ROA submitted testimony for the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Army investigation of the Arlington National Cemetery (ANC).
Read the Statement for the Record
In the testimony, ROA expressed its appreciation for the office of the Secretary of the Army for undertaking proactive steps to correct the evident problems as well as Congressional oversight. ROA suggested that the Army needs to work closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to learn about record keeping and location identification, and expand its burial criteria to align with the VA’s.
Additionally, ROA highlighted differential treatment of the Reserve Components, that, “Given that over than 750,000 National Guard and Reserve service members have answered their nation's call to serve on active duty for both homeland defense and operational contingency operations overseas, it is ironic that by returning to Selective Reserve status, they are no longer eligible for burial at ANC unless they have been decorated with a purple heart, or a medal of valor or a Silver Star or higher.” Nor is qualifying for 20 years of active service enough. Only RC members retired in pay may be eligible for ANC burial.
ROA continues to support the codification of all the rules governing access to ANC and strongly recommends that the Committee takes up the issue of the overall codification of the rules governing ANC burial as soon as possible.