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June 1, 2019

Talk to ROA

Talk to ROA is a new feature the ROA legislative team will use to ask a question on issues being worked either through legislation or policy.

Your response will help inform ROA’s action going forward. The next Reserve Voice will give you the results of the survey and the next monthly RV question.

Please share the link with other Reserve and National Guard servicemembers who may not be ROA members and encourage them to join ROA and help with our legislative efforts!

Congress is considering a merger of the exchange and commissary. Based on the draft report going to Congress there is a chance the proposed changes could disrupt exchange efficiency and/or result in increased exchange prices. ROA would like to know how often the exchange is used by Reserve and National Guard servicemembers and their families.

Survey Question: How often do you use the military exchange?

Take the survey here:
ROA Testifies with Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Jeff Phillips testified on proposed veteran bills that will affect Reserve Component members and their families.
Watch the hearing Here >
ROA Executive Director Jeff Phillips recently testified before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on pending legislation that affects the Reserve Components on May 22, 2019. He was part of the third panel after the Senators addressing their own bills and Department of Veterans Affairs panels.

“ROA is committed to working with VA – and indeed with any and all – to enhance understanding of our reserve components. These citizen-warriors – which I think is a great name for them whatever their service affiliation – serve America in ways fundamentally different from their comrades in the active force; in many cases they need a correspondingly different approach to benefits and care.”

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson

Air Force Chief General Goldfein
Air Force Senior Leadership Roundtable

ROA attended the Military and Veterans Service Organization Roundtable with Air Force senior leaders to include the Air Force Acquisitions and Personnel and Manpower and Readiness Directorates on May 7, 2019.

ROA representative Susan Lukas discussed how grey-area reservists typically must wait 6 or more months to receive their first retirement check. The delay occurs because the Defense Finance and Accounting Service performs a record review to reconcile retirement points.

“It is like a double penalty to National Guard and Reserve members, first they wait 10 to 20 years to be able to draw their retirement and then they have to wait for the retirement point review,” Lukas explained.

She asked senior leaders to support ROA’s legislative proposal for the Department of Defense to adopt the interim retirement pay system used by the Office of Personnel Management. This approach would allow retirees to get a check on the first pay period of 40 to 80 percent and then a lump sum of the difference when the record review is completed.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., giving remarks at
Servicewomen and Women Veterans Congressional Caucus press conference May 15.
Servicewomen & Women Veterans Congressional Caucus

On a recent Congressional Hill visit ROA was invited to join the launch of the newly established Servicewomen and Women Veterans Congressional Caucus on May 15, 2019. The caucus was founded by Chair, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (Chair), a former Air Force active duty civil engineer, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Vice Chair. Other Congressional members in attendance at the press conference were Elaine Luria, D-Va.; Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J.; Don Bacon, R-Neb.; and Gil Cisneros, D-Calif. The caucus will foster collaboration among House Members on issues facing servicewomen and women veterans. Hear Congressional member statements at the press conference attended by ROA.
H.R. 2433, Veterans’ preference for Federal hiring

Rep Hartzler serves on the House Armed Services as the Ranking Member of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee and is a member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.

Download Call to Action pdf >
H.R.2433 (Rep Hartzler, R-MO-4)
The legislation would modify the requirement for “180 c
onsecutive days’ of service to “180 total days” of service. The bill would also include all retired members.

Check HERE for co-sponsors to H.R. 2433.


I am calling to ask Representative ____________ to co-sponsor H.R. 2433.

This bill will help Reserve Component members qualify for federal civil service and potentially lead to employment with a “friendly” employer at a time when many servicemembers are finding civilian employer fatigue with deployments. It would also help fill vacancies at the Department of Veterans Affairs because we know military servicemembers are drawn to continued service to veterans based on the number currently employed by VA.
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Department and Chapter Grassroots Efforts
During the month of June, the House will be in regular session after returning from Memorial Day recess.

ROA will be providing grassroots efforts by rolling out a new electronic “Call to Action” program to make it easier for you to communicate with your Congressional delegation. We will continue to include bills in the Reserve Voice. We encourage Departments and Chapters to do an e-mail drive for members to update or provide current e-mail addresses to ROA.


Reserve Component Mobilizations

By the Numbers (as of May 28, 2019 )
The Department of Defense publishes contingency activations of the Reserve Components on a weekly basis.


Medal of Honor Recipient Allen Lynch Continues to Save Veterans

ROA member, Allen Lynch, was recently recognized by a
Department of Veteran Affairs blog for his support to Veterans. The blog started with his career in the Army when he joined as a teenager in 1964. It continues with a description of his service in Vietnam which led to being a Medal of Honor recipient and goes on to describe his life after the military. This includes the time he “…founded the Allen J. Lynch Foundation which supports fellow Veterans with financial assistance. Congratulations to Allen and the deserved recognition to his service!

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Military Family

Exchange Brings Taste of Home to National Guard Soldiers,
Reservists in Guatemala

DALLAS – More than 500 National Guard Soldiers and Reservists deployed to an isolated, austere part of Guatemala received a big morale boost as the Army & Air Force Exchange Service opened a mobile field exchange (MFE) there earlier this month.

American service members are in Guatemala for Beyond the Horizon, a training exercise to build schools, renovate buildings and conduct medical readiness training. Before the MFE arrived, food choices were mainly limited to meals ready to eat. The opening of the 53-foot trailer stocked with toiletries, snacks and drinks was a welcomed taste of home. The Exchange MFE will remain in Guatemala until the completion of the exercise on July 27.


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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. 19042 A Person Leaving a Civilian Job to Go on Active Duty Has the Right to Terminate his or her Civilian Health Insurance Coverage and to Reinstate it upon Reemployment
No. 19043 Reinstatement of Health Insurance Coverage that Is Not through your Civilian Job
No. 19044 New USERRA Class Action Lawsuit against American Airlines
No. 19045 Relationship between USERRA and State Law and Union Agreements
No. 19046 How Much Notice Must I Give my Employer?
No. 19047 DOJ Sues the Warren County Board of Education again
No. 19048 Applying USERRA to a Religious School Teacher(2019)

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

USS Hornet CVS-12 & Apollo 50, 71st Reunion
All Ship's Company, Officers, Air Groups, Crew, Marines and Families Welcomed.
July 18-22, 2019. Oakland, CA

POC: Sandy Burket, PO Box 108, Roaring Spring, PA 16673
Or email:

4th Infantry (IVY) Division 2019 National Reunion
19-25 August, University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, Springfield, Missouri
For more information, visit the association website at

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.

USS Yellowstone AD 27 Reunion
Dates: September 22 – 26, 2019
Location: Holiday Inn, Virginia Beach, VA
POC: Paul W. Bowen, Secretarty/Treasurer
Home Ph: 603-948-2821

USS ABNAKI ATF96 Reunion 2019
Date: 23-27 September 2019
Location: Comfort Inn – Traverse City, Michigan
Richard Beaver • Phone: 231-384-5757

455/91 SMW/MW/SW Operations Reunion
Dates: 24 - 29 September 2019
Location: Holiday Inn on the Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX.
POC: Richard Sarfin, 210-818-9402 (C), 210-684-9758 (H),

US Army, 31stEngineer Battalion Association Reunion
Date: October 3-6, 2019
Location: Danvers, MA, 01832
POC: Wilson L. Brown • Phone: (508) 294-5869

RED HORSE and Prime BEEF Association 2019 Convention
All Red Horse (RH) & Prime Beef (PB) Members past & present:
Date: 8-12 October, 2019. Bring your spouse
Location: Silverton Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV.
Info: Dick Aldinger • Phone: (407) 859-7436
E-mail: • Website:

USS Stickell DD-888 Reunion
October 28-30, 2019
Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina, Newport, RI
POC: Don O’Brien, Ph: 401-847-1706 • Email:

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(Photo: Arlington National Cemetery)

During April 2019, 29 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>
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ReserveVoice is published monthly for ROA members.
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