EANGUS Legislative Call to Action 2018-1: Guard & Reserve Benefit Parity Act of 2018
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Recently, Senators Roger Wicker and Chris Coons introduced S. 2416 and Representatives Steven Palazzo and Tim Walz introduced H.R. 5038, the Guard and Reserve Benefit Parity Act of 2018.
The legislation is a follow-up to last year’s Parity Act. Fortunately, pieces of that legislation were incorporated into other legislative vehicles during the first session of Congress. Specifically, the pre- and post-mobilization healthcare coverage for those serving on 12304b orders and the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits (retroactive) were signed into law in the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act and Colmery Forever GI Bill respectively.
12304b mobilization authority was established in the 2012 NDAA to allow DOD to deploy reserve forces for preplanned missions in support of combatant commanders. However, 12304b created a benefit disparity among the components. Reserve forces are compelled to leave behind family, friends, careers, and education pursuits to provide: life-saving humanitarian aid across the globe, security forces and logistical support in Sinai, Kosovo, Eastern Europe, and around the world. Unlike the active component, reserve forces are not provided: pre- and post-mobilization TRICARE; Post-9/11 Montgomery GI Bill Benefits; reduction in retirement age; credit for time spent deployed. Last year, EANGUS, NGAUS, and ROA were victorious in solving the pre- and post-mobilization TRICARE; Post-9/11 Montgomery GI Bill Benefits inequities.
If passed by Congress and signed by the President, Guard and Reserve Benefit Parity Act would provide: Eligibility of RC members for non-reduction in pay; consideration of service on active duty to reduce age for eligibility for retired pay for non-regular service; and eligibility of RC members for high-deployment allowance for lengthy or numerous deployments and frequent mobilizations.
The EANGUS National Office requests that members please take a few minutes out of your day to message your delegation in Washington, D.C. to become a co-sponsor of S. 2416 and H.R. 5038, and support the bill should it come to the floor.