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NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR UNIFORMED SERVICES (NAUS) -- Service members voice in government -- Non-profit – non-partisan -- All seven uniformed services.

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Presentation on theme: "NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR UNIFORMED SERVICES (NAUS) -- Service members voice in government -- Non-profit – non-partisan -- All seven uniformed services."— Presentation transcript:



3 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR UNIFORMED SERVICES (NAUS) -- Service members voice in government -- Non-profit – non-partisan -- All seven uniformed services -- All ranks and grades -- All conditions of service ROLE OF NAUS

4 NAUS MISSION Promote a strong national defense and protect the benefits earned through service and sacrifice in the uniformed services

5 Protecting Your Benefits The Service Member’s Voice in Government


7 -- Debt and Deficit - Budget Cuts -$487 billion -$200 billion - Sequestration

8 as a Share of Federal Allocations by Year 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 1962 1972 1982 1992 2002 2012 2022

9 DEFENSE SPENDING AS A PERCENTAGE OF GDP Vietnam WarReagan Build upWars in Iraq & Afghanistan

10 MILITARY PERSONNEL COSTS AREN’T EXPLODING About one-third of the defense budget goes to military personnel and health care costs – the same share it has been for more than 30 years. That’s no more unaffordable now than in the past. 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 33% 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 Health Care Personnel



13 “Well, the war is over. We don’t need them anymore. We don’t need to honor the promises we made when we recruited them, so to heck with the troops.” ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS

14 FY 2015 NDAA shifts $9B in cost on to military personnel, families and retirees -- Caps AD pay raise at 1% -- Cuts Basic Allowance for Housing -- Reduces commissary savings -- Proposes TRICARE consolidation ROCKS IN THE RUCKSACK



17 PAY RAISE -- Cap Active Duty Pay Raise at 1.0% - Caps currently serving pay raise at 1%; below ECI for second year with caps through FY 2019 (six years) - Cites “rising personnel cost” over past 12 years - Ignores reality of closing 13% pay gap seen in 1999 and fixing retention problems - Pay growth has already slowed; should not repeat bad lessons of the 90s and 70s ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS


19 BAH CUT -- Cut Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) - Increase out-of-pocket expenses of the currently serving by some 5% - Reverses action taken in last 143 years to eliminate out-of-pocket costs - In 1999, out-of-pocket costs averaged 19% - DoD/Congress took action to address glaring inequities and stem retention problems ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS

20 COMMISSARY CUT -- Cut Commissary Subsidy - Reduce Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) budget from $1.4B to $400M - Represents a loss of savings of approximately 66% -- Checkout savings would drop from roughly 30% to 10% -- Biggest hit on lower grade personnel and retirees ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS

21 FOOD STAMP USE AMONG MILITARY RISES AGAIN ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS Military dollars spent on food stamps $26.2M $24.8M $31.1M $52.9M $72.8M $87.8M $98.8M $103.6M

22 TRICARE CONSOLIDATION -- TRICARE – 3 into 1 plan - Eliminates existing TRICARE options for those under age 65; replaced by single plan - Re-labels Prime “enrollment” as “participation” fee but drops guaranteed access - Increases deductibles and co-pays & Rx co-pays* - Requires maintenance meds to be filled by MTF or mail order - Establishes fees for working age retirees to use MTFs - Establishes enrollment fees (means-testing) for retirees age 65 and older in TRICARE-for-Life program (grandfathers those currently over 65) * *Congress rejected last year ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS

23 CRITICS IGNORE RECENT BENEFIT/FEE CHANGES -- 13% TRICARE Prime Fee Hike (2011) -- Annual Prime Fee Hikes (2012+) -- $8-$23 Rx Copay Hikes (2012-13) -- Annual Rx Copay Hikes (2014+) -- Mandatory Mail-order Rx Refills ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS


25 POSITIVE WAYS TO CONTROL HEALTH COSTS -- Consolidate fragmented DoD system -- Better manage chronic conditions -- Maximize use of military medical facilities -- Improve promotion of mail-order Rx -- Improve contracting/procurement ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS


27 EDUCATION BENEFITS -- Tuition Assistance – one of the most prized and important of benefits. -- Discontinued with Sequestration -- Reinstated a significantly altered program when NAUS and others complained ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS “We train for certainty. We educate for uncertainty.”

28 HAZARDOUS DUTY PAY -- Eliminated in 8 countries and 5 waterways ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS

29 MILITARY RETIREMENT -- Assertion - System unaffordable - System unfair to those who serve less than 20 years -- Jo Ann Rooney, Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness: “While the Department acknowledges the military retirement system appears expensive, it is neither unaffordable nor spiraling out of control, as some would contend.” -- Thrift savings plan ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS

30 MILITARY RETIREE COLA Bipartisan Budget Agreement - Reduce Retire COLA by 1% until age 62 - $6.3 Billion over 10 years - DEFEATED!!!- ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS

31 VETERANS EMPLOYMENT -- Vow to Hire Heroes Act – 2011 -- $5,600 tax credit for hiring veterans -- $9,600 tax credit for hiring disabled veterans -- Congress allowed them to expire 31 December 2013 ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS

32 ELIGIBILITY FOR CIVILIAN PENSIONS -- Eliminate employee pension for military retirees who go back to work for the government. -- 134,000 people -- Double-dippers ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS

33 MILITARY FUNERALS -- Colorado Journalist -- Provide only to service members and veterans who are legitimate “Heroes” -- “Heroes” undefined -- Absurd but not new (mid-90s) ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS

34 SEQUESTRATION -- Sequestration was thought to be so egregious it wouldn’t happen -- Debt reduction is a national priority, but should not be on backs of troops and families -- Additional cuts will continue to threaten pay, benefits, and end strength – further lowering end strength places national security at risk ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS

35 ELIMINATE SEQUESTRATION -- The Budget Control Act of 2011 levied a $500B bill on Pentagon on top of already agreed $487B reduction (over 10 years) -- Under Bipartisan Budget Act, DoD received some sequestration relief for FY14 and FY15 -- But, sequestration returns for FY16 - FY22 approximately $50 billion per year -- If remains in place, will require further, dramatic cuts ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS



38 -- Reversed retiree COLA cuts -- Stopped major TRICARE fee -- Won passage of new 21 st Century GI Bill -- Lowered retirement age and expanded education benefits for National Guard & Reserve Personnel -- Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission -- Restored tuition assistance funding after 2013 sequestration cuts -- Doc Fix SUCCESSES

39 -- DIC offset -- Voting rights -- Stolen Valor Legislation -- Distinguished Warfare Medal (now Device) -- Cemetery -- Ensured that qualified disabled retirees receive both full military retirement pay and VA disability compensation -- TRICARE For Life/TRICARE Senior Pharmacy -- Concurrent Receipt – combat related spec. comp. -- Repealed age-62 “Military Widow’s Tax” SUCCESSES

40 -- Defeated Major TRICARE Fee Hikes -- 50.6% Cum. Pay Raise (vs. 37.6% Private Sector) -- Post-9/11 GI Bill + Transferability -- End Strength Increases -- TRICARE Reserve Select -- TRICARE Retired Reserve (Gray Area TRICARE) -- G/R Early Ret. Credit for Call-ups post-28 Jan 2008 -- Disability Evaluation System Improvements -- Death Benefit Upgrades (SBP, SGLI, et al) SUCCESSES

41 -- Not social entitlements -- Promised – moral contract – court case -- Before all-volunteer force – deferred compensation -- All volunteer force – price of doing business EARNED BENEFITS

42 -- HASC Personnel Subcommittee – Win -- HASC Clear Mark – Win -- HASC – Win -- House of Representatives – Win -- SASC – Partial Win (BAH & Active Duty Pay) -- Senate -- Conference Committee -- Congress -- President NDAA 2015

43 THEY’RE BACK! Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said on October 14, 2014 that the Pentagon will continue pressing to trim military pay, pension and housing allowances despite rejection by Congress ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS

44 THE FUTURE -- If political & military officials want to change the promised package of benefits for future enlistees, let’s have the discussion. -- Let’s talk about the probable impact on recruiting, retention and quality of the force. -- Let’s not penalize and break faith with those who have and are serving. ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS

45 “You can’t renegotiate the front end once the back end is done. This is an obligation that has been made to people whose military careers are now done.” “I’ve said many times that I believe that whether there is a specific contracted obligation or not, when someone has served a full career, we have a moral obligation to provide them with lifetime medical care.” U.S. Senator James Webb (D-VA) Senator James Webb (D-VA)

46 “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” JOHN F. KENNEDY

47 “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.” GEORGE WASHINGTON


49 DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS SCANDAL –Appointment delays – gaming the system -Avoidable deaths -Resignations Dr. Robert Petzel – VA’s top health official VA General Counsel Will Gunn Acting Under Secretary for Health, Robert Jesse -New Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert A. McDonald -New authority -More money

50 Promote A Strong National Defense The Service Member’s Voice in Government

51 Decline of U.S. Military Power

52 -- Danger of “Hollow Force” - Smallest Army since 1941 - Smallest Navy since 1916 - Smallest Air Force with the oldest aircraft inventory in history - Marine Corps incapable of carrying out assigned tasks

53 AIR FORCE - Eliminate A-10s & U2s - Reduce F-16, F-15 & Drones - Eliminate RC-10 - Slow purchase of F-35

54 ARMY - 76 Brigades in 1990; 45 Brigades today; going to 32 - 2 Active Brigades in Europe

55 NAVY - Carrier and its Wing - No new negotiations for Littoral Combat Ships beyond - ½ of cruisers (11 ships) 32 laid up

56 MARINE CORPS - 1 Regimental Headquarters - 8 Battalions (6 Infantry and 2 Artillery) - 27 Companies and Batteries - 3 Aviation Group Headquarters - 13 Squadrons Nearly a Divisions Worth of Ground Combat Power

57 Before Decimating National Defense, We Must Ask the Following Critical Questions: 1.What are the threats we face? 2.What resources do Combatant Commanders need to protect against those threats? 3.What do those resources cost and how can we obtain them efficiently? 4.What can we afford and what are the risks to our nation if we do not supply those resources?

58 “Someone has to say. “Listen, America; You can no longer police the world, nor should you police the world.” Representative Walter Jones (R-NC)

59 -- SYRIA – all chemical weapons may not have been destroyed Continuing Civil War – 170,000 deaths -- IRAQ – ISIS offensive “Islamic threat beyond everything we’ve seen!” – Secretary of Defense Hagel -- IRAN – Continues to procure nuclear weapons Supporter of International Terrorism -- LIBYA – Government lost control of most ministries and state institutions U.S. Embassy withdrawn -- GAZA – Israel and Palestinian war

60 -- JORDAN – Surrounded -- EGYPT – Islamic Brotherhood -- AFGHANISTAN & PAKISTAN – U.S. withdrawal -- NIGERIA – Boko Haram declares Islamic Caliphate Kidnapped female students -- SOMOLIA – Home base of Al-Shabaah Piracy -- YEMEN – Islamists & Shiite rebels control Capitol -- KENYA – Attacks by Al-Shabaah -- UGANDA – Al-Shabaah plot to attack Americans

61 -- WEST AFRICA – Ebola epidemic -- SOUTH SUDAN - Imploding -- CRIMEIA – Annexed by Russia -- UKRAINE – Shoot down MH-17 by Rebels Russian opens war front -- RUSSIA – Expansionism Military modernization -- SWEDEN – Submarine intrusions

62 -- CHINA – Territorial disputes and bullying over oil and other resources ( India, Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei) Short sharp wars to assert China’s sovereignty Strike first “Kill a chicken to scare the monkeys.” Denounce U.S. strategic shift Double digit budget increase for two decades 2020 overtake U.S. Fleet -- NORTH KOREA – Nuclear program – weapons Missile launches Exporting military technology and equipment -- JAPAN – Ending ban on military fighting abroad

63 -- BALKANS – A forgotten front in the war on terrorism Bosnia – Islamic fighters in 1992-95 civil war stayed – Training camps – prepare cadets for attacks in their countries (Spain – Turkey) Kosovo – Al-Qaeda firmly established – Training of Syrian fighter – 300 -- ALBANIA – Small population of fundamentalist Wahhabi Militants Pursue Islamic supremacist agenda


65 –Conduct independent and non-partisan review of QDR Former Secretary of Defense William Perry General John Abizaid, USA (Ret) –Current strategy for sizing the armed services is too weak for today’s global threats –Need a broader strategy that requires military to fight on multiple fronts simultaneously –Downsizing U.S. Military to fit budgets is a “Serious Strategic Misstep on the Part of the United States”

66 –No world order without the power to preserve it –If America can’t or won’t – world’s people will look elsewhere –“A nagging doubt is eating away at world order – and the superpower is largely ignoring it.” – The Economist, May 3 rd, 2014 –National tipping point – reset defense not hamstring it


68 VETERANS IN CONGRESS 80% 60% 40% 20% 1973 19821991 2000 2009 Confidence In the Military Vets in Congress Confidence In Congress

69 VETERANS IN CONGRESS U.S. Confidence in Institutions 2009 82% 59% 51% 39% 38% 28% 17%


71 WHAT CAN YOU DO? -- Write your Representative/Senators -- Call your Representative/Senators -- Fax your Representative/Senators -- Visit you Representative/Senators -- Join NAUS & go to NAUS Capwiz site and send a message ASSAULT ON MILITARY, VETERAN, RETIREE BENEFITS

72 NAUS needs you!

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