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November 1, 2019
























Talk to ROA is a way for the ROA legislative team to ask a question(s) on issues being worked either through legislation or policy.

ROA member responses will help inform ROA’s actions going forward. Each Reserve Voice newsletter will include a Talk to ROA question.

Survey results will be shared with ROA members.


You are encouraged to share the link with other Reserve and National Guard servicemembers who may not be ROA members. This can be a recruiting tool you can use to increase ROA Chapter membership!


Photo published by: Military.com


October Question

National Guard and Reserve servicemembers who have completed 20 years for retirement will not collect their retired pay until they reach early retirement age or age 60. These individuals are referred to as "Gray Area" retirees. Approximately 6 months to 90 days prior to their 60th birthdate (or early retirement age) “Gray Area retirees” must apply for their retirement pay.

The branch of service they last performed military service is responsible for validating the servicemember's retirement points. Once this process is complete the branch of service will send the servicemember's retirement pack to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service for payment of retirement benefits.

Once retirement orders for the “Gray Area retiree” are processed DFAS will conduct an audit of the servicemember's point summary. This, on average, takes between 90 to 180 days. During this time the servicemember will not receive any payment of benefits. Please take a survey that tells ROA how long you waited for your first retirement paycheck at:
www.roa.org/survey

“Grey Area” Retirees

Were you a “Grey Area” retiree? If so, how long after you became eligible for pay did it take to get your first payment?

A. 0-3 months
B.
3-6 months
C.
6-9 months
D.
9-12 months
E. Over 12 months
















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Legislation









ROA Resolutions adopted at National Conference

Resolutions 19-01 through 19-04 were adopted at the March 2019 National Council and Senior Leaders meeting.

19-05 Enlisted Parity for Reduced Retired Pay Age
https://www.roa.org/resource/resmgr/files/resolutions/2019/19-05_enlistedparityforreduc.pdf

19-06 16-year Limitation on Transfer GI Bill
https://www.roa.org/resource/resmgr/files/resolutions/2019/19-06_16yearlimitationontran.pdf

19-07 Pay for DoD Military Personnel
https://www.roa.org/resource/resmgr/files/resolutions/2019/19-07_payfordodmilitaryperso.pdf

19-08 Gray Area Retirees Payment
https://www.roa.org/resource/resmgr/files/resolutions/2019/19-08_grayarearetireespaymen.pdf

19-09 Maternity Leave Policy
https://www.roa.org/resource/resmgr/files/resolutions/2019/19-09_maternityleavepolicy.pdf

19-10 Deployment Downtime
https://www.roa.org/resource/resmgr/files/resolutions/2019/19-10_deploymentdowntime.pdf









ROA invited to discuss GI Bill legislation with Delaware senator


On Oct. 31, ROA’s executive director, Jeff Phillips and legislative director, Kevin Hollinger (a serving ARNG sergeant first class with 11 Iraq deployments), discussed with Sen. Thomas Carper (DE), a retired U.S. Navy officer, proposed legislation that would make it harder for for-profit schools to use GI Bill funds. We were invited back to continue the discussion. ROA, essentially alone among military and veterans groups, is fighting to preserve choice for GI Bill beneficiaries, many of whom are in the Reserve and National Guard. This August ROA
op-ed and this congressional testimony offer details.
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Some Guard deployed troops aren’t earning federal benefits


A soldier from the Texas National Guard scans the shores of the Rio Grande River in Starr County, Texas, April 10, 2018 as part of the federal call-up to the Texas-Mexico border. TEXAS MILITARY DEPARTMENT
At the House Committee on Veterans Affairs that ROA testified at on October 23, 2019, Representative Banks was concerned because National Guard troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border are not being compensated with GI Bill benefits. Banks questioned Maj. Gen. Dawne Deskins, the director of manpower and personnel for the National Guard Bureau, if it was a deliberate decision to deny them this benefit. Maj. Gen. Deskins said she would provide an answer to the committee after the hearing.

ROA has been advocating for a legislative fix with National Guard and Reserve members who are placed on either 10 U.S.C. 12304a or 12304b orders. When the statute was initially established for these two provisions in 2012 benefits were not included by either the Pentagon or Congress, but it was understood benefits would be legislated in subsequent years. ROA was successful it is getting the first benefit established for pre- and post-healthcare in 2016 and several others have followed. The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill has been delayed because of the cost.

You can read the full story by Steve Beynon.




Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity Hearing

Protecting Benefits for All Servicemembers

On October 23rd, 2019 ROA had the opportunity to testify in front of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.

ROA witness Susan Lukas told Congressional members, “
Too often, the Reserve Component is treated as an afterthought despite its success in our wars and being responsible for up to 100 percent of certain mission areas in our military.”

Testimony included legislative improvements that were needed with employment, USERRA, SCRA, education, toxic exposure and other issues.




ROA addresses RC issues at Secretary of Defense MSO/VSO roundtable

ROA’s executive director, Jeff Phillips, told Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark Esper, during an Oct 30 meeting in the Pentagon of leading veterans and military groups, that with the high operations tempo of the Reserve and National Guard, readiness demands better continuity of care and recommended TRICARE Prime for members of the RC. Secretary Esper, a retired U.S. Army officer, said he would take that on for consideration. This is one of ROA’s priority initiatives.

Phillips, speaking about battlefield toxicity to officials including Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (and retired USAF major general) James Stewart, who is also acting as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, countered an assertion made by a Pentagon official that DoD had done all it could and that addressing toxicity was a VA issue; Phillips observed that commanders afield are not in many cases using the incinerators available to them, and that indeed DoD still has work to do. That day, Phillips had written Texas Gov. Greg Abbott urging him to reinstate a state trooper dismissed without benefits (wrongly, ROA believes) for an inability to perform his duties because of medical disability service-connected by VA to burn pit exposure during his service in Iraq as an Army Reservist.

Noting that DoD has a long record of denying the legitimacy of battlefield illness and injury claims, such as those associated with toxicity and more recently cited issues such as cancer among aircrews working near radiation-emitting avionics; Phillips said that it would be a welcome change to see a defense secretary recognize the issues and take responsibility for tackling them.


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Department and Chapter Grassroots Efforts








During November, the House and Senate are in session most of the month and will hopefully be turning their attention to passing a budget.

The House and Senate Armed Services Committees have finalized the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2020 but cannot agree on several provisions. A “skinny” NDAA with must pass legislative provisions has been proposed.

This may be the first time we see the end of the year come and go without either a budget or authorization bill for the Department of Defense.








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2019 ROA National Convention Notes



Congratulations to ROA’s new President

Retired U.S. Army Reserve Col. Judi Davenport took the helm as ROA president at the conclusion of this year’s nation conference. Col. Davenport has served ROA in numerous committees and offices at chapter, department, and national levels.

Her lifelong dedication and years of experience will ensure we are in the right hands. We look forward to her presidency and will lean on her for guidance throughout.

She has contributed financially to ROA through the Capital Campaign, Wall of Gold, Sustaining Membership Campaign, STARs, and the Pershing Society Campaign.


Governor Kim Reynolds
Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa opened the 2019 ROA National Conference

Gov. Kim Reynolds
of Iowa addressed ROA attendees and spoke about signing Iowa law H.F. 288. She was joined in signing by U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and U.S. Senator Joni Ernst. The bill expands the availability of the Injured Veterans Grant Program funding and expedites the process for military spouses to obtain an occupational license in Iowa.


ROA 2019 National Convention Speaker

Dr. Joseph Heck focused on how Selective Service impacts recruiting issues, as that is one reason the Department of Defense identified as justifying its continued existence.

The commission is also reviewing whether women should be required to register with Selective Service as this also means they would be eligible for any future draft. Dr. Heck also discussed if there is a need for the draft since we are connected to the population with technology making it easier to notify conscripts if needed.

One major point he addressed is that the draft could be used to fill low density positions.



Dr. Joseph Heck is the Chairman of the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service and he is a former Member of the House of Representatives (NV-03). If that is not enough, he is also an Army Reserve brigadier general.

ROA recipient of the Minuteman of the Year Award

Senator Joni Ernst (Iowa) who is on the Senate Armed Services Committee was honored for her leadership and selfless dedication in supporting ROA and the men and women of America’s Reserve Component.

Lt. Col. Joni Ernst retired from the Army National Guard after 23 years of service. She served in the Army Reserve. As a company commander in Kuwait and Iraq, she led 150 Iowa Army National Guardsmen during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She is the first female combat veteran to serve in the Senate.

ROA President Don Stockton (left) presented the award on September 28, 2019.

ROA’s 99th induction into the Minuteman Hall of Fame

Retired U.S. Army Reserve Major General Evan “Curly” Hultman, our 48th National President, from 1981 to 1982, and Executive Director from 1986 to 1993, has made a mark on ROA well out of proportion to his brief presidential term.

ROA was in its 60th year when General Hultman became its president. Then as now, humble, visionary, and dedicated to country, he said:

“Our nation remains secure and safe today, not solely because of what ROA has done; but I believe surely our government would not have survived without us and all those we influenced.”

It is an honor to recognize a giant of ROA.

Congratulations to these individuals on a lifetime of hard work and dedication to the Reserve Component!
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The ROA election results are in!

Click the link to see the complete Executive Committee.


ROA Constitution, Bylaws, and Dues and Rebate Policy.

On the final day of the convention, delegates convened to discuss the business of the association. In addition to passing resolutions and electing national officers, they also considered several changes to the ROA Constitution, Bylaws, and Dues and Rebate Policy.

Rebate Policy (Policy D-1, Section 1)

Prior to the convention term dues generated a 30% rebate to all departments and were paid out once each year. Life dues went directly into the life member fund and generated a 30% rebate, but only when the ExCom authorized a draw from the life member fund.

Convention delegates voted to increase the rebate amount to 50% for both term and life. In addition, life dues will now automatically generate a 50% rebate to the departments and will be paid out each year in conjunction with the term rebates.

Family Support Committee (Article B-10)

Delegates approved the creation of the Family Support Committee, who will act in an advisory capacity on all matters of policy and procedure relating to family matters. The committee will also conduct programs in support of reservists’ families and manage the Family Support special interest group. The committee will have a minimum of six members who will serve for staggered terms of three years.

Service Section Representation on Committees (Article B-10, Section 3(b))

Delegates voted to add an exception to the requirement to have service section representation on all committees. The exception removes the section requirement for the newly formed Family Support Committee.

Membership Affiliation (Article B-1, Section 1 (c) and (d))

Delegates amended this section to remove the category of member at large. All members will now be assigned to a department.

Reserve Component Mobilizations


By the Numbers (as of October 1, 2019 )
The Department of Defense publishes contingency activations of the Reserve Components on a weekly basis.





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Membership




Army Reservist appointed President of the Women’s Memorial

On September 1, 2019, Phyllis Wilson assumed her role as the new president of the Women in Military Service for American Memorial Foundation (the Women’s Memorial).

President Wilson said, “As we look to the future, I am excited for all of the new opportunities we have ahead of us at the Women’s Memorial – the place where America says thanks to the 3,000,000 women who have served in the nation’s defense, beginning with the American Revolution.”

The Women’s Memorial Foundation is an organization that plays a critical role in ensuring that the contributions of women to the nation’s defense are recognized. Additionally, the Women’s Memorial hosts the largest database of individual women’s stories of service registered by those who served, or their families.

Chief Wilson came to the Women’s Memorial Foundation following more than 37 years of Army active and reserve military service, where she rose to the highest possible rank in her field and served as the Command Chief Warrant Officer for the United States Army Reserve.
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Military Family




National Guard and Reserve members can purchase uniforms

DALLAS – Army and Air Force National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve and Air Force Reserve Component service members, regardless of active status or rank, can buy uniforms and uniform items online through the Army & Air Force Exchange Service at www.ShopMyExchange.com.

Each branch of service provides separate funding to establish and operate Military Clothing Stores (MCS) to service their personnel. According to Army Regulation 700-84, Ch. 2-2, b and Air Force Manual 23-110 National Guard, USAR and AFRC locations are not authorized an MCS.



Exchange Giving Away More Than $25,000 in Prizes in Three Holiday Sweepstakes

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service, with vendor partners, is giving military shoppers the chance to
win more than $25,000 in prizes this holiday season in three military-exclusive sweepstakes.

Authorized Exchange shoppers, including honorably discharged Veterans, may enter any Exchange sweepstakes at
ShopMyExchange.com/sweepstakes, including:

  • Mars Wrigley Storybook Essay Contest (Oct. 31-Dec. 25): Shoppers can submit an essay of 500 words or less about a favorite holiday memory. One grand-prize winner will receive a $1,000 Exchange gift card, second place will receive a $500 Exchange gift card with third-place winner receiving a $300 Exchange Gift Card.
  • Bissell Holiday Clean Sweepstakes (Nov. 1-30): Ten winners will each receive a Bissell Pet Floor Care package worth $537.95. Prizes include a ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner; a SpotBot Pet Portable Carpet Cleaner; and a Pet Stain Eraser Cordless Portable Carpet Cleaner.
  • Red Bull / Yeti Sweepstakes (Nov. 1-30): Seventy-five winners will each receive a Yeti Hopper Flip 12-Inch Cooler worth $249.99.
“Our military shoppers can clean up with these great prizes, or use an Exchange gift card to help with their holiday expenses,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “Airmen, Soldiers, their families, retirees and honorably discharged Veterans all get a chance to win.”

Shoppers age 18 and older may enter. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.


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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. This past month 10 new Law Reviews have been posted. The latest 5 are linked below. Please visit ROA’s Law Center webpage to access all of the more than 1200 ROA Law Reviews available online.

No. 19094 ROA Member Honored for Representing Service Members with USERRA Claims
No. 19095 Your Civilian Employer Cannot Make You Quit the Army Reserve, but the Army Reserve May Screen you out Because you Are a Key Employee.
No. 19096 I Have Been Denied the Right To Telework because of my USAR Service
No. 19097 Important 2018 Supreme Court Case on SEC ALJs—What Does it Mean for MSPB AJs?
No. 19098 Logjam at the MSPB—When Will it ever End?










Reunions



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










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Taps





(Photo: Arlington National Cemetery)

During September 2019, 58 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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