NGAUS Call to Action; 18 November 2016

NGAUS strongly supports S. 3476 and H.R. 6377, the National Guard Bonus Repayment & Financial Relief Act, introduced on November 17th in the Senate by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and in the House of Representatives by Representative Adam Schiff of California’s 28th Congressional District.  Contact your Senators and Members of Congress:  Ask them to support and co-sponsor the National Guard Bonus & Repayment Financial Relief Act.

This legislation contains provisions that will waive efforts of the Department of Defense (DoD) to reclaim bonuses that were improperly awarded to members of the Army National Guard from 2004-2010.  Upon reviewing all bonuses that were awarded within that time period, the bill will require the Secretary of the Army to:

  • Waive repayment of bonuses for affected service members who completed their service requirements and acted in good faith.
  • Reimburse service members who repaid bonuses and/or interest to the Department of Defense.
  • In cases where service members fell into financial hardship due to the repayment of bonuses, the Department of Defense will offer some financial assistance to those members.
  • Submit a report to Congress detailing the number of bonuses, incentive pays, or similar benefits identified through the review as being provided erroneously; the number of members of the Army National Guard against whom the Department of Defense proceeded with recoupment for erroneous provision, set forth by basis for recoupment and amount recouped; and the number of members of the Army National Guard for whom the Department waived recoupment for erroneous provision, set forth by basis of waiver, amount waived, and amount repaid to members whose waiver occurred after recoupment by the Department.

Original co-sponsors of the Senate bill include Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

Original co-sponsors of the House bill include Representatives Ami Bera (D-Calif.), Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Mike Honda (D-Calif.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Ed Royce (D-Calif.), Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), Norma Torres (D-Calif.), Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), John Delaney (D-Md.), Don Young (R-Alaska), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Gwen Graham (D-Fla.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.).

Take action now and please forward this message to your family, friends, and co-workers to ask them to take action, too.  Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,
Gus Hargett
Major General (Ret.)
President, NGAUS
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NGAUS Call to Action; 21 October 2016

NGAUS strongly supports S. 3445, the USERRA Improvement Act, introduced by Senator Blumenthal of Connecticut on September 28th.  This bill contains provisions that will enhance the enforcement of employment and reemployment rights of uniformed service members.  Contact your Senators:  Ask them to support and co-sponsor the USERRA Improvement Act.

TAKE ACTION

In particular, the USERRA Improvement Act builds on current law and offers more protections for uniformed service members whose service to our country may affect their civilian employment by:

  • Expanding the right of service members to bring legal action against a State or private employer.
  • Clearly indicating that employers are responsible for identifying proper reemployment positions.
  • Expanding the authority of the Attorney General to independently investigate and file lawsuits for violations of USERRA.
  • Allowing the United States to serve as a plaintiff in all lawsuits filed by the Attorney General.

The bill also contains language that would allow the Attorney General to issue civil investigative demands in USERRA investigations.  Use of that authority will compel those being investigated to produce any documentary material relevant to that investigation before a civil action is undertaken in State or Federal court.

Take action now and please forward this message to your family, friends, and co-workers to ask them to take action, too.  Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Gus Hargett
Major General (Ret.)
President, NGAUS

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Grace Washbourne
202-408-5893
grace.washbourne@ngaus.org

Take Action: Click here

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NGAUS Call to Action; 27 July 2016

NGAUS strongly supports S.2921, The Veterans First Act, passed by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on May 16th.  This bill contains many provisions that will enhance the quality of service and care of our nations veterans. Contact your senators:  Ask them to support bringing the Veterans First Act for a vote on the Senate floor before the 114th Congress ends.

In particular, the Veterans First Act contains a provision that would authorize veteran status under Title 38 for National Guard and Reserve members of the Armed Forces who are entitled to a non-regular retirement under Chapter 1223 of 10 USC, but were never called to Title 10 active service other than for training purposes during their careers.

The bill also contains language that would provide Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to members of the Guard and Reserve who deploy under Title 10 12304(b).  Expanded use of pre-planned 12304(b) activations this year and in the future requires changes in law that provide equal benefits for the National Guard and Reserve who serve under these Title 10 tours. The Department of Defense supports adding this benefit.

Your support for this bill this year will affect thousands of members of the National Guard both serving and retired. Thank you for your support of the Armed Services and our National Guard.

Sincerely,
Gus Hargett
Major General, USA (Ret.)
President, NGAUS

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Grace Washbourne
202-408-5893
grace.washbourne@ngaus.org

Take Action: Click here

NGAI Update; 21 June 2016

NGAI Members and Friends,With the month of May and the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 behind us, we shift to our lineup of summer activities. Check the www.NGAI.net/events page for all the summer events.We start off this coming weekend with the 17th Annual NGAI Car Show & Anything on Wheels. For a preview of the Car Show, tune in to WISH-TV8 at 0900 tomorrow, Wednesday, for IndyStyle.CLICK HERE for complete information and online registration for the 17th Annual NGAI Car Show this saturday, June 25, from 9am to 3pm. 2016 NGAI Car Show poster with registration.The weather looks promising, so consider getting your wheels out and entering the show this year. Even if you don’t want to enter a car or bike, plan to come down just for the festivities. Enjoy some beautiful vintage or late model cars and bikes along with food, music and prizes. Sam’s Upper Crust food truck will be on site again this year along with DJ Michael Fritchie providing the music.  Pre-registration is open through Thursday, June 23, and the first 100 pre-registered receive a free 17th Annual Car Show shirt.Hoosier Veteran law takes effect July 1! Governor Michael R. Pence signed a Proclamation declaring July 1-8, 2016 as Hoosier Veterans Week. 2016 Hoosier Veteran Proclamation

State Representative Peggy Mayfield and State Senator Jim Banks worked hard to help change Indiana Code for recognition of our Guard and Reserve members that serve their state and country, but don’t meet the federal definition of veteran. Beginning July 1, anyone completing their specialty training and serving honorably will be honored as Hoosier Veteran and enjoy any state benefit formerly enjoyed only by federally defined veterans. The benefit does not apply for any program requiring a VA disability rating or other specific federally defined service.
EANGUS New Orleans August 21-24

For complete information about the EANGUS conference, CLICK HERE.

6th Annual Bike Ride/Cruise the Circle August 27

Download the flyer (PDF) here and watch the NGAI website for more information and online registration.
NGAUS Baltimore September 9-12

Get Information about the 2016 NGAUS Conference – September 9-12, 2016, Baltimore, MD. CLICK HERE.

Registration for INDIANA members is now open online. CLICK TO REGISTER.

Membership

For those units still working their membership for 2016, please, if at all possible, have your final rosters turned in to the NGAI office this week. Thanks for your continued support and I hope to see you at one of this summer’s events.

Mike Sturm

Executive Director
National Guard Association of Indiana

NGAUS Call to Action; 1 June 2016

NGAUS supports the National Guard and Reserve Entrepreneurship Support Act to improve access to Small Business Administration (SBA) benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserves.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., would extend loan-assistance programs beyond periods of military conflict. The legislation also directs the SBA to identify programs pertaining to the Guard and Reserves and conduct more effective outreach, particularly around times of deployment.

Write your senators to help small business owners in uniform and their families. Let’s keep that invaluable entrepreneurial spirit alive and well in our ranks!

Sincerely,
MG (Ret) Gus Hargett
NGAUS President

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Grace Washbourne
202-408-5893
grace.washbourne@ngaus.org

Take Action: Click here

NGAUS Legislative Alert; 11 April 2016

Call to Action

Contact your representatives and senators. Ask them to support the Army’s unfunded requirement request to authorize and appropriate 36 additional UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the Total Army. This includes 15 for the Army National Guard in the fiscal year 2017 defense bills.

Take Action

The Black Hawk’s mission flexibility makes it the Army Guard’s primary rotary-wing asset to respond to state emergencies and support overseas contingency operations.

The Army Guard operates 849 of the service’s 2,135 Black Hawks. Nearly 300 Army Guard Black Hawks are old UH-60A models. Many are more than 25-years old and are nearing the end of their useful lives. The UH-60A is also significantly more expensive to operate than the UH-60L and UH-60M models.

The Army is modernizing the Black Hawk fleet by fielding new UH/HH-60M helicopters and by recapitalizing UH-60A models to the UH-60L model. An initiative is also underway to develop a digital cockpit for the UH-60L and re-designate the aircraft as the UH-60V.

Budget Control Act cuts have already reduced UH-60M Black Hawk production rates by more than 55 percent, from more than 85 aircraft per year to fewer than 40. These reductions will further delay modernization of the Army Guard’s Black Hawk fleet. The Army Guard will not retire its last UH-60A until 2025, while the regular Army will retire its last UH-60A in 2020.

The Army National Guard must remain mission relevant, ready to deploy, and ready to respond to emergencies at home. The fielding of new UH-60Ms to Army Guard units needs to accelerate to close the gap. Thank you for your support.

Take action now, and then forward this message to your family, friends and co-workers to ask them to take action too.

EANGUS Call to Action 2016-03; 5 April 2016

Please help EANGUS support the Veterans Justice Outreach Act of 2015. S. 2120 would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to carry out a program to support veterans in contact with the criminal justice system by discouraging unnecessary criminalization of mental illness and other nonviolent crimes. The program would be carried out in partnership with local law enforcement, judicial, and community-based treatment and legal assistance organizations. If signed into law, the VA would establish coordinators to provide program outreach.

S. 2120 has eleven cosponsors. Please contact your Senator and request that they support this important legislation.
Take Action: Click here

NGAI Alert#16-2; Hoosier Veteran; 23 January 2016

NGAI Members & Friends,

We are one step closer to recognition of thousands of current and former Indiana National Guard members and retirees as “Hoosier Veterans.” Representative Peggy Mayfield’s efforts have been most admirable in shepherding HB 1313 through the legislative minefield of the Indiana General Assembly.

Representative Randy Frye threw his full support behind the bill as Chairman of the House Public Safety and Veteran Affairs Committee and HB 1313 cleared the full House on 1 February by a 94-0 vote.

This morning, Senator Jim Banks, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and The Military, held the first reading of HB 1313. Representative Mayfield introduced her bill, then Senator Banks called for testimony. NGAI led the effort with representation by the Executive Director, Third House Advocacy and NGAI Retired Directors BG (Ret) Marge Washburn and Brig Gen (Ret) Jim Wilson to testify. The Senators on the Committee were amazed by the combined service history of the generals, yet lack of veteran recognition.

Other Veteran Service Organizations also testified on behalf of Hoosier Veterans to include The Military Veterans Coalition of Indiana, MOAA, AMVETS, DAV and the American Legion.

Senator Banks then called the Roll Call, with a 9-0 vote.

CALL TO ACTION
While the progress is positive, the battle is never over until the ink dries and Governor Pence signs the legislation. Please call or email your State Senators and thank them for their support for our military and veterans! Then ask them to specifically vote yes on HB 1313, Hoosier Veteran!

The second reading will be Thursday 25 February, with the third reading and final vote on Monday, 29 February.

If you do not have your senator’s contact information, use the link “Find your legislators” from www.NGAI.net/legislative-issues/ or http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/ .

Thank you for your continued support!

Mike Sturm
Executive Director
National Guard Association of Indiana

NGAUS Legislative Alert #16-3; 22 February 2016

February 22, 2016

The Issue: Extended TRICARE Program Coverage for Certain Members of the National Guard and Dependents during Certain Disaster Response Duty.

Immediate Action Required: Contact your representatives immediately and ask them to support H.R. 4554, a bill sponsored by Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Washington.

NGAUS strongly supports H.R. 4554, a bill that would provide states the authority to extend health care coverage for National Guard members and their families when the member is temporarily ordered into State Active Duty to assist with a natural disaster or emergency, in specific instances.

Since 2010, hundreds of National Guard members have begun serving on full-time federal duty status as part of the Department of Defense’s Homeland Response Force (HRF). These units provide our nation with rapid response capabilities in the event of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive incidents. Given their full-time federal status, these members and their families are eligible for federal health benefits.

HRF units are also used to respond to state and local emergencies at state expense and under control of the governor. However, for these Guard members to assist in a state emergency, they must be taken off full-time Federal duty status and placed temporarily into State active duty status, causing a break in TRICARE benefits for them and their families. While states reimburse the Department of Defense for resources used to activate HRF units for state emergencies, current law prevents them from paying to extend health coverage for these Guard members during these short periods of time.

In state emergencies, this means governors and military commanders are forced to choose between not using well-trained HRF personnel or disrupting health care coverage for these Guard members and their families.

This bill provides states the authority to extend health care coverage to members of the National Guard during state active duty status emergencies and requires them to reimburse DoD for health coverage for the period they are off federal duty.

Please contact your representatives and urge them to support this bill.

TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTION:

By using the Write to Congress feature on the NGAUS website at www.ngaus.org, you can IMMEDIATELY email your elected representatives. A sample letter is included in Write to Congress. You can email the prewritten message or edit the sample letter as you desire. This is the quickest and most effective method of expressing your views to Congress. Also, contact your friends and family members and urge them to use Write to Congress as well. For further information and background visit our website at www.ngaus.org. Please direct any questions concerning this issue to Grace Washbourne, NGAUS legislative program manager for joint programs, at 202-408-5893 or via email at grace.washbourne@ngaus.org.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
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