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January, 2020   

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!

Air Force Maj. Lori Wyatt, a Critical Care Air Transport Team nurse, assigned to the 167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, West Virginia, assembles a gurney during a casualty evacuation training at the Raleigh County Memorial Airport. The Air Force is increasing the number of CCATTs to support future readiness requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. De-Juan Haley)

January Question

ROA has supported extending TRICARE Reserve Select to military technicians as a recruiting tool for the services. When we worked on this change with the Senate, they decided it would only be fair to extend it to all National Guard and Reserve federal employees. Of course, the biggest hurdle is the offset of appropriations because this option has not been funded by DoD.

While ROA supports the recently passed legislation, it does not resolve the problem of having multiple types of TRICARE that change when orders are issued.

Please tell us how often your health care changed, either when you were in service or now as a participating National Guard or Reserve member, by taking the survey at the following link:

Health Care Changes

While serving, on average how often did your health care provider/type change?

A. Never
B. Once per year
C. Twice per year
D. Over three times per year
E. Every few years

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Capt. Jerry Kromrey, USAFR (Ret.), with the Dept. of the Golden West Santa Clara County (California) Unified Chapter #63 briefs Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) at his April 2019 monthly town hall meeting in Newark, California. (Photo by Galen Boggs, Rep. Khanna's Military and Veterans Affairs Field Representative

Captain Jerry E. Kromrey, USAFR (Ret.) accepts the recognition certificate from Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) during the Congressman's 10 November 2019 monthly town hall meeting in Fremont, California. (Photo by Swapanthi Mandalika, Rep. Khanna's Director of Constituent Services)

A bill to direct the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study on disability and pension benefits provided to members of the National Guard and members of reserve components of the Armed Forces by the Department of Veterans Affairs passed the U.S. House of Representatives on 17 December 2019. The bill has its genesis in ROA Resolutions 17-02, In-Flight Injuries to Pilots and Flight Crew Members, and 18-07, In-Theater Destruction of Medical Records.

On 25 August 2018, Capt. Jerry E. Kromrey, USAFR (Ret.), on behalf of Santa Clara County Unified Chapter GW/063 (California), led a forum to brief U.S. Congressman Ro Khanna, California's 17th District, on the background behind the two (2) resolutions. The forum included testimony from two (2) injured former Air Force fighter pilots, and an Army brigadier general who served in both gulf wars. After hearing their testimony, Congressman Khanna committed to introduce appropriate legislation.

Later, Lt. Col. Susan Lukas, USAFR (Ret.) from ROA's national legislative office said, "These are good resolutions, but there is no data whatsoever to back them up." Lt. Col. Lukas then helped Congressman Khanna's legislative staff draft what later became H.R. 4183, "Identifying Barriers and Best Practices Study Act."

Congressman Khanna introduced the bill on 13 August 2019. On 17 December 2019, it cleared the U.S. House of Representatives with a strong majority vote.

On 10 November 2019, during his monthly town hall meeting, Congressman Khanna formally recognized Captain Kromrey for his Air Force service, and his assistance in helping introduce H.R. 4183, "Identifying Barriers and Best Practices Study Act."

The bill must next clear the United States Senate as the next step in its journey to become law.

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ROA sends joint letter pertaining to proposed GI Bill/TA 90/10 legislation

ROA has not supported a 90/10 bill that would restrict VA and DoD education funding and believes the veterans have the right to choose the secondary educational institution that best fits their needs not where their money comes from.

At ROA we recognize that veterans do not always choose to attend traditional education institutions to get a degree. Certificates in skilled labor, information technology, and project management are other career options that can be obtained through private institutions.

To read this letter please select the link below:

ROA EANGUS joint 90/10 Letter to Sen. Mitch McConnell

ROA and EANGUS sent a joint letter to Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican Leader of the Senate.

ROA joint letter sent on DD Form 214

Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew P. Donovan
ROA delivered a joint letter supported by EANGUS and NGAUS to the Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew P. Donovan regarding when reservist should receive a DD Form 214.

ROA recognizes the need for a DD Form 214 on milestones throughout a reservist career. We know this is required for access to federal and state benefits and we have constantly worked to ensure the DD Form 214 becomes legislated for Reserve Components servicemembers.

This is a simple fix for a complex problem that we know will work. Read the full letter at the following link.
ROA Joint Letter on DD Form 214

ROA asks Texas governor to ‘honor the promise’ with stricken USAR officer booted from state government.

ROA’s executive director, Jeff Phillips, sent the attached letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, asking him to intercede as the state’s executive leader, to right an injustice done Army Reservist Le Roy Torres, medically retired with terrible injuries from burn pit toxins. The letter garnered this Stars and Stripes article, but as yet nothing from the Texas governor. Shamefully for Governor Abbott, Captain Torres has gotten better treatment from the federal government that he has from his own state.

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President Signs the NDAA

Photo by Air Force Public Affairs

President Trump signed into law Dec. 20 a $738 billion defense bill, that makes history by creating the Space Force as a stand-alone, sixth branch of the U.S. military. It included several pieces of legislation that were favorable to the Reserve Components. A few of the sections of law are described below.

Department and Chapter Grassroots Efforts

During the month of January, the House and Senate are back in session after a late close to 2019. ROA will now turn our attention to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.

The NDAA FY20 had some great sections for the Reserves and Guard but we still have a lot of work to complete in the upcoming months.

*These dates are for the HOUSE ONLY. The Senate has not yet released its January schedule due to uncertainty regarding the immpeahment inquiry.

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Reserve Component Mobilizations

By the Numbers (as of December 24, 2019 )
The Department of Defense publishes contingency activations of the Reserve Components on a weekly basis.

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Department of Texas Yellow Ribbon – ROA Family Support Event
By Carolyn Glover Hockley

ROA volunteers from Texas were Capt. Ron Frazee, Maj. Norma Cabanas, Maj. Donald Crawford (pictured), Capt. Heath Scott, (Navy) and Col. Ralph and Carolyn Hockley.

Mission complete at the Air National Guard Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YRRP) event at Dallas-Ft Worth December 13-15,2019!

Susan Lukas flew in from Washington DC to support the Texas contingent.

There were over 500 attendees for the Yellow Ribbon event. Maj. Norma Cabana spoke at two sessions and had a great response to the new STARs School Notification form which was formulated from Maj. Cabanas’ personal experience with her daughters’ school while deployed. Emphasis with the new form gives instructions to the parents on an index card with a second prominent card to school principals and counselors.

The flip side of the card to the School is for the deploying/deployed/returning parent to prepare for their child’s school. STARS kit inserts were a great success because it is a tangible item that the families can use immediately.

The schedule for all the nationally held Yellow Ribbon events is available and offers an opportunity for ROA/STARs program to have a real impact.

ROA handed out all available paper applications and STARs kit "inserts" by the end of the event. - Chapter 18, promoted the event on the Department's Facebook page a couple of weeks in advance (Reserve Organization of America - Texas), and during the event to help with public awareness, marketing, and encourage the current membership to volunteer/participate more.

ROA material on legislation was great to “advertise” and “inform” about ROA! The updated list of accomplishments was especially good to “educate” the troops!

— ROA Departments should get on the YRRP program to speak about the ROA/STARS program.
— Other departments need to be notified that YRRP events are happening so they can sponsor a
ROA table.

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Military Family

Veterans need VHIC for in-person Commissary, Military Exchange, and MWR access
The Defense Department has announced expanded Commissary, Military Service Exchange and MWR access Jan. 1, 2020 and established a standard for physical access to military installations.

Veterans and Primary Family Caregivers who are eligible and want to take advantage of in-person benefits must have a Veterans Health Identification Card, or VHIC. Primary Family Caregivers must have an eligibility letter from VA’s Office of Community Care.

Veterans use VHICs for identification and check-in at VA appointments, but will also use them for base access under the new program.

Read the full story at the following link:
Veterans and the VHIC

Influenza Vaccine

It is not too late to get a flu shot! The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone aged six months and older. A high dose version is available for those age 65 and older.

There are three options for beneficiaries to get the flu vaccine:

o Military Hospital or Clinic:

o Participating Network Pharmacy:

Not all network pharmacies provide vaccines. Check the Express Scripts website to find a network pharmacy: or call 1-877-363-1303

Be sure to get your vaccine from the pharmacist, not from a health provider at an in-pharmacy clinic to avoid possible out-of-pocket costs.

If Service Members obtain a flu vaccine from a participating network pharmacy, the Service Member is responsible for providing the following information in their immunization record for medical and readiness purposes:

The date the vaccine was given

The vaccine name or code


Lot number

o TRICARE-Authorized Provider:

Beneficiaries should follow their plan’s rules for getting care, which may include getting a referral.

Beneficiaries may have a cost for the office visit.

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Starting Jan. 1, 4.1 Million Disabled Veterans, Certain Caregivers Can Shop Tax-Free With the Army & Air Force Exchange Service

DALLAS – It’s been more than 65 years since Arnold Reichenthal, a 92-year-old disabled Veteran who served in World War II and the Korean War, has shopped with his military exchanges. This all changes Jan. 1, when he and 4.1 million Americans are welcomed home with in-store shopping privileges.

Starting Jan. 1, Arnold Reichenthal, a 92-year-old disabled Veteran who served in World War II and the Korean War, can join 4.1 million disabled Veterans and certain caregivers with in-store shopping benefits at Army & Air Force Exchange Service stores. Read more:

Veterans who need additional information about the in-store patronage expansion can visit the Veterans section on the Exchange’s
Community Hub.

All honorably discharged Veterans can shop the military exchanges online, through a benefit that was secured in 2017. Since then, Veterans have saved more than $8 million in sales tax. Veterans can determine their eligibility to shop online at

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. 19106 DOD Instruction 1205.12 Is Wrong and Should Be Rewritten
No. 19107 Seventh Circuit Reverses the Northern District of Illinois in a USERRA Case
No. 19108 USERRA Gives you the Right To Be Absent from Work When your Absence Is “Necessitated by Reason of Service in the Uniformed Services”
No. 19109 USERRA Protects all Absences from Work that Were Necessitated by your Uniformed Service
No. 19110 The Military Record Is Wrong about the dates I Drilled in August 2009
No. 19111 Disabled Veteran Federal Civilian Employees Have the Right To Time off from their Civilian Jobs for Medical Treatment—Is it Limited to Treatment for Service-Connected Disabilities?
No. 19112 Another Favorable Appellate Case on Section 4311 of USERRA
No. 19113 You Are Required To Provide Documentation to your Employer when Applying for Reemployment After a Period of Service of 31 Days or More


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 Taylor (DD/DDE-468) Reunion
Date: 27-31 August, 2020
Location: Hershey – Harrisburg, PA
POC: James G. O’Neill, 14200 Hollows Drive,
Montpelier, VA 23192 • ph: 804-212-8911

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(Photo: Arlington National Cemetery)

During November 2019, ROA was notified of 47 of our ROA comrades passing from our ranks. An additional 1,268 were identified as deceased through a mass database update of ROA member records. 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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