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December 30, 2017


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

Military Life
Jobs on the Hill
Law Reviews

Another Successful Year at ROA

For our association, fiscal year 2017 (April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017) was a year of significant revitalization, with stronger financial performance, renewed programs, and a vibrant, effective legislative campaign on Capitol Hill and in the Administration. As one outside observer told me, “ROA is back,” and is “swinging above its weight.” READ HERE>

“The Rebate Check
Is in The Mail!”

ROA Executive Director Jeff Phillips happily signs ROA department rebate checks. Currently 19 ROA departments around the country have completed the required paperwork and will be receiving money which they will use as they determine best helps them advance their objectives within ROA’s founding purpose.

(Photo: Lani Burnett)

From Our Office to Your Home, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays,
and Happy New Year!

(Photo: Lani Burnett)

Before breaking for Christmas, ROA’s “little engine that could” staff celebrated the holiday season (before beginning to prepare the fiscal year 2019 annual draft budget).

Your ROA team is proud to support your membership and ROA’s revitalized ability to support America’s reserve force. Thank you for your membership and your continued support! From left, Michelle Witkins, Top of the Hill manager; Lani Burnett, chief of staff; Diane Markham, director of membership and administration; Shane Moore, building maintenance; Ashika Grimes, receptionist; John Rothrock, director of legislative and military policy; Tracey Ware, member services and accounts receivable; Linda Cooper, office manager and accounts payable; Susan Lukas, Air Force director; and Jeff Phillips, executive director.

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Legislative Update

Congress Passes $1.5 Trillion Tax Bill

This week the U.S. Congress passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut, which included the largest structural overhaul of the U.S. tax system since 1986. President Trump signed the legislation into law on 22 December 2017.

The law, titled “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” significantly cuts corporate and individual taxes and seeks to simply the tax code, although most individual tax provisions would expire after 2025. It reduces the corporate tax from 35% to 21% and reduces taxation of so-called "pass-through" businesses where profits are taxed at the individual rate. For corporate taxes it also establishes a "territorial" tax system that exempts most overseas income from U.S. taxation. Most individual tax rate rates would be reduced, including by dropping the top rate from 39.6% to 37%, and it eliminates personal exemptions but nearly doubles the standard deduction so fewer taxpayers will itemize deductions.

For those who do itemize, mortgage interest could be deducted on up to $750,000 of a home loan, and up to $10,000 in state and local income and property taxes could be deducted. It also effectively repeals the 2010 health care law's individual mandate to help pay for the measure's tax cuts, and it allows oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The measure's net tax cuts would add almost $1.5 trillion to federal deficits over 10 years.

Reserve Component Mobilizations -- By the Numbers

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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Army Reserve Update

Nett Warrior Stare

Photo by
Sgt. Krista Rayford / U.S. Army

Yes, there is an actual battlefield condition known as “Nett Warrior Stare” which occurs when a soldier is looking down at their electronic tablet and not looking downrange. However, senior leaders recognize their soldiers need access to information when they are performing duty but now they want to move it from their tablet to their helmet.

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U.S. Army Secretary Easing the Burden

(Photo: (Alan Lessig, U.S. Army)

Army Secretary Mark Esper is delivering soldiers a gift next year by considering ways to reduce or change how mandatory training is accomplished. ““Let’s tell them what we expect them to do, not how to do it and when to do it,” Esper said.” The secretary is also looking into the impact of extending permanent change of station rotations to every 6 years.

In Memorium

Passing of
Betty Ann (Hook)
Hultman, 92

It is with a heavy heart that ROA members learned of the passing of Betty Ann (Hook) Hultman on Sunday, December 17, 2017, in Waterloo, Iowa. Betty was the beloved wife of former ROA National President Maj. Gen. Evan “Curly” Hultman, USA (Ret). READ MORE>

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Naval Services Update

Navy Launches 2018 Full Speed Ahead 2.0 Training

(Photo: US Navy)

The chief of naval personnel announced via NAVADMIN 299/17 Dec. 19, the next iteration of Full Speed Ahead (FSA) training for 2018 that expands on existing efforts to prevent destructive behaviors across the fleet.

Full Speed Ahead 2.0 (FSA 2.0) "Got Your 6" training continues the conversation on key themes from the 2017 FSA training and further reinforces expectations for appropriate social media conduct.

FSA 2.0 blends scenario-based videos with small group face-to-face, respectful and collaborative, discussions led by a single certified command facilitator (CF). The training will challenge each Sailor to honestly assess personal, interpersonal and social media character and conduct and to identify specific opportunities for personal individual and organizational growth and betterment.

FSA 2.0 is required for all active-duty and Reserve Navy personnel and must be completed no later than Sept. 30, 2018. READ MORE>

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Growing Navy Raises Up-or-Out Caps to Boost End Strength

(Photo: US Navy)

Needing to fill critical billets and grow by 4,000 enlisted sailors by next fall, the Navy has extended up-or-out limits for junior enlisted sailors and also cancelled its early out programs.
The two major changes will help the Navy grow its current active-duty force of about 324,000 up to 328,000 by the end of the fiscal year — and potentially more beyond that.

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Air Force Update

AFR Profiles in Leadership

(U.S. Air Force photo by Philip Rhodes)

The Air Force Reserve recently updated their “Profiles in Leadership” display of 15 servicemembers in the Pentagon. Congratulations are extended to Lt. Col. John Marks, Lt. Col Steve Smith, and Staff Sgt. Julimar Fuentes who are all ROA members.
READ HERE> for their accomplishments.

Air Force Selects Two Air National Guard F-35 Bases

Truax Field, Wisc. and Dannelly Field, Ala. were recently named preferred locations to receive the F-35A Lightning II. The 5th generation aircraft will replace current 4th generation platforms to meet combatant commander requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Kate Thornton)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force has selected Truax Field Air National Guard Base, Wisconsin and Dannelly Field, Alabama as the preferred locations for the next two Air National Guard F-35A bases.

“Selecting Truax Field and Dannelly Field will increase Air National Guard F-35A units providing 5th Generation airpower around the world,” said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. “As F-35As arrive at these locations, we will use the existing aircraft at these fields to replace the aging F-16s at other Air National Guard units.”

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National Guard Steps “Outside of the Box” to Assist the Coast Guard

National Guard members who were deployed to Anderson Air Force Base, Guam quickly jumped into action for an impromptu search and rescue mission in the Western Pacific Ocean. The crew of the KC-135R air refueling aircraft were able to locate the wreckage and transmit it to the Coast Guard. Ultimately all the sailors survived the collision with another fishing boat.
“We’re incredibly relieved these men are safe and back on dry land,” said Lt. Cmdr. Josh Empen, the search and rescue mission coordinator at Sector Guam.

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Military Life

More TRICARE Changes Coming in 2018

TRICARE Changes and Blended Retirement System Begin on January 1st

The following TRICARE updates and resource links were provided by David L. Nokes, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Community & Public Outreach


The attached news release provides a summary of the new Blended Retirement System with specific information for the nearly 1.6 million Service members who will have the option to remain in the current legacy high-3 retirement system or choose the BRS when the opt-in period for eligible service members opens on Jan. 1, 2018. The document has a number of embedded links to resources that members and their families can use to find more information.

An abbreviated version of the press release is available on the DoD website at:

Also, a number of BRS Fact Sheets are available for download on our BRS resource webpage at: Each BRS Fact Sheet is broken down into singular topics.

And, the attached new comprehensive 31-page BRS Service Member Booklet is available online for download on the BRS resource website.

Finally, on January 1st, all new entrants into the military will be required to complete the BRS new accessions course. Note that the course and all of its associated videos and materials is provided via three .zip files located on the BRS resource webpage.


I know we have had a lot of engagement with you in the past few months on the upcoming TRICARE changes, so hopefully you are all fully up to speed already. However, I would like to provide a link to this microsite within the TRICARE webpage that details all of the changes and publishes the various enrollment fees and copays for each plan:
Note: this link will remain permanent in the future, even as the new TRICARE website goes online on January 2, so that this resource will always be available for those who want to stay abreast of changes to the benefit.


Finally, most of you also know that there will be changes to the pharmacy copayment that will begin on February 1st. The Defense Health Agency has prepared the attached communications tool kit to explain those changes. Note that the attached document contains several embedded documents with detailed information. Please let me know if you have any difficulties opening the embedded documents and I will send them to you separately.

A complete list of current pharmacy copays and the February changes may be found on this webpage:

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Exchange Shoppers Can Enter to Win One of Three Big-Screen TVs

From Dec. 29 to Jan. 22, Exchange shoppers worldwide can enter the
Mars and Wrigley Big Game Sweepstakes for a chance to win one of three big-screen TVs. Three lucky winners will receive the TV of their choice, valued at $4,500 or less. Veterans and shoppers not living near an Exchange who win the sweepstakes will receive a $4,500 Exchange gift card that can be used at Authorized shoppers 18 and up may enter. To enter, visit No purchase is necessary to enter or win. Winners will be drawn on or about Jan. 29.

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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. 17124 The SCRA and the Active Duty Service Member—Full-Time National Guard Duty Is Not Active Duty
No. 17125 SCRA Coverage for National Guard Members on Title 32 Duty
No. 17126 You Don’t Need an Honorable Discharge To Have the Right to Reemployment under USERRA
No. 17127 USERRA Applies to Small Employers

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

11th Airborne Division Association, Mid-Atlantic Chapter; 11th Air Assault Division, and 187th Airborne RCT Annual Los Banos Reunion
Date: February 24-28, 2018 • Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
POC: Joseph W. Cole • email: • Phone: 502-641-2631

2018 U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Alumni Association (USAOCSAA) Reunion
DATE: March 25-29, 2018 • Location: Columbus, Ga.

Housing: Columbus Marriott Hotel
POC: Nancy Ionoff • Phone: 813-917-4309

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 Carpenter DD825
April 19-23, 2018
Ramada Inn, San Diego, CA
Contact Jimmie Kennedy
Ph: 714-776-4019 email:

USS San Marcos (LSD-25) Reunion

Date: 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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