of Walgreens' 8,200 locations in addition to their local VA healthcare facilities. No appointment is required. Simply go to any Walgreens, show your Veterans Health Identification Card. A new initiative this year is that VA will be able to view the immunization history of Veterans who receive their prescriptions or immunizations at Walgreens. READ HERE

Save 15 Percent!

Exchange Shoppers Can Save 15 Percent on Holiday Shopping with New MILITARY STAR Accounts Oct. 12 to 25.
This offer is valid for online MILITARY STAR applications and first-day purchases made at

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TRICARE Increases for 2019

Premium rates for calendar year 2019 were established by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. Increases occurred for TRICARE Retired Reserve and TRICARE Young Adult (Prime). Decreases occurred for TRICARE Reserve Select and TRICARE Young Adult (Select).

Webinar on TRICARE open season

You are invited to participate in a webinar for the upcoming TRICARE open season on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018 from 2-3 pm EST. Open season is the annual period when you can enroll in or change your health care coverage for the next year. TRICARE beneficiaries will experience open season for the first time, from Nov. 12 to Dec. 10, 2018. During TRICARE Open Season, you can enroll in or change your TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select plan. If you choose to do nothing, your plan will remain the same for the following year. This webinar will discuss who should participate and how to best prepare for TRICARE Open Season. Join the presentation and Q&A session to help you better understand your benefit and options. Register Here>

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

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(Photo: Arlington National Cemetery)

During September 2018, 254 of our ROA comrades passed 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>

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. 18097 Am I Eligible for the Extra 22 Days of Paid Military Leave as a Federal Civilian Employee?
No. 18098 Yes, Reservists Can Be Called up for Domestic Emergencies
No. 18099 The Employer Is Required To Treat you as if you Had Been Continuously Employed in the Civilian Job for Civilian Pension Purposes, but only upon Reemployment under USERRA

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The Veteran’s Creed is a set of principles to promote continued service and leadership by Veterans in their communities and to our country.

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

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:

The Distinguished Flying Cross Society, 2019 Reunion,
“Celebrating 100 Years of American Air Power,”
September 15 thru 19, 2019.
Dayton/Fairborn, OH, • Host hotel: Holiday Inn/Fairborn
POC: Warren Eastman,, Ph: 760-985-2810
Check website for updates as planning progresses.

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