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December 30, 2018


Legislative Update
ROA Update
Army Update

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

ROA’s THE HILL opinion piece, The gift of America’s magi”

ROA’s Christmas Day opinion piece in The Hill, “The gift of America’s magi”, focuses on the increased role of the Guard and Reserves in today’s military, the impact on them of shutdowns, and the importance of careful us of this essential national resource. The article articulates a desire that Congress “will assess how we use our precious human resources who wear our uniform; perhaps they will question the unquestioned notions and "expert" advice that have kept us in harm's way without gain.  READ MORE>
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ROA is pleased to announce the following member benefit products recently launched. Click on the name of each product to learn more.

Student Loan Refinancing – ROA has partnered with CommonBond, a leading student lender, to help you save money through student loan refinancing. Refinancing your federal or private student loans with a new one at a lower interest rate can save you thousands. Plus, ROA members get $100 cash back from CommonBond when you refinance!

Prescription Discount Card – Save an average of 20% on prescription drugs not covered by insurance and as much as 50% on select generic medication when ordering by mail. Use your prescription discount card at 9 out of 10 pharmacies nationwide. Present your card at a participating pharmacy and pay either the discounted rate or the pharmacy's regular retail price, whichever is lower.

American Hearing Benefits – The quality of your hearing may just affect the quality of your life. That’s why we have partnered with American Hearing Benefits (AHB) to provide ROA members access to FREE hearing consultations and significant discounts on hearing aids through AHB’s nationwide network of hearing professionals

Vision Insurance – Individual Vision Plans from VSP® give you access to the services and products you need to care for your eyes. Of course, you could choose to pay for these entirely out-of-pocket, but with a VSP Individual Vision Plan you’ll realize substantial savings while receiving access to the personalized care you deserve.

Total Brain – Total Brain helps you understand and improve your brain performance, so you can overcome daily challenges and be more productive throughout the day.


InfoArmor – Identity theft protection and financial protection far beyond a credit score.

Collette – Guided Travel Travel far, travel often and travel for less with Collette.

Make your next getaway extraordinary and travel with Collette. Over 160 guided tours spanning all 7 continents allows you to find an adventure anywhere in the world. When you tour with Collette, all the details will be taken care of for you - from helping you select a destination, taking you to and from the airport, or offering you their 24-7 support, they are with you every step of the way. Collette’s tour styles:

  • Classic: True to our belief in the transformative power of journeys both personal and shared, Classic touring represents a refined take on the art of guided travel.
  • Explorations: Small group tours designed for travelers looking to enjoy lots of off-the-beaten-path adventures, authentic culinary experiences, specialty tastings and chef-led demonstrations as well as more contact with the locals.
  • Spotlights: For travelers who enjoy single hotel stays and quick getaways. These tours offer travelers plenty of freedom to explore on their own, combined with the benefits of guided travel.
  • River Cruise: For travelers who want itineraries that are designed to reveal the best of the places you stop and see on land. Features small, intimate vessels for travel through a variety of beautiful waterways.
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Legislative Update

Combined Congressional Calendar for the 116th Congress, 1st Session

The U.S. House of Representatives and U. S. Senate have published their calendars for the 1st Session, January 3 – December 12, 2019. ROA members can use these calendars to plan for meeting their Representative(s) and Senators when they are in recess to the district/state. We encourage you to meet once a quarter with your Congressional delegation:
Annual Calendar

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Reserve Component Mobilizations

By the Numbers (as of December 18, 2018 )
The Department of Defense publishes contingency activations of the Reserve Components on a weekly basis.

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Army Reserve Update

National Guard celebrates 382 years of service

The South Carolina National Guard recognized the National Guard's 382nd birthday with a cake-cutting ceremony Dec. 13, 2018, at the South Carolina Military Museum in Columbia, South Carolina. U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, the adjutant general for South Carolina, presided over the ceremony. (Photo Credit: Capt. Jessica Donnelly)

ROA would like to wish a very special happy birthday to our colleagues in the National Guard!

From their humble beginnings on Dec. 13, 1636 in Massachusetts to today, the National Guard means answering the call of both state and nation, deploying overseas and responding to natural disasters in the assistance of friends and neighbors and stands as a community cornerstone. READ MORE>

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Army Reserve cyber protection team reaches mission capability milestone

(U.S. Army Reserve Photo by Sgt. Erick Yates)

U.S. Army Col. Robert S. Powell, Jr.(Left), commander Army Reserve Cyber Operations Group (ARCOG), 335th Signal Command (Theater), passes the command’s symbolic representation of the cyber Hammer of Thor to Maj. Adrian Edwards, leading officer for The ARCOG’s North East Cyber Protection Center, Cyber Protection Team 180, during a ceremony to recognize the Soldier’s assigned to the CPT for achieving the required mission milestone of Initial Operating Capability (IOC) status for the ARCOG November 4 at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. The Hammer of Thor is a symbol used by the Military Cyber Professionals Association to recognize high achievements in the cyber career field. The IOC ceremony held for CPT 180 is the start of a tradition to recognize achievement of this milestone status for ARCOG CPTs. READ MORE>

Naval Services Update

USCGR selected as White House Fellow

(Photo: The Reservist)

USCG Reservist Lt. Brian Churchill, a member of Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach, was recently selected as a 2018-2019 White House Fellow in Washington, D.C. Churchill is one of 14 board selected candidates who will participate in this very prestigious program. READ MORE>

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Navy Reserve force 2018 shore sailor of the year finalists

(Photo: US Navy)

Vice Admiral Luke M. McCollum, Chief of Navy Reserve, recently announced the five finalists for the Commander, Navy Reserve Force 2018 Shore Sailor of the Year award. A board was conducted on 17 December 2018 in which the following first class petty officers distinguished themselves as the best amongst 12 exemplary Sailors:

  • YN1 Cerise Stout, Commander, Naval Air Force Reserve, CA
  • HM1 Neil Cataline, Marine Forces Reserve, LA
  • YN1 Jennifer Pare, Navy Region Southeast Reserve Component Command Jacksonville, FL
  • LS1 George Lozada, Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command Norfolk, VA
  • YN1 Kristofer Keating, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Reserve Component Command Norfolk, VA
Finalists will report to Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command in Norfolk, VA on 9-11 January 2019 to interview and compete for the Commander, Navy Reserve Force 2018 Shore Sailor of the Year. The winner of this process will represent the Navy Reserve Force at the VCNO Shore Sailor of the Year board.

Air Force Update

AF Keeps Space

After months of deliberating how to stand up a Space Force, a sixth branch of the military proposed by President Donald Trump, Pentagon leaders have decided to funnel the new organization under the Department of the Air Force, Defense News has learned.

“There is established a United States Space Force as an armed force within the Department of the Air Force,” states a draft of the legislative proposal due to be put forward alongside the fiscal year 2020 budget early next year, which was viewed by Defense News on Dec. 20. READ HERE

Reserve Citizen Airmen prepare for human spaceflight

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Kelly Goonan

The Reserve 920th Rescue Wing along with the DoD Human Space Flight Support (HSFS) Office, NASA and SpaceX personnel joined forces to plan and execute a realistic medical evacuation exercise at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Oct. 25. READ HERE

122nd FW Blacksnakes test new AF Connect app

U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. William Hopper/Released)

The 122nd FW is one of five wings chosen to test the new AF Connect Phone app for the Air Force. They are the first and only Air National Guard unit testing this app. The AF Connect Phone app has everything needed to stay in touch and up to date with the USAF and other base members. Features include, but are not limited to notifications, news, a base directory, a fitness calculator, resources, links and CAC-enabled features like the AF Portal, DTS, Web Mail and more. READ MORE

•. How to download the app: HERE
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Military Family

VA Hospitals Better than you Think

Everyone will agree that Veteran medical centers can always be improved. In fact, every hospital, whether civilian, military or veteran, should always strive to improve.

What may surprise some people is that Department of VA medical centers compare well against civilian counterparts.

“Veterans Affairs officials are touting a new study praising VA hospitals for outperforming most private-sector medical options, but rejecting the authors’ conclusions that the findings undermine the administration’s support for shifting more veterans care into the private sector.

The study, conducted by Dartmouth College researchers and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week, looked at 121 regional markets with at least one VA facility and found the department-run medical center provided better care than private options in most cases. In only a few cases, VA was the least desirable option for most patients.” READ MORE

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Exchange Shipping Packages Quicker

A order—from purchase to delivery—currently takes an average of 2.8 days, with 95 percent of orders being shipped from the fulfillment center on the same day the order was placed.

The Exchange hopes to cut down that time even more by shipping from the nearest Exchange store when possible.

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DoD releases 2019 CONUS COLA rates

The Defense Department recently released the 2019 Continental United States (CONUS) Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) rates, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2019.

The total amount of CONUS COLA a Service member receives varies based on geographic duty location, rank, years of service and dependency status. Service members can calculate their CONUS COLA rate at

Additional information about COLA can be found on the Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) website at
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Jobs on the Hill
Three good sources for legislative related job opportunities

ROA TAPS for November 2018

(Photo: Arlington National Cemetery)

During November 2018, 214 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. 18109 Can a “Partner” Have Reemployment Rights under USERRA?
No. 18110 USERRA’s Escalator Can Descend as well as Ascend
No. 18111 Right to Reemployment in a Term-Limited Federal Job
No. 18112 Does my Initial Training in the Army National Guard Count toward my Five-Year Limit?
No. 18113 Enforcing USERRA against a State Government Employer—Bad News from Texas
No. 18114 Important Veterans’ Claim Case Is Headed to the Supreme Court

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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

97th Signal Battalion Annual Reunion
April 28-May 2, 2019
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Info: and see the link for Communicator on line.
POC: LTC Don Mattingly • ph. 812-319-5552

USS Lawrence Association DDG-4 & DD-250
May 1 -5, 2019
El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel • Ph: 413-372-9086
110 Lexington Ave., San Antonio, TX
POC: Craig Bernat Ph: 814-322-4140 • 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 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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