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House panel approves $612 billion authorization bill
The House Armed Services Committee early April 30 adopted a $612 billion defense authorization bill which would radically reform military retirement but reject changes to a host of other benefit trims proposed by the Pentagon.
By a 60-2 vote, the panel approved the annual budget legislation after almost 19 hours of debate, setting the stage for a full House vote in mid-May. The bill is one of the most-followed measures among the defense community, because of the hundreds of policy renewals and revisions involved.
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DoD rejects Tricare reform, does not oppose military retirement changes
The Pentagon for the first time has offered a detailed response to a slate of proposed military pay and benefits reforms, flatly rejecting the idea of overhauling the military health care system but giving a cautious green light to fundamentally changing military retirement benefits.
After a three-month review, the Defense Department bluntly dismissed the controversial idea of scrapping the Tricare health system in its current form and instead providing military dependents with private-sector health insurance similar to federal civilian employee benefits.
Tricare reform for Guard, reserves being pushed
A proposal to shift 9 million Tricare beneficiaries to civilian health plans may have been rejected last month by Congress and President Obama, but some military advocates are pressing for a test-run of the plan, called Tricare Choice, for National Guard and Reserve members.
The Reserve Officers Association has drafted a proposal to create a "Tricare Reserve Choice" program that would allow Reserve component personnel and their families to choose a commercial health plan.
Senate passes GOP budget proposal
The Senate on May 5 passed a Republican-backed budget blueprint that boosts defense spending while cutting $5 trillion in spending, largely on social programs, to balance in a decade.
Lawmakers approved the blueprint on a 51-48 party-line vote. Republican 2016 presidential contenders were split on the measure, with Sens. Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham voting in favor, while Rand Paul and Ted Cruz voted against.
Senators: War fund, Pentagon cuts could save A-10
Stars and Stripes
Congress could tap an overseas war fund or cut the budget of the secretary of defense’s office to save the A-10 Thunderbolt from retirement, Senate lawmakers said May 5.
A group of A-10 supporters, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said money can be made available for the program and urged fellow senators to support protections for the aircraft as they draw up the annual defense budget in the coming days.
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McCain rules out immigration language in defense bill
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain on May 5 shot down a proposal that would move toward allowing some illegal immigrants to serve in the military.
The Arizona Republican, who is up for re-election in 2016, said there is no way he will accept provisions like those being pushed in the House related to President Obama’s deferred deportation program.
"We’re not doing anything on immigration on the NDAA," McCain told The Hill, referring to legislation that authorizes spending levels for the military.
Army, Marines face new pressure to use same ammunition
Marine Corps Times
The Army and Marine Corps will conduct comprehensive testing this year to determine the viability of adopting common rifle ammunition, a potential cost-cutting initiative that could have serious implications for troops on the battlefield.
Members of Congress are driving the efforts, saying the switch to a single 5.56 mm cartridge for all conventional U.S. forces stands to save American taxpayers considerable expense. It is likely to prompt a showdown between the two rounds favored by each service, raising the possibility the Marine Corps could be forced to adopt ammunition it rejected in 2009 because its early development was plagued by problems.
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Since 1991, Army Fisher Houses has been providing temporary lodging to our Warriors and their families during a medical crisis.
Reception opportunity for senior enlisted leaders to network; foster military, business communication
Joint Base San Antonio via DVIDS
Senior enlisted leadership from across Joint Base San Antonio and surrounding areas gathered at the oldest post in Texas, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 76 on the San Antonio River, partly to socialize, but also to build bridges with each other and with the community.
Sponsored by the Senior Enlisted Advisory Council of the San Antonio Chamber Commerce, the April reception also provided the chance for senior noncommissioned officers to take a break from their hectic schedules. The more than 300-strong audience enjoyed live music, a raffle that included gift cards and rounds of golf, plus the chance to interact with military and business leaders.
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Train for Success
Guard Your Health launches "FitText" initiative
Guard Your Health
On April 15, Guard Your Health launched FitText, a text messaging initiative centered on maximizing physical training (PT), preparing for the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), and increasing overall fitness among Army National Guard (ARNG) Soldiers and their families.
Guard Your Health, a campaign out of the Army National Guard Chief Surgeon’s Office, provides ARNG Soldiers and family members with the information, motivation, and support they need to overcome challenges and make healthy decisions for themselves, their units, and their families. The campaign supports the Chief Surgeon’s greater efforts to build a fit, medically ready, resilient Citizen-Soldier force, which includes increasing APFT passing rates across all units. Guard Your Health aims to provide Soldiers with the actionable tips they need to improve their APFT scores and holistic fitness through the FitText initiative.
Want fitness tips and motivation to train smarter, stay on track, and max your PT?
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Text "fit" to 703-997-6747
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Proceeds benefit The Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States.
TRICARE Retiree Dental Program and The Veteran Affairs Dental Insurance Program
For nearly three decades, Delta Dental Federal Government Programs has had the honor and pleasure of working with active duty, Guard/Reserve and retired military members through our administration of the dental programs under TRICARE and Veterans Affairs. Aside from being able to serve these fine individuals, one of the greatest rewards has been our relationship with your Association and other members of The Military Coalition. Through this partnership, we have been able to help countless military families maintain and improve their dental and overall health. Because most people are now getting their information electronically, I wanted to let you know about some great new e-tools that we have available.
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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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