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Reserve Organization of America
                                         Reserve Voice Newsletter for May, 2020
ROA federal court brief helps AF Reserve pilot in USERRA fight

ROA on April 27 filed a friend-of-the-court “amicus” brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on Eric White v. United Airlines (Case No.19-cv-00114).

The ROA amicus brief supported the revival of Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Eric White’s case against United Airlines for alleged violations of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. White, with ROA agreeing in the amicus brief, presents a compelling argument for how his USERRA rights were violated when the company refused to provide paid leave for his military duty.

“A United Airlines Inc. pilot who says the company owes him wages and benefits for his periods of short-term military leave got support from the Reserve Officers Association, which filed a brief urging the Seventh Circuit to revive his case,” reported an April 27 Bloomberg Law article (full access by Bloomberg subscription).

White brought this suit in federal court as a class action, seeking to represent all United pilots who serve part-time in the Reserve Components.

“ROA is the only national military organization solely and exclusively dedicated to support of the nation’s Reserve Components,” said ROA’s executive director, retired U.S. Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Jeffrey E. Phillips. “Just as we appreciate employers who support their Reservists and members of the National Guard, ROA will fight for the rights of America’s courageous citizen-warriors when we believe them wronged.”

The law firm of Schnapper-Casteras PLLC co-authored the brief with ROA.

The ROA Service Members Law Center paper on the case is Law Review #20052.
DoD Working Group on DD Form 214

In April, the ROA legislative team and J.C. Cardinale from NGAUS was on a conference call with DoD about a working group established for the DD Form 214.  This group was put together as a result of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020 to consider a record off service for the Reserve Component that could be like the DD 214 but did not have to be the same form.

  • SEC. 570. RECORDS OF SERVICE FOR RESERVES. (a) ESTABLISHMENT.—Not later than September 30, 2020, the Secretary of Defense shall establish and implement a standard record of service for members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces, similar to DD Form 214, that summarizes the record of service of each such member, including dates of active duty service.
  • (b) COORDINATION.—In carrying out this section, the Secretary of Defense shall coordinate with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to ensure that the record established under this section is acceptable as proof of service for former members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces who are eligible for benefits under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to receive such benefits.

We were able to present our views on why Reserve and National Guard members should get a DD Form 214 and how a similar form would only result in the same levels of confusion servicemembers encounter today.  DoD stated that the working group was looking at a 214 or a statement of service.  Susan Lukas suggested that third option needed to be considered – a DD Form 214 AND statement of service.  Mr. Cardinale reminded everyone that the DD Form 214 should represent the Total Force.  ROA’s Kevin Hollinger explained that while DoD was working with the Department of Veterans Affairs on the form, they also needed to meet the needs of states and businesses that require a 214.  The outcome of the call was an invitation from DoD to attend their next working group to share our collective knowledge of 50 years of service.
Reserve and National Guard Assists Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
New York Army National Guard Pvt. Melanie Cruz and Spc. Justin Carpenter assemble grocery at the Brooklyn Food Pantry April 29. On average, over 100,000 meals a day are delivered to individuals in need across all five New York City boroughs. (Photo by 1st Lt. Greg Cheung)

As of May 1, 2020, 45,000+ National Guardsmen are supporting COVID-19 response at the direction of their governors. State priorities remain focused on testing and screening, as well as providing logistical support through warehousing and distribution of medical supplies and food.

  • The California National Guard is providing eight-person medical support teams to skilled nursing facilities at 10 sites in Los Angeles County, providing additional medical capacity to facilities treating vulnerable populations. CANG has nearly 2,000 Guard men and women activated in response to COVID-19.
  • Nine Georgia National Guard strike teams are deployed statewide, testing long-term care residents for COVID-19. Additionally, GANG medics are augmenting staff in 14 hospitals across the state
  • The Kansas National Guard has 500+ National Guardsmen on duty supporting four testing sites, providing screening at a correctional facility, distributing food at eight food banks, and assisting with N95 mask fit tests at nursing and rehabilitation facilities.
  • The Maryland National Guard has 1,200+ Guardsmen activated for a variety of missions, including delivering medical protective equipment and ventilators to hospitals and providing specialized services to nursing homes and children's medical facilities.
  • More than 1,800 Massachusetts National Guardsmen and women are activated for a variety of missions, to include delivering personal protective equipment to first responders, food bank operations, drive-thru testing and mobile testing teams, and medical staff assisting at public hospitals.
  • The New Hampshire National Guard continues to support around-the-clock warehousing, creating a steady stream of Personal Protective Equipment to first responders and healthcare professionals across the state. To date, they've delivered 1,700 orders, an estimated 100 tons of freight.
  • The North Carolina National Guard has conducted more than 25 delivery missions of Personal Protective Equipment to 80 counties across the state, logging nearly 49,000 miles to ensure medical facilities and other locations have the essential items they need. They are also is helping plant, tend and harvest produce at a food farm with 100% of the harvest going to food-insecure households. In just one day, National Guard members harvested nearly 500 pounds of collards.
  • Oklahoma National Guard members are assisting at two food banks that have seen a 60 percent increase in demand for food assistance while having to decrease volunteers due to essential-staff-only restrictions.
  • The Rhode Island National Guard delivered more than 800 sampling kits to five locations across the state and collected over 300 samples for transport.
  • The West Virginia National Guard is helping the state plan for a safer reopening by providing training to more than 700 retailers and long-term care facilities on proper decontamination techniques.
  • Washington National Guard members continue food bank support, providing more than 800,000 meals, approximately 6.4 million pounds of food, and testing more than 1,300 people at testing sites throughout the state.
Inactive Duty Training at Alternate Place of Duty
ROA continues to work on legislation that would provide constructive credit when training is cancelled and cannot be rescheduled in time for a Reserve and National Guard member to receive a “good year” for retirement.  The reason we are doing this is because telework is only possible in the short term since hands-on training is required for so many specialties, for example, crew chiefs must work on planes and artillery must keep their shooting proficiency current.  Until then, DoD has provided answers to many of the questions they are receiving about telework training.

Q1. What kind of tasking can be performed at an alternate place of duty?
A1. Tasking will be at the Commander’s discretion. Examples of appropriate tasking include preparing for unit training or accomplishing unit administrative tasks. Most tasks requiring access to military hardware will not be appropriate.

Q2. Where can I find telework guidance?
A2. Refer to your specific Service and command guidance for further information.

Q3. How do I access Common Access Card (CAC)-enabled websites from an alternate place of duty?
A3. Consult your Service and command for available remote access equipment and remote connection options.


Q4. Will IDT at an alternate place of duty, including telework, be authorized after COVID-19?
A4. The Department is considering incorporating this event-specific exception to policy into an update of DoDI 1215.06, “Uniform Reserve, Training, and Retirement Categories for the Reserve Component.”
For-profit college’s access to veteran education benefits the focus of new investigation
By next summer, officials from the Departments of Education, Veterans Affairs and Defense must submit new reports to Congress on how changing the “90/10 loophole” would affect those schools, with a specific focus on how many for-profits may be forced into financial problems if they lose access to the benefits.

ROA has continued to advocate against limiting servicemembers access to educations. To read the full article on the for-profit college’s access to veteran education benefits please click the link below:
Visiting scholars receive a briefing during their visit to Cypress College in California on Aug. 7, 2019, as part of a California National Guard program. (Staff Sgt. Crystal Housman/Air National Guard)
https://www.militarytimes.com/education-transition/2019/12/20/for-profit-colleges-access-to-veteran-education-benefits-the-focus-of-new-investigation/
During the month of May, the House and Senate continue to remain in place at their home state/district. 

The Senate is expected to travel to Capitol Hill to vote on Presidential nominations.

Although we know the schedule will continue to be altered, work has not stopped.
DoD Programs affected by COVID-19

DoD has provided a series of information papers and graphics for servicemembers and their families on changes being made to programs and benefits.  Here are a few you may be interested in reading:


DoD ID Cards and Benefits
SGLI for Reserve Components
Special and Incentive Pays
DoD by the numbers

The Defense Department is working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services and the State Department to provide support in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.  The Department of Defense provides a daily update, by the numbers, on how they are responding to the COVID-19 Response.
ROA Member Benefit!

Show your ROA pride with ROA logo merchandise. ROA members can purchase apparel, coffee tumblers, padfolios and more! Departments and Chapters will find informational and promotional items to assist in local community outreach and membership efforts. Shop now.
Can’t get sanitizer anywhere else?  Consider buying ROA’s hand sanitizer, 0.5 Oz. Good Value® Hand Sanitizer – Scented, Item # UZEJQ-LZJWW.  This hand sanitizer kills 99% of germs known to cause infectious illness and complies with the Federal Drug Administration.
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 five are linked below. Please visit ROA’s Law Center webpage to access all of the more than 1200 ROA Law Reviews available online.

No. 20039 The COVID-19 Pandemic Must Not Disenfranchise Military and Overseas Voters in the 2020 Primaries and General Election
No. 20040 You Have the Right to Time Off from your Civilian Job To Travel to Your Drill Weekend and To Arrive in a “Fit for Duty” Condition
No. 20041 If you Are Being Called to Active Duty, Don’t Forget about USERRA
No. 20042 EEOC Flouts USERRA
No. 20043 USERRA’s Escalator Can Descend as well as Ascend
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

National 4th Infantry (IVY) Division Association
Dates:  22-28 June, 2020
Hotel Elegante Conference & Event Center
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Hotel PH: 719-576-5900
Info, Registration: www.4thinfantry.org

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
Email: oneillfalm@aol.com

USS Hornet (CV-8, CV, CVA, CVS-12), 72nd Reunion
All Ship's Company, Officers, Air Groups, Crew, Marines & Families
Date: Sept. 16-20, 2020 • Location: Buffalo, NY;
POC: Sandy Burket, email: hornetcva@aol.com
PO Box 108, Roaring Spring, PA 16673-9817
Phone: (814) 224-5063, cell: (814) 312-4976

USS Abnaki ATF96 Reunion
Date: 27-30 September, 2020, San Antonio, TX
Staybridge Suites Downtown Conv
POC: Steven Andersland  PH: 210-410-1820
Email: sandersland@outlook.com

USS Yellowstone AD 27 Reunion
Dates: 21-23 September, 2020
Location: Westgate Branson Woods Resort, Branson, MO
POC: Karen A. Bowen • 603-948-2821
30 Briar Drive, Rochester, NH 03867
Email: pkbowen@atlanticbb.net

USS Ranger CV/CVA-61 31st Annual Reunion
All former crew members
Dates: 30 September – 3 October, 2020
Location: Sheraton Norfolk Waterside
777 Waterside Dr., Norfolk, VA
POC: Tom Ballinger, Sec/Treas.  210-403-3302

12TFW  2020 Reunion
Includes 12th TFW MacDill AFB, FL; Cam Ranh AB & Phu Cat AB (Vietnam) & 12th FEW/SFW Bergstrom AFB, TX (Korea) and all supporting units. A memorial dedication to the 12TFW will occur during this event.
Dates: October 28-31, 2020
Location: Dayton, Ohio
POC: E. J. Sherwood, 12TFW Association
Email: EJ12TFW@cox.net • Ph: 480-396-4681
(Photo: Arlington National Cemetery)

During March 2020, ROA was notified of 123 of our ROA comrades passing 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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