The Intersect
July 26, 2011

DoD panel calls for radical retirement overhaul
Military Times
A sweeping new plan to overhaul the Pentagon's retirement system would give some benefits to all troops and phase out the 20-year cliff vesting system that has defined military careers for generations. In a massive change that could affect today's troops, the plan calls for a corporate-style benefits program that would contribute money to troops' retirement savings account rather than the promise of a future monthly pension, according to a new proposal from an influential Pentagon advisory board.More

Army, Navy commands join forces to hire more wounded, disabled veterans
The Huntsville Times
The two largest civilian employers in the Department of Defense joined forces in a commitment to provide more job opportunities for wounded warriors. The agreement signed on Redstone Arsenal by Gen. Ann Dunwoody, commanding general of the Army Materiel Command, and Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command, expanded veteran hiring programs for both organizations by combining two programs.More

House panel votes to fix GI Bill payment rules
Military Times
A House panel has passed a plan to improve the accuracy of Post-9/11 GI Bill payments to schools, after modifying the bill in response to concerns from veterans groups about unintended consequences — including the possibility that a student could be barred from attending school while payments are being calculated. More

Military's Tricare Prime health care program targeted
The Washington Post
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. wants to cut taxpayer funding for non-military elements of the Defense Department, starting with making retired, uninjured service members pay more for what he described as "extremely low-cost health care for life" for themselves, their spouses and dependents under the Tricare Prime system.More

Congress demands cyber details while DoD aims for ambiguity
Stars and Stripes
Amid a rising din of reports of online incursions and Internet-based attacks, Congress wants to know why the Pentagon still hasn't revealed its basic cyberdefense ground rules. By law, the Department of Defense was required to report on its cyberwar policies to Congress by March 1, a deadline it missed. And the much-heralded Pentagon cyberstrategy released last week didn't clarify the matter, according to a letter sent to the defense secretary by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.More

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal certified by President Obama
American Forces Press Service
Based on recommendations from military leaders, President Barack Obama has certified to Congress that the U.S. armed forces are prepared for repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. There is a 60-day waiting period before the repeal goes into effect, so the law will officially come off the books Sept. 20. After that date, gay service members can be open about their sexual orientation.More

Obama OKs Medal of Honor for living Marine
Military Times
A Marine who repeatedly braved enemy fire in eastern Afghanistan attempting to find and save fellow members of his embedded training team will receive the Medal of Honor, Marine Corps Times has confirmed. Dakota Meyer was contacted by President Obama, according to sources with knowledge of the award. He will be the first living Marine recipient of the nation's highest award for valor since now-retired Sgt. Maj. Allan Kellogg received the medal for actions 41 years ago in Vietnam.More

High court appeal planned on military impostor law
The Associated Press via San Jose Mercury News
The Department of Justice will ask the Supreme Court to uphold a law making it illegal to lie about being a war hero. Government lawyers signaled their intention to appeal in a court filing in California, one of at least two states where the Stolen Valor Act has been challenged. The appeal was expected. Prosecutors have until Aug. 18 to formally act.More

Active Guard, Reserve program great opportunity for active-duty soldiers
National Guard
The Active Guard Reserve program allows soldiers transitioning off active duty the opportunity to compete for AGR positions closer to home. "Soldiers who serve on the AGR program are full-time support to both U.S. Army Reserve units as well as to outside agencies that deal with the Army Reserve," said Mark Russo, chief of the Army's Force Alignment Division. "They are on active duty, so they have all the same benefits, pay and allowances, and active federal service time as a full-time, active component soldier."More

National Guard (in federal status) and Reserve activated as of July 19
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Air Force announced an increase. The net collective result is 665 fewer reservists activated than last week. At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease.More