Reserve Officers Association Declares New Advocacy Positions
WASHINGTON – The members of the Reserve Officers Association reviewed its legislative and policy agenda, renewing positions not yet completed and establishing new positions to further its mission to support and establish an adequate national security policy for America.
Many of the 2010 resolutions focused on serving Guard and Reserve members as resetting and reconstitution of Reserve Component units remains a high ROA priority. Delegates also supported improving the continuity of TRICARE coverage.
Although supported in the past, a new emphasis was placed on the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Allowance (NGREA). Discretionary dollars provided directly to Reserve Chiefs permit the services reserve components to purchase badly needed equipment. ROA stressed a need to make NGREA proportional to the missions being accomplished. ROA also approved an increase in appropriations to military construction to renovation or replace inadequate Reserve Component facilities.
Two of ROA's primary advocacy and education priorities regard the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The association adopted new official resolutions declaring needed improvements to these acts and highlighted the necessity of an enforcement mechanism for USERRA.
“We need to enhance remedies and enforcement procedures, especially with regard to the federal government as the civilian employer,” said retired Rear Admiral Paul T. Kayye, ROA President. “Our Servicemembers Law Center will continue to aggressively work on improvements to USERRA and SCRA.”
A related issue regards students who are activated in the Reserve and subsequently penalized academically for their absence. ROA feels this is a foul that needs to be corrected and enforced just like USERRA does for employment.
The association approved a number of new resolutions regarding aircraft funding, including the need to properly fund precision engagement equipment and mobility aircraft defensive countermeasure systems for the reserve components; and the necessity to create basing plans for the F-35 for the Air National Guard concurrently with the regular Air Force. The Naval Services got continued support on further procurement of C-40 multi-mission airlift aircraft as well.
Other national security resolutions that were passed included allowing recruiters access to high schools, non-ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty, protecting the United States defense industrial base, and divestment from Iran to stop nuclear weapons. ROA also updated a resolution to keep the F-22 Raptor fighter line open by authorizing foreign military sales.
A new resolution was passed supporting full funding for Full Time Staff (FTS) personnel in the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard. Such personnel administer and train Reservists, and ready equipment for mobilization. Yet with the increased operational tempo and under-manning, the force is handicapped; degrading the ability to transition from a strategic to an operational reserve. Support for Reservists qualifying for the US Public Health Service Medal was renewed.
The convention delegates considered a total of 48 legislative positions in the form of a resolution during their national convention held here Feb 7-10.
The 2010 and past year's resolutions can be found at www.roa.org/resolutions.
The Reserve Officers Association is the 63,000-member professional association for all uniformed services of the United States. Chartered by Congress and in existence since 1922, ROA advises and educates the Congress, the President, and the American people on national security, with unique expertise on issues that affect the 1.5 million men and women now serving in America's Reserve Components.