EANGUS Minuteman Update
Mar. 26, 2015

EANGUS National Office Staffer Testifies Before U.S. Congress
On Wednesday, March 25, 2015, Scott Bousum, Legislative Director, testified before the House Armed Services Committee’s Military Personnel Subcommittee. Mr. Bousum provided EANGUS’s viewpoints regarding the recently released Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission’s (MCRMC) fifteen recommendations. If interested, you can access an archived video of the "Stakeholder’s Views on the Military Compensation Retirement Modernization Commission" Hearing by clicking here. Through interviews, field hearings, communication with EANGUS staff and other MSO/VSO staff, the Commissioners found, during their two-year study, that the Services, "require flexible, modern, and relevant compensation tools to continue to recruit and retain the high-quality men and women needed to protect and defend our Nation into the future." The report found that millennials would like flexible healthcare options and would prefer access to a Thrift Savings Plan-style retirement system, similar to that afforded to Federal Employees. The Commission found that TRICARE is broken and that federal funds should not be spent trying to fix TRICARE. They also found that over 80 percent of servicemembers do not benefit from the current, 20-year retirement system. If the Commission’s recommendations are adopted in their entirety, those taking advantage of the current 20-year retirement system or are planning to retire after 20 years will not be affected. Those utilizing TRICARE will be affected as members would need to move to private health insurance. The Commission found that retiree cost sharing is necessary, working age retirees would pay more. EANGUS staff understand that there is current Congressional interest to reform the retirement portions of the MCRMC report. However, Congress is not expected to move forward with the suggested healthcare reform portions in 2015. In its testimony, EANGUS suggested that the healthcare aspects of the MCRMC report need additional study prior to Congressional action.More

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Veterans' groups clash over proposed changes to military benefits
Veterans' advocacy groups are clashing with each other over proposed changes to military retirement, health care and other benefits. The Military Coalition, an umbrella group of almost three dozen military, veterans and uniformed services organizations, couldn't reach an accord on the recommendations of the congressionally mandated Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission.More

Commentary: Concerns about stress on Guard are misplaced
Military Times
Retired Maj. Gen. Gus Hargett writes, "I want to thank Gen. Ray Odierno for the concern he showed for the Army National Guard during his testimony recently before the Senate Appropriations Committee. I also want to tell the Army chief of staff that his concern is misplaced."More

National Guard needs continued investment, generals tell Congress
National Guard Bureau via Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System
Continuing to invest in the National Guard to ensure it remains accessible, responsive and capable will provide the nation a force that is proven on the battlefield and in the homeland. That was the core message shared by Army Gen. Frank Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau; Air Force Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke, director of the Air National Guard; and Army Maj. Gen. Judd Lyons, acting director of the Army National Guard, during testimony before members of the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Defense on March 17.More

Extra defense money faces huge Senate hurdle
Defense hawks scored a win last week by securing more cash for the Pentagon in the Senate budget — but that victory could prove short-lived. Republicans on the Budget Committee voted last week to boost the Pentagon’s budget by $38 billion at the urging of hawks like Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. The addition was essential for getting Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) to back the overall fiscal blueprint.More

Retired generals, defense insiders named to panel on Army's future
Federal News Radio
The decisions the Army has made or proposed as part of its required drawdown from 570,000 active duty soldiers to 450,000 (and potentially 420,000) have caused a considerable degree of heartburn on Capitol Hill and strained relationships between the active and reserve components. So, at the end of last year, Congress ordered the Army to freeze some of those proposals and ordered up a new commission to study the Army's future. We now know who will serve on that eight-member study panel.More

What the House gets right on defense spending
There is much not to like in the House Budget Committee proposal for the federal government’s fiscal plans in general. But the committee has made a wise decision in regard to military spending for 2016. Put differently, Rep. Tom Price, chairman of the committee, and other House leaders have found the worst way to fund the military for 2016 — except for all other credible ways. In essence, the House plan would provide the same amount of money for the Department of Defense next year that President Barack Obama would. But the White House budget assumes a more sweeping modification to the Budget Control Act than is politically realistic. Without such a comprehensive agreement, passed by Congress and signed into law by the president before October, Obama’s defense budget proposals would likely fall prey to the sequestration ax come 2016.More

Proposal to privatize Tricare splits advocacy groups
Military Times
Military and veterans' advocacy groups are split over a congressional commission's radical proposal to privatize Tricare for military family members and retirees. Advocates for some of the most powerful groups — the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Military Officers Association of America and more — offered strong opinions to the House Armed Services Committee's military personnel panel March 25, each based on the unique interests of their membership. And there was no consensus.More

Mac Thornberry's defense acquisition reform aims to cut paperwork, empower managers
The Washington Times
Rep. Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, recently unveiled his plan to cut paperwork and increase accountability in the defense acquisition process. Lawmakers have been trying to fix the Defense Department’s acquisition process for more than a decade. The Texas Republican’s latest strategy seeks to consolidate complicated processes and train an acquisition workforce that can be held more accountable.More

Military families' fund law changed in Arkansas
Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed legislation March 24 that takes away limitations on who can receive aid from the state's Military Family Relief Trust Fund, which was created to assist National Guard or Reserve forces facing emergency financial issues. Senate Bill 731, sponsored by state Sen. Bobby Pierce, D-Sheridan, removed a stipulation that only service members or families of service members who had been on active duty for at least 30 days as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks could benefit from the fund. The bill is now Act 402.More

EANGUS Addresses Concerns about Bad Tasting U.S. Drinking Water
Does your tap water taste bad?
The reason may shock you, and fortunately there is a simple solution! Did you know, thousands of cities across the country get their tap water from sources that contain organisms that cause foul odors and tastes? Yeah, algae scum, microscopic organisms and even fish are common offenders making your water taste terrible! Gross.

Plus, did you know that chemicals and pollutants are also in the water you drink every day? And again, it may shock you just what kind of man-made substances are lurking in your tap water. For example:

The GOOD NEWS for EANGUS Members: There’s an easy way to get clean, clear and refreshing water anytime and from virtually any water source: the LiveWell Water Filtration Bottle.
  1. Simply fill the LiveWell Water Filtration Bottle with tap water, and it will remove harmful impurities while you enjoy great tasting, purified odorless water anywhere.
  2. Not only does the LiveWell Filtration Bottle clean your water, it can also flavor it and even provide nutritional supplements as you drink! That means you not only hydrate yourself, you can also help support a stronger immune system, greater energy, and even promote weight loss all from a bottle of water!
EANGUS has partnered directly with LiveWell Water to offer exclusive discounts to members. Your membership savings includes:

Get your exclusive member savings at: http://www.eangus.org/link.asp?ymlink=3227510 More

News You Can Use from USAA
6 Ways Couples Can Avoid Fighting Over Money
Have you and your partner talked about how you’re going to handle financial decisions after you tie the knot? Some open dialogue and planning can help avoid conflict.

Got Kids? Better Start Saving for College Now
College costs could someday be a really big expense in your life, and the sooner you develop a game plan to deal with them, the better.

4 Tips for Spotting a Water-Damaged Vehicle
Just like water levels increase after heavy rains, so does the likelihood of water-damaged vehicles showing up in used car lots and newspaper classified ads. Check out these four tips to help avoid water-damaged vehicles.

Prevent Spring Water Damage
Help avoid structural damage to your home by creating clear paths for water to flow away from.

Moving on? Don’t Forget Your 401(k)
Here are some things to consider as you decide what to do with your 401(k).

The USAA Member Community serves as the place for members to seek/give advice and tips around items that are most important in their life.

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Dell offers for EANGUS members for April
April Offer Highlights:


Modern Minuteman Drawing — Available for Purchase

The drawing below is available for purchase and would be a nice gift to military members for retirement, promotions, etc.

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