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EANGUS NATIONAL OFFICE UPDATE
House Considers H.R. 1735, NDAA
On Wednesday, H.R. 1735, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016 headed to the House Floor. For a preview of the bill and what it seeks to achieve, please click here and watch House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry’s message below. The House Armed Services Committee will maintain an amendment tracker, for those interested in following along you can access it here. The HASC Tracker will display a limited list of upcoming amendments in segments to be considered, as well as a list of considered amendments and their outcomes. The House of Representatives’ Rules Committee met on Wednesday, May 13 to consider which of the 345 amendments offered would be made in order. To date, EANGUS supports the NDAA provisions regarding duty status reform, veteran status for Guardsmen, plus ups to NGREA Accounts, 2-year extension of the National Guard State Partnership Program and funding increase, National Guard Counterdrug Programs, and blended retirement for future Servicemembers. EANGUS supports amendments 71, 206, and 241 to prevent force structure and end strength reductions in the Army National Guard before the National Commission on the Future of the Army releases its recommendations. If you have not already, please click here to contact your Member of Congress to ask that they support these Amendments.
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Senate Armed Services Committee Marking-up NDAA
Starting on Monday, May 11, the Senate Armed Services Committee began its mark-up of the FY16 NDAA. Like HASC, the committee will consider many of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission’s recommendations, to include blended retirement for future Servicemembers. SASC will also weigh-in on the Army’s Aviation Restructure Imitative (ARI). EANGUS believes the Senate and House should wait for a report from the newly formed National Commission on the Future of the Army to prevent force structure and end strength reductions in the Army National Guard. The Commission’s report is due in February. It is rumored that the Senate could consider the NDAA in early June, well in advance of previous years. Members of Congress, Senators, and staff could potentially have all summer to conference their bills and come to a resolution by September 30, the end of the fiscal year.
Reserve, Guard retirement choices in sharper focus
Many current Reserve and National Guard members, particularly those who are younger and have fewer years of service, are likely next year to face a difficult choice of retirement plans.
It will be a decision as complex as the one being prepared by Congress for active duty service members. More details of that choice are emerging as architects of the new plan answer questions posed by military associations, veterans groups, congressional staffs and individual reservists. "We've very supportive that 100 percent of future service members — reserve and active components — will have government-matched retirement contributions" from the time they enter service, said Scott Bousum, EANGUS Legislative Director.
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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 panel backs smaller military pay hike, retirement reform
Senate lawmakers May 12 shook hopes for a larger military pay raise next year by recommending only a 1.3 percent hike in their draft version of the 2016 defense authorization bill, a move that could further widen the "pay gap" between troops and their civilian counterparts. The Senate Armed Services Committee's personnel panel differs from the House version of the annual budget legislation, which instead defers to existing law that suggests troops should get a 2.3 percent raise next year.
Pentagon's quiet push for military personnel reform
Support for far-reaching military personnel reforms that would change some of the most traditional facets of troops' promotions and assignments is taking root at the highest levels inside the Pentagon.
Ideas once considered implausible and far-fetched — like waiving time-in-grade rules for fast-tracking promotions — are emerging as top priorities for new leaders at the Defense Department.
Milley, Richardson tapped for top DoD posts
President Barack Obama nominated two four-stars to run the Army and Navy on May 13.
Gen. Mark Milley, commander of Army Forces Command, was nominated to become the next Army chief of staff, and Adm. John Richardson, current head of Naval Reactors, was nominated to become the next chief of naval operations, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced.
If confirmed, the two will replace Gen. Ray Odierno and Adm. Jon Greenert, respectively.
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Since 1991, Army Fisher Houses has been providing temporary lodging to our Warriors and their families during a medical crisis.
Senator criticizes National Guard sponsorship deals with NFL teams
ESPN via WLS-TV
A U.S. senator has raised questions over NFL teams honoring U.S. servicemen and servicewomen, while not always disclosing they were paid to do so by the Department of Defense.
"You go to a game and you see a team honoring 'Hometown Heroes,' and you think it's some sort of public service announcement, that the team is doing it out of the goodness of their heart," Senator Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said to ESPN on May 11. "Then you find out it's paid for? That seems a little unseemly."
Gillibrand, Schumer: Multi-state cyber protection team should be based in upstate NY
New York's U.S. senators are backing a proposal to have two upstate New York sites host a multi-state cyber protection team.
Under the plan put forth by the New York and New Jersey Army National Guards, Rome Labs in Oneida County would serve as the training facility for the cyber protection team. The unit's mission command center would be located at Latham Armory, the Capital Region's National Guard base.
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Sen. John McCain cites National Guard's former sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s team as wasteful
U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., highlights the National Guard’s since-discontinued sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team in a report titled "America’s Most Wasted."
McCain’s office published the report May 7, stating it spotlights "wasteful spending." "It is the duty of every elected official to oversee government spending, cut-out duplication, and eliminate waste — a duty that must not be shirked at taxpayers’ expense," McCain wrote in the opening of the report.
Does Washington have a spending problem or a revenue problem?
Center for American Progress
"Washington does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem."
This is how the website for the House Committee on the Budget justifies a budget resolution that makes huge cuts to programs for low- and moderate-income Americans — all without asking those at the top to pay even a nickel of additional taxes. Yet looking back at the past several years, federal spending projections already have fallen dramatically, while revenue projections have declined, too.
Pentagon pushes hard for Murray-Ryan 2.0; GOP wary
The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee has been identified as Congress’ soft underbelly in the Pentagon’s battle to win a real solution to the Budget Control Act similar to the compromise secured two years ago.
That became clear at the May 6 hearing of the subcommittee, when Carter went way out of his way to praise SAC-D Chairman Thad Cochran (who also chairs the full committee, making him one of the most powerful people in Congress). "Mr. Chairman, I want to especially recognize the sense of civility and courtesy with which this committee conducts its business," Carter said.
With Dunford, Obama makes popular choice
President Barack Obama's selection of Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff seems to have done the impossible — created consensus in Washington. "I know Joe. I trust him," Obama said in the Rose Garden while formally nominating Dunford on May 5. "Joe is a proven leader of our joint force, including our troops in Afghanistan whom he served Christmas dinner to. He is one our military's most highly regarded strategic thinkers."
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?
Sign up for FitText!
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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