AUSA urges Congress to increase support to the Reserve Component

Update from Gary Dawson

The Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) has joined six other organizations to get congressional support for the Reserve Component, including expanded health care coverage, eliminating equipment shortfalls, and an increase in full-time personnel support.

Along with the Adjutants General Association of the U.S., Air Force Association, Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the U.S., National Governors Association, National Guard Association of the United States and Reserve Officers Association, AUSA wrote to leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees seeking support for legislative priorities that “directly correspond with the National Defense Strategy to restore readiness and build a more lethal force” and “will enhance Reserve Component operational readiness while continuing to promote the goals of the Total Force.”

The Associations are asking Congress to consider expanding the Tricare program to federal employees, who are now excluded and study the feasibility of eliminating premiums.

Additionally, the associations ask for an increase in authorized full-time National Guard and Reserve personnel that keeps pace with increases in the size and optempo of the Reserve Component. They also ask for continued congressional support for “robust funding” of equipment and platforms to ensure the reserve component keeps pace with active forces and funding to address equipment shortfalls and compatibility issues.

Annual Renewal Time

We sincerely hope you will renew your AUSA membership and your membership with our Delaware chapter. Because we don’t have an active duty army base in our state, our chapter’s focus is on our National Guard and Reserve Soldiers and their families, retirees in the state of Delaware, and our veterans. We also annually support “Our Community Salutes” (OCS) which acknowledges those young women and men who have volunteered to serve in our nation’s Armed Forces.

We appreciate your past support and we are always looking for people to help and new ideas for our chapter events. AUSA is the only organization focused on all Soldiers and their families regardless of their status or rank. We hope you will join us in supporting Delaware’s Soldiers, their families, our retirees, and our veterans. Check out all the member benefits available to you.

 

AUSA to host a Family Readiness forum in NJ

The Family Readiness Directorate of the Association of the U.S. Army has planned an event in September aimed at Army National Guard and Reserve families.

On Sept. 22, a forum focusing on National Guard and Army Reserve spouses will be held at the New Jersey National Guard Armory in Bordentown, N.J.

The forum for National Guard and Reserve spouses will look at help that is available for spouses and families when not located in a military community. The discussion will focus on where to find help, how to build a support network and practical tips.

Homefront United Network, an organization founded by Army National Guard spouse Angela Caban, is a co-sponsor of the event. Caban, the New Jersey National Guard Spouse of the Year 2013, and Bianca Strzalkowski, 2011 Military Spouse of the Year, will speak at the event.

Register for the Guard and Reserve spouse event here:

http://homefrontunited.com/spousetalks/

More Veterans Day News from your AUSA Chapter

1.  Veterans’ Day Luncheon: All AUSA members are invited to a Chapter Veterans Day luncheon on Tuesday, November 11, 2014, at 12:30 in the Lone Star Steakhouse on Route 13 in New Castle.  The room will be open at Noon, and a short program with lunch will begin at 12:30.  Cost is $15.00.  If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Gary Dawson at (302) 230-6074, or contact Laura Sievert at lauralsievert@gmail.com or (302) 545-6736.

2.  Veterans’ Day Ceremony:  The Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs and the Military Order of the Purple Heart will host the Veterans Day Ceremonies on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. While those who died are also remembered on Veterans Day (observed on November 11), this day is intended to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is our citizens’ opportunity to thank living Veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served have sacrificed and done their duty. The program, scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m., will be held at the Memorial Plaza, Delaware Memorial Bridge, New Castle, Delaware.

The National Veterans Day Committee in Washington, DC has designated Veterans Day in New Castle, DE, as a 2014 Regional Site. This is our twenty-third year of participation along with 67 similarly recognized sites throughout the United States and it’s territories.

3.  Veterans’ Day Discounts:  Military.com has posted a comprehensive list of Veterans Day discounts and free resources on their website under their Veterans Day Center. This is an excellent resource for military members to explore and includes the history of Veterans Day, tributes to Medal of Honor recipients, ways to honor veterans and much more.

News Flash:  National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) and the Association  of the U.S. Army Join Forces Against Budget Cuts!

Two of the nation’s leading military associations have joined together to urge Congress to get rid of automatic, across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration. Retired Maj. Gen. Gus Hargett, the NGAUS president, and retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan, president of the Association of the United States Army, wrote a letter to Senate Armed Services Committee leadership last week. The letter urges committee chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., to “end sequestration now.”

“The continued effects of sequestration on the Department of Defense will cause the Army, Active, Guard and Reserve, to fall into unreadiness,” they warn.

“The nation will be left with its smallest ground forces since 1940 – unable to carry out our defense strategy,” they said. “Troop levels so low put at risk our role as a guarantor of world security and embolden our enemies.”

Sequestration, which was enacted as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act, cuts funding for Defense Department initiatives without regard to the importance of the individual program. The Pentagon was able to avoid the full impact of the cuts thanks to a legislative deal last year, but without additional action by Congress the cuts will come back in fiscal 2016.

“It’s no secret that we have some different priorities than AUSA, but there is no daylight between us on this issue,” said Hargett. “These cuts hurt our ability to defend the nation and respond in the homeland, and it’s time to get rid of them for good.”

Coach Krzyzewski receives the George Catlett Marshall Medal

Coach Krzyzewski, Duke’s renowned head basketball coach, received the George Catlett Marshall Medal for his support of Soldiers and their families during the Marshall dinner at the AUSA annual meeting. The Marshall Medal is the highest award presented by AUSA.

http://www.dvidshub.net/video/embed/371243

Wilmington University Honors Those that Serve

Wilmington University has invited us to join in honoring our nation’s Heroes!

On March 26, 2014 from 11:00am-1:00pm, Wilmington University will host a Spring Military/Veteran Appreciation Day at the Pratt Student Center (New Castle Campus, 320 N. DuPont Hwy, New Castle DE 19720).

The event is designed to recognize and honor our Servicemembers, Veterans, and their families. It will include attendance by Government Officials/Representatives, Senior Leadership from Wilmington University, our Military/Veteran Student Organization, and Vendors from the community. Activities will be available including a massage table, acupuncture table and a special “Rifle Spinning” demonstration performed by the ROTC Drill Team from William Penn High School! A light lunch, cake, and prizes will also be provided for attendees.

Agenda

  • 1100 – Event Begins: Sign in, networking/vendor tables/activities
  • 1200 – Remarks/Recognition: Jim Webb, Military Affairs Coordinator
  • 1210 – Rifle Spinning Demo: William Penn ROTC
  • 1220 – Continue networking/vendor tables/activities
  • 1300 – Event Ends

Supporting military vendors include: DAFB Airman & Family Readiness Center, Employer Support for Guard & Reserve (ESGR), MyHealtheVet, United Service Organizations Inc. (USO), Vet Center: Wilmington,  Military One Source, DE Army National Guard, and the DE Air National Guard.

Delaware World War II Memorial Dedication

Please plan to attend a special dedication ceremony of Delaware’s World War II memorial on November 9th, twelve o’clock noon at Legislative Hall, Dover DE.

If you are a WWII veteran and would like to attend, please RSVP at (302) 739-2792 for special seating.

If you know someone who is a WWII veteran, please pass this information on to them.

New Family Program Updates

The Association of the U.S. Army Director of Family Programs recently distributed an update on their family activities.

Here are a few items that you might find helpful:

1.       Blue Star Families 2013 Lifestyle Survey on what military families say is most important to them: http://bluestarfam.s3.amazonaws.com/42/6b/b/1583/OnePager2013.pdf

2.      Upcoming locations of Hiring our Heroes Job Fairs: http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/events  Note: there are three pages that run all the way through March of 2014 so don’t forget to scroll through all of them

3.      Military Family Research Institute provided the newest information on what research is showing us about military children:  See http://blog.militaryfamily.org/2013/06/26/how-are-military-families-doing-what-researchers-are-discovering/

4.      AUSA is launching a Spouse membership initiative.   It is scheduled for a soft launch in late September/ early October! How will it work?

a.      Spouses will click on to a spouse membership link that will take them to a page explaining the new membership category

b.      Spouses will be asked if their spouse is currently an AUSA member

i.      If “yes”, spouse will type in their spouses email for verification and then will be taken to a page that allows them to join at the $14.oo rate (sans magazine)

ii.      If “no” spouses will be able to join at the rate equivalent to their husbands rank or DA civilian position

c.       FIRST 100 spouses to receive FREE Ann Hand AUSA membership pin (see photo)

5.   The AUSA Family Programs Directorate represented the association in the following meetings since the last Update (Links to the events have been included:

a.      OSD-Military Family Research Institute Launch of “How to Help Military & Veteran Families” materials: (FREE for download: https://www.mfri.purdue.edu/publications/how-to-help.aspx )

b.      “Celebration of Our Military Kids’ Star Power” http://www.ourmilitarykids.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Star-Power-Press-Release-2013.pdf

c.       Military Family Readiness Council (NMFA is a sitting council member- their report here: http://www.militaryfamily.org/feature-articles/military-family-readiness.html )

d.      Presented at AWAG in Germany: http://www.awagonline.org/Seminar-Speakers.html

e.      Blue Star Families Lifestyle Survey launch

f.       Exhibited at TAPS National Military Survivor Seminarhttp://www.taps.org/

g.      United through Reading Senior Spouse Roundtable: http://www.unitedthroughreading.org/

h.     Military Families Research Institute Symposium: https://www.mfri.purdue.edu/newsroom/view-news.aspx?newsitemid=95

i.      National Child Traumatic Stress Network Advisory Council Meeting (I represent not only AUSA but I am the military family rep) http://www.nctsn.org/