June 24th, 2021
IN THIS EDITION:
Are You Or Someone You Know Looking For A Meaningful Paid Internship? NCNGA
NC House approves tax breaks for some retired veterans WRAL
Space National Guard Proposal Headed to Congress Soon, Top Leaders Say Military.com
Questions Remain After Report That F-22s Scrambled Due To Major Russian Naval Exercise Near Hawaii TheDrive
Call to the EANGUS 50th Anniversary Conference EANGUS
Help Tell the Story of the “Heroes of Old Hickory” with a donation as small as $10 NCNGA
Contact Congress And Encourage Them To Act on Zero-Cost TRICARE NCNGA
The 2021 National Guard Almanac & Education Guide EANGUS
June 24th — Today in Guard History National Guard
Are you or someone you know a college student and looking for a meaningful paid internship? If so we are in the search for the upcoming school year. See the advertisement for details and application instructions.
We are one step closer to expanding military pension tax exemption for all. The NC House recently approved House Bill 83 which will extend tax exemption to all military retirees. It is now awaiting action in the NC Senate.
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina House lawmakers voted Wednesday to give some retired veterans and their families a break on state income taxes.
House Bill 83 would stop collecting state income tax on military retirement pay to veterans who served at least 20 years or were medically retired. Payments from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Survivor Benefit Plan to a beneficiary of one of those veterans would also be exempted.
Until 2014, the state provided a tax exemption on $4,000 of that income, but the tax break was rescinded as part of a major tax code overhaul by the legislature.
If House Bill 83 becomes law, it would take effect in the current tax year.
Sponsor Rep. John Szoka, R-Cumberland, said 32 other states already don’t tax veterans’ retirement pay.
“Retiree recruitment is really essential to our workforce here,” Szoka said at a news conference Wednesday with several veterans. “On average, military retirees are under 50 years of age, with over 20 years of work history and a desire to start a second career. This type of employee profile is exactly what’s needed to fill civilian or contractor positions within North Carolina’s military.”
“Honestly, I don’t think it is even really about the money from the veterans’ standpoint. I don’t think they even consider that,” added Rep Diane Wheatley, R-Cumberland. “It’s more the message we send them about we value their service compared to the other places they could decide to live.”
The Pentagon is nearing a decision on whether it should create a Space Force National Guard to supplement the newest military branch.
During a House Armed Services Committee hearing last week, top leadership from the Air Force and Space Force said they have completed a report required by the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act detailing whether and how to best organize Guard and Reserve components within the Space Force. The report was originally due to Congress in March.
“We’ve done the report; it’s complete. It’s all through coordination; it’s waiting for a final briefing,” Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond told lawmakers.
Acting Air Force Secretary John Roth added that the report is with leadership within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and soon will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget before congressional committees receive the final study.
“We’ve been operating with the Guard for 25 years. It provides critical capability, both people-wise and equipment-wise,” Raymond said. “We can’t do our job without them today, and we can’t do our job in the future without them.”
Areport has emerged that major Russian naval maneuvers were underway in the Pacific when U.S. Air Force F-22A Raptor stealth fighters were scrambled from their base in Hawaii over the weekend, an incident you can read more about in The War Zone’s initial reporting. The Raptors were supposedly launched to investigate unspecified Russian long-range aircraft, part of a group of naval vessels and aircraft that were participating in a large-scale exercise around 300 to 500 miles west of the Hawaiian islands. The incident came immediately ahead of today’s summit meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva.
The pair of F-22s was launched this past Sunday on an alert scramble out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at around 4:00 PM local time. They were joined by a third Raptor soon after and also had refueling support from a KC-135 tanker during their mission. The reported Russian aircraft that prompted all of this did not enter the Hawaiian Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) at any point and were not intercepted, according to CBS News, which reported this additional information.
The 50th General Conference of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS) will convene at the Albuquerque Convention Center, 401 2nd Street NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico on Sunday, August 8, 2021 and will run through August 11, 2021.
Please refer to the “Call to the Conference” memo which contains detailed information on Lodging, Registration, Travel/Ground Transportation, and Attire. It also includes information on this year’s Elections, Conference Deadlines, Committee Assignments, and the Host State Golf Tournament and Motorcycle Ride. The most up-to-date information can be found on the EANGUS Conference website at eangusconference.org. A complete agenda, to include meeting times and information on other conference events, will be published and continuously updated on the website.
We continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic numbers and restrictions in New Mexico and will ensure necessary measures are taken to protect the health and well-being of all EANGUS Conference attendees. Specific precautions and other measures (such as mask requirements) will be posted on the conference website as needed and updated as we get closer to the conference.
Please join us for our 50th Anniversary Conference — this year’s conference will include special recognition of our history and commemorative activities that our members, leaders, and guests won’t want to miss. I look forward to seeing you in New Mexico – the “Land of Enchantment!”
KAREN M. CRAIG
CSM, USA, Retired
The 30th Infantry Division, also known colloquially as the “Heroes of Old Hickory,” received the Presidential Unit
Citation last year for their heroic role in the Battle of Mortain, France during World War II. The Division was composed of National Guardsmen from all over the South, including North Carolina. Their story is one of courage and
honor and, as such, deserves to be broadcast to a wide audience. That is why we are asking for your help in supporting the production costs of the Heroes of Old Hickory documentary film. The production team is hoping to secure the funds necessary to air this documentary on PBS by Veteran’s Day of this year. Any amount can help, and if the goal amount is not met the collected money will go direct to the 30th Infantry Division. For more information and to donate, please visit our website at https://www.ncnga.org/OldHickory.php.
Support H.R.3512 to expand Zero-Cost TRICARE Reserve Select to all members of the Reserve Component
NGAUS strongly supports H.R. 3512, the Healthcare for our Troops Act. This legislation would provide access to zero-cost TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) and dental coverage to Reserve Component (RC) servicemembers. Additionally, this legislation expands TRS eligibility to RC servicemembers currently working for the federal government in their civilian capacity.
H.R. 3512 was introduced by Reps. Andy Kim (NJ-03) and Trent Kelly (MS-01). H.R. 3512 is originally co-sponsored by Reps. Tim Ryan (OH-13), Steven Palazzo (MS-04), Scott DesJarlais (TN-04), Elise Stefanik (NY-21) and Marc Veasey (TX-33).
Servicemembers are required to meet medical deployability requirements. An estimated 130,000 Guardsmen and Reservists do not have health insurance under the current disjointed system of third-party health contractors and Periodic Health Assessments (PHAs), which greatly impacts the Reserve Component’s medical readiness. Inconsistent healthcare coverage for members of the Reserve Component makes meeting these requirements difficult to achieve.
H.R. 3512 Healthcare for our Troops Act ensures servicemembers meet the medical standards required of a deployable force at no cost to them and their families. Additionally, this bill provides coverage for dental care, another common deployablitiy issue experienced by the Reserve Component. These changes would also provide the Department of Defense (DoD) with a powerful recruiting and retention tool, as well as a significant employer incentive to retain talented individuals in gainful civilian employment.
Under current law, National Guard and Reserve servicemembers who are federal employees in their civilian capacity are ineligible to enroll in TRS. This creates confusion in coordinating benefits for servicemembers and their families and prevents servicemembers from establishing continuity of care and treatment as they deploy or transition in or out of the federal government. H.R. 3512 strikes the language that disallows servicemembers from accessing TRS simply due to working for the federal government in their civilian capacity.
This year’s publication includes two sections:
- An Education Section includes information about scholarship opportunities and other resources available to National Guard members.
- The Almanac Section highlights key National Guard leaders for each of the 54 States, Territories, and the District of Columbia as well as their State Association contact information and State benefits.
We thank Grantham University for their sponsorship of this publication. We are proud to continue our partnership with Grantham and have highlighted information in the Education Section regarding their educational programs and the two scholarships they are offering this year.
We are also extremely grateful for the continued partnership and scholarships offered to our EANGUS members, their spouse, and dependent children by Colorado Technical Institute, Grand Canyon University, and the University of Phoenix. Along with Grantham University, these institutions provide a total of eight full-tuition scholarships, which are a significant benefit to those selected as the recipients each year. We are also appreciative of the additional funding provided for scholarships at Excelsior College, and the scholarship funds provided by USAA, AFBA, and the CSM Advisory Council which can be used by the recipient at the college or university of their choice.
On behalf of the EANGUS Executive Council, I trust that you will find this information of value, and we wish the best to our members pursuing their dreams of a higher education.
Karen M. Craig
CSM, USA, Retired
June 24th — Today in Guard History National Guard
Massachusetts Bay Colony – The Wampanoag Indians launch a series of surprise attacks on outlying farms on the opening day of what has come to be known as “King Philip’s War.” The conflict, which included areas of western Massachusetts, plus Rhode Island and Connecticut, lasted until Philip was killed by Indians scouting for Benjamin Church in August 1676.
The Weekly Guardsman