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.

2019 Soldier Pay Increases Set

[From AUSA National: Wednesday, December 26, 2018]

A 2.6 percent across-the-board pay raise in basic pay and drill pay is set to appear in mid-January payroll deposits for Regular Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve soldiers, along with an average 2.55 percent increase in basic allowance for housing for those who receive this payment.

There is no increase in 2019 in basic allowance for subsistence payments.

The basic pay hike is the biggest increase in nine years. It matches last year’s average private-sector pay increase.

Military retirement, Social Security and veterans’ disability and survivor benefits increased 2.8 percent, effective Dec. 1. Those increases, based on the increase in consumer prices, will first be paid in January.

Negotiations over the 2019 federal civilian pay raise have not been resolved.

World War I Centennial Celebration

The featured first exhibit of the Delaware Military Museum will honor the centennial of the First World War. Delaware played an outsize role before the United States had even entered the war, with Powder mills, shipyards and armament manufacture.

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[Editor’s Note: As we remember the 100th anniversary of the “War to End All Wars,” we should all be mindful of the contributions of first state Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen. There is an excellent online exhibit on Delaware’s contribution to World War I called “Drawing America To Victory: The Persuasive Power of the Arts” | An online exhibit by the Delaware Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs.]

[News Release from the Delaware Military Museum]

WILMINGTON DE. – April 1, 2017: The featured first exhibit of the Delaware Military Museum will honor the centennial of the First World War. Delaware played an outsize role before the United States had even entered the war, with Powder mills, shipyards and armament manufacture.

On display in the museum visitors will re-live the era on the home front and overseas with uniforms, maps, images, and artifacts of the “Great War”. Reproductions of images in the collection of the Delaware National Guard by Delaware artists such as Gayle Hoskins and Frank Schoonover of the Brandywine School will be on view.

The collection highlights the experience of Lieutenant S.B.I. Duncan, a Delaware National Guardsman from New Castle with the 59th Infantry Pioneers who served in France. His photos, uniform, helmet, and documentation will be on view to tell his unique story.

Kennard Wiggins author of Delaware in World War I, will give a talk on his book at 2 PM.

Delaware’s first museum dedicated to its military will open Saturday April 15, at 10 AM. The museum includes Delaware’s most extensive military library and archive.

The new museum is co-located with the Delaware National Guard Wilmington Readiness Center and the Mid County Senior Center on First Regiment Road, just off McKennan’s Church Road. It will be open on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 10 AM to 4 PM.

The Delaware Military Heritage and Education Foundation, Inc.
First Regiment Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19808-2191
302-332-2485 https://demilitaryheritage.wordpress.com/

About us: The Delaware Military Heritage and Education Foundation has preserved and restored military artwork throughout the State of Delaware. The Foundation has compiled an extensive collection of military artifacts and archival materials. The DMHEF library and archives are a rich source for Delaware history educators and researchers.

Contact: Kennard Wiggins, Curator. kennard.wiggins@gmail.com, 443-553-6314

Force is about to get bigger

16th20sustainment20brigade20in20a20convoy20during20exercise20vanguard20proof-20army20photo[From AUSA National]  March 22, 2017

By the end of September, the Army’s end strength will receive a boost of 28,000 soldiers above the original troop levels authorized for the current fiscal year.

The increase was authorized as part of the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and leaders say it is expected to markedly improve readiness. Leaders were informed of the increase in December.

“The No. 1 problem we have right now is that formations are manned at 95 percent,” Lt. Gen. Joe Anderson, deputy chief of staff for operations, told the House Armed Services Committee. Compounding that problem, he explained, are other variables in soldiers’ availability such as those who are nondeployable, retired, on permanent change of station or attending school, which bring formation levels down as low as 78 percent.

Across the force, the Regular Army will grow by 16,000 soldiers to an end strength of 476,000; National Guard levels will jump by 8,000 to 343,000 soldiers; and the Army Reserve will end the fiscal year with 199,000 soldiers, a bump of 4,000 troops.

To achieve the higher end strength by Sept. 30, the Army will raise its accession mission to 68,500 and boost training resources. Enlisted retention is set to increase with incentives, and officer accessions and retention is expected to increase officer strength by 1,000.

Soldiers will go to undermanned tactical units and fill other gaps following recommendations of ongoing Army analysis.

Delaware National Guard Golf Tournament

Save the date! September 16th is the Delaware National Guard Golf Tournament. This event will be held at the Deerfield Golf Club and has a shotgun start at 9:00 AM. The event is open to all current and retired Delaware Army and Air National Guard members, their families or friends of the Delaware National Guard. For more details check out the attached flyer.

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