Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Senate Reserve Caucus Breakfast Held at ROA

CAPT Marshall Hanson
Legislative Director

The annual Senate Reserve Caucus Breakfast was held at the Minuteman Memorial building last Thursday with about 90 attendees from Senate offices, industry, the Pentagon, and the National Guard Bureau. This breakfast provides an opportunity for Reserve Chiefs and National Guard Directors to talk about their top three issues in an informal gathering. Lieutenant Generals Charles Stenner, Chief of the Air Force Reserve, Jack Stultz, Chief of the Army Reserve, and Harry Wyatt, Director of the Air National Guard attended. They were joined by General Craig McKinley, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Vice Admiral Dirk Debbink, Chief of the Navy Reserve, Major General Raymond Carpenter, Acting Director of the Army National Guard, Rear Admiral Daniel May, Coast Guard, Director of Reserve and Leadership, and Colonel Steve McNulty, representing the Commander of the Marine Forces Reserve. Such topics as equipment requirements, military construction, the continuum of service, the effects of deployment and support for the serving members were highlighted.

View photos of this event

Senators and co-chairs Saxby Chambliss (R, Ga.) and Mark Pryor (D, Ark.) spoke about the budget, equipment, challenges, and their commitment to the Reserve Components. As keynote speaker, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs Dennis McCarthy spoke about the Total Force, resulting changes in the roles of the Reserve Component, and what was needed to continue it as a rotational force even after Iraq and Afghanistan wind down.

The breakfast was opened by Senate Chaplain Barry Black, a retired Navy Rear Admiral. It should be noted the RADM May was joined by his relief RDML Sandra Stosz at the breakfast; the turnover of command occurred on April 28. Hosted by the Senate Reserve Caucus, it was cosponsored by ROA, the Reserve Enlisted Association, the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States, the Navy Enlisted Reserve Association, the Association of the US Army, and the Association of the U.S. Navy.


MikevF said...

What is ROA doing to work with the Reserve Caucus on the issue of Reserve Component retirement pay parity? This issue needs to be pursued vigorously, if continuum of service and retention of mid-grade Reserve Component Soldiers is to be taken seriously.

ReserveOfficer said...

Mike, to answer your question -- The explanation given is always the budget and the lack of mandatory funds that are mandated under permanent law. A dollar offset is required. Both the House and Senate strive to stay within the budget set by the budget committees. Weapon systems are purchased with discretionary money. Discretionary offsets discretionary, mandatory offsets mandatory. Slashing other mandatory spending to achieve retirement pay parity is not out of the question, but very difficult to justify right now given current retention rates.

Anonymous said...

But ROA continues to have improvement to Reserve retirement as a top priority. We are working to back date the current law to 9/11/2001, and eliminate the fiscal year barrier so that any 90 day period of duty no matter what the starting point will get credited. - Marshall Hanson, ROA Leg Director