Legislative Update 11 September 2015: What You Missed at the Warrior-Family Symposium

We have No Action Items today.



Summary of Issues

At Issue 1. we see MOAA REMEMBERS 9/11 (See Issue 1 below. GF) 

At Issue 2. we see WHAT YOU MISSED AT THE WARRIOR-FAMILY SYMPOSIUM9th annual Warrior-Family Symposium draws big crow. (See Issue 2 below for some details. GF) 

At Issue 3. we see MILITARY ETHICS CALLED INTO QUESTIONSeries of embarrassing incidents prompts Congress to review ethical behavior. A failure to establish goals and metrics hinders oversight of military ethics and professional development programs. (See Issue 3 below for the details. GF)

At Issue 4. we see MILITARY COALITION HONORS LEGISLATIVE CHAMPIONSInfluential group honors lawmakers

The Military Coalition presented its highest leadership awards to three powerful members of Congress.. (See Issue 4 below for the details. GF)

Collectively We Can and Are Making a Difference


FOR ALL, Please feel free to pass these Weekly Legislative Updates on to your group of Veteran Friends –

don’t be concerned with possible duplications – if your friends are as concerned as we are with Veteran issues, they probably won’t mind getting this from two or more friendly sources




Issue 1. MOAA REMEMBERS 9/11




9th annual Warrior-Family Symposium draws big crowd

MOAA connects attendees to influential lawmakers and cabinet officials.

(Click on WHAT YOU MISSED AT THE WARRIOR-FAMILY SYMPOSIUM here or above to see the details. GF)



September 11, 2015

Bribery, gambling, misuse of government funds, sexual misconduct: not the things you think about when it comes to military officers.

After a series of embarrassing scandals over the past few years, Congress tasked DoD with reviewing how it addresses professional development and ethical behavior. Unfortunately, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), DoD has failed to implement several necessary changes.

The biggest impediment to change is that the department did not develop metrics to measure the effectiveness of the program. Without adequate metrics, GAO says DoD has no idea if its efforts are working, much less warranted.

According to the report, “Without identifying information sources and developing intermediate goals and performance metrics that are clear, quantifiable, and objective … decision makers in DoD and Congress will not have full visibility into the department’s progress on professionalism-related issues.”

Other issues identified in the report include a failure of the Navy and Marine Corps to conduct 360 evaluations on all general and flag officers and for the Army and Air Force to require command climate assessments in performance reviews.

The questions remain: Are today’s military officers less ethical? Has the longest period of sustained conflict eroded military leaders’ ability to distinguish right from wrong?

“Without reliable data,” said Col. Mike Hayden, USAF (Ret), MOAA’s Director of Government Relations, “there may literally be no way to tell.”



September 11, 2015

The Military Coalition (TMC) – an influential consortium of military and veterans groups co-chaired by MOAA – presented its highest leadership awards on September 10 to Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) for their leadership in protecting the vital interests of servicemembers, retirees, veterans, their families and survivors.

Senator Inhofe and Senator Mikulski were instrumental in leading the fight against privatization of the commissary benefit. The senators introduced a bipartisan amendment to the Senate’s 2016 defense bill that would prevent the Pentagon from privatizing commissaries at five major installations next year. In addition, as Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Mikulski fought to protect the commissary against dramatic cuts and restored $322 million in funding for the program.

As Chairman of the Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, Rep. Heck was the first line of defense to fend off cuts to military benefits and compensation. Through his leadership, the House passed a defense bill that stops a third straight year of capping military pay raises, a second year of reducing commissary funding, a second year of slowing housing allowances, and a second straight year of calls to consolidate TRICARE and significantly increase health care fees for beneficiaries.

The Coalition also presented its 2015 Freedom Award to Mr. Anthony Lazarski, a senior advisor for Sen. Inhofe. With little help, he tirelessly rallied support from other congressional offices to pass the Inhofe-Mikulski commissary amendment to the Senate’s version of the defense bill.

Col. Herb Rosenbleeth, USA (Ret), TMC President and National Executive Director of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA, said, “this year’s honorees share a common passion and commitment to doing the right thing for our service men and women, retirees, veterans, their families and survivors.”

Col. Mike Hayden, USAF (Ret), TMC Co-Chair and MOAA’s Director of Government Relations said, “These legislators and staffers worked closely with all the members of the Coalition to help preserve military benefits and compensation in order to recruit, retain, and sustain the all-volunteer force.”

TMC represents the interests of more than 5.5 million members around the world, including active duty, National Guard, Reserve, and retired members and veterans of the seven uniformed services, plus their families and survivors.-




That’s it for today- Thanks for your help!