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October 1, 2019

ROA National Convention

The ROA National Convention that was held in September came to successful conclusion! The attendees were particularly happy with the roundtable session they attended to brainstorm important issues which included membership, legislation, communication and several other topics. We received so many good suggestions and best practices that it is going to take some time to organize all the information. Once we do, a report will be published and be made available to everyone. In the November Reserve Voice we will provide more information on the roundtable, elections, resolutions, and Constitution and Bylaw changes.

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!

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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:

“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
3-6 months
6-9 months
9-12 months
E. Over 12 months

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September Survey Question Results
Thank you to everyone who responded to ROA’s September 2019 “Talk to ROA.”

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Secretary of the Army Message to the Force

To the Army Team,

It is a great honor to serve alongside you as your 24th Secretary of the Army. Over the past two years, I witnessed firsthand the dedication and sacrifices our Soldiers, Civilians, and Families make every day defending our great Nation. Thank you for your hard work and continued service.

Despite significant leadership transition across the Department of Defense recently, the Army has remained focused on its missions in support of the National Defense Strategy.

The Army has increased its tactical readiness drastically, and now we will expand our focus to improve strategic readiness - our ability to mobilize, deploy, and sustain the force. We must maintain a sustainable level of readiness to meet current demands while executing an aggressive modernization strategy to ensure the Total Army remains the most lethal ground combat force in the world. The Army must modernize today, or we could lose the next war. 'We will remain focused on delivering the 31 signature systems our cross-functional teams are developing in support of the six modernization priorities and ensure we can employ them the day they show up. To achieve this, we are integrating modernization efforts across doctrine, organizational designs, training models, leader development, personnel systems, facilities, and policies. Furthermore, the Army cannot maximize its Modernization Strategy without the Cloud, which is the backbone for artificial intelligence.

On reforms, the Army will continue to ruthlessly prioritize resources and divest legacy programs through "Night Court" sessions, so we can scale new capabilities for low-rate initial production.

Most importantly, we must do all of this while taking care of our people.

I will work shoulder-to-shoulder with my teammates, the Chief of Staff of the Army and the Sergeant Major of the Army, to take care of our people, sustain readiness gains, and build irreversible momentum in our modernization efforts. Through teamwork, the U.S. Army will remain the most lethal, modern fighting force in the world

Army Strong!

Ryan D. McCarthy
Secretary of the Army

Army Combat Fitness Test Standards

The ROA legislation team is working to ensure the required equipment and educated trainers needed for the new fitness test are in place. A recent article in the Army Times stated that during the pilot program 70% of males passed while 84% of females failed.
The Army approved and released the fiscal year 2020 scoring standards for the new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT). The age- and gender-neutral ACFT will prepare Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve Soldiers for the occupational demands of combat

The U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine and U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training conducted extensive research and a large field test to validate specific ACFT events.

Check out the final standards to this test at:

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Department of Virginia Congressional Visits

Representative Bobby Scott (above left) and Representative Elaine Luria.
The Department of Virginia, Chapter 20, conducted grassroot advocacy activities by visiting their U.S. House of Representatives during the month of September 2019.

They visited Rep Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-3rd/VA) and Representative Elaine Luria (D-2nd/VA). Representative Scott served in the Army Reserve. Representative Luria served in the Navy and is on the House Armed Services Committee.

Department of Virginia, Chapter 20 spoke about the ROA legislative priorities and they had a positive response to our issues and concerns at both offices. They brought five members of ROA at each of these visits. ROA VA Department President Tom Hueg attended the visits.

2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report

Suicide continues to pose a problem within our ranks. We must continue to work to improve our servicemembers mental health.

ROA’s legislative team will continue to focus on legislation that will aid our RC servicemembers and their families.

We believe that our resolution and current legislation on federal hiring preference will aid in our fight to prevent suicide within the RC.

“The 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report includes the most recent analysis of Veteran suicide data from 2005 to 2017. The report's format is meant to clearly present complex suicide data in a practical way, convey the key findings in the clearest terms, and highlight the data-driven initiatives VA and its partners have implemented to prevent Veteran suicide,” stated a senior official from the VA.

View and download the updated report here: Suicide Prevention Report (pdf )

This year’s report only included veterans and not any active servicemember information.

Because slight variations in yearly data may not be reflected in previous years’ reports, please refer to the 2005–2017 National Suicide Data Appendix file for the most current national data.

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ROA Briefs the Reserve Forces Policy Board

On September 10th, 2019 ROA had the opportunity to brief the Reserve Forces Policy Board. ROA used that time to brief emerging issues like Federal Hiring preference and DD Form 214.

Arnold L. Punaro the Chairman of the board sent a letter saying, “I would like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to brief the RFPB at our annual meeting on September 10, 2019. Your updates on the FY20 NDAA and ROA’s ongoing legislative initiatives was very informative, and efforts to ensure parity of benefits is of particular importance in the era of operational employment of the Reserve Component. The information you shared will assist us as we examine the impacts that an Operational Reserve has on servicemembers, their families, and their employers.”

Department and Chapter Grassroots Efforts

During the month of October, the House and Senate return from a long absence and turn their attention to passing a budget.

The House and Senate Armed Services Committees will be finalizing the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2020.

ROA staff will be working to finalize any issues we still have time to focus on this year. ROA will start to transition focus on next year’s NDAA.

Both chambers in session / Senate only in session

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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2-398th Cavalry Regiment OSUT / 1ST BDE

Recently Kevin Hollinger, the ROA Legislative Director had the opportunity to travel to Ft Knox, KY, and visit with 2-398 CAV REG OSUT. During the trip he was amazed by the dedication the soldiers of this unit showed during the 3-day annual Spur Ride.

The 2-398th Cavalry Regiment OSUT provides Command and Control (C2) to assigned subordinate troops to support and conduct One Station Unit Training (OSUT) for Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 19D Cavalry Crewman Training Base Expansion (TBE) activities at Fort Benning, GA. During mobilization 2-398th will, on order, provide C2 to assigned subordinate troops and conduct 19D TBE at Fort Benning, GA. 2-398th Cavalry OSUT’s secondary task is to recruit, train, and retain 19D Drill Sergeants in order to expand the Army’s capability to provide agile and adaptive 19D Cavalrymen.

This great unit offers two exciting adventures. One, servicemembers receive training and become Drill Sergeants. These servicemembers will be training our future soldiers. The second is that their soldiers continue to serve in a time-honored Cavalry Unit. That being said it was hard to believe that they struggle with filling their unit. If you know or hear of a soldier looking to continue service, make sure you tell them about the 2-398th.
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Military Family

TRICARE open season starts November 11

FEDVIP Provides Vision Coverage to TRICARE Beneficiaries

FEDVIP is a voluntary program that offers eligible TRICARE beneficiaries a choice among a number of vision and dental carriers. The FEDVIP vision plans provide comprehensive vision coverage. Most include routine eye exams, vision correction, glasses, and more. Visit the TRICARE Website for additional information.

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Exchange’s 2019 Toy Book Is Every Military Brat’s Guide to the Holidays

DALLAS — The holidays are just around the corner and so are the savings for military shoppers, thanks to the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s 2019 Toy Book. The Exchange’s 2019 toy book launches Oct. 18 and it’s the ultimate guide to holiday shopping and savings for military brats this holiday season.

The 2019 Toy Book will feature all the hottest toys for children of all ages such as Sesame Street Love to Hug Elmo, Disney Frozen 2 Arendelle Castle, Fortnite Battle Bus Play Set, Blume Doll, Ryan’s World Panda Rescue Airplane, Nintendo Switch video game and more.

Shoppers can also see comments throughout the Toy Book and online from XKids, real children that play with and rate the most popular toys of the season. 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. This past month 8 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. 19084 The Company’s Personnel Director Is Not your Friend, and she Has No Obligation To Explain to you your Legal Rights
No. 19085 The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act Does Not Require Employers To Notify Employees about USERRA
No. 19086 The Federal Reemployment Statute Has Had many Names
No. 19087 Do I Have To Work on my Day Off? Part Two
No. 19088 Veterans Preference Under Washington Initiative 1000


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 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 August 2019, 65 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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