LEGISLATIVE ALERT # 11-23
October 18, 2011
The Issue: Authorizing Veteran Status for National Guard and Reserve Members Entitled to Reserve Retirement Pay
Immediate Action Required: Contact your Senators and ask them to expeditiously pass this session H.R. 1025 previously passed by the House of Representatives and now before the Senate. This bill would authorize National Guard and Reserve members entitled to Reserve retirement pay the honor of claiming Veteran status.
The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1025 on Oct. 11, 2011, and sent the bill to the Senate for its approval. The cost neutral bill provides an opportunity for a divided Congress to come together to honor our National Guard and Reserve.
Most members of Congress and many serving and retired National Guard and Reserve members may not know that a reservist can complete a full Guard or Reserve career but not earn the title of “Veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States,” unless the member has served on Title 10 active duty for other than training purposes.
H.R. 1025 would authorize Veteran status under Title 38 for National Guard and Reserve members of the Armed Forces who are entitled to a non-regular retirement under Chapter 1223 of 10 USC but were never called to active federal service during their careers – through no fault of their own.
Some National Guard members now serving on Operation Noble Eagle on our Southwestern border on Title 32 orders may one day retire from the Guard but will not qualify to be Veterans of our Armed Forces.
Currently, the Veterans Code, Title 38, excludes from the definition of “Veteran” career reservists who have not served on Title 10 active duty for other than training purposes. Drill training, annual training, active duty for training and Title 32 duty are not qualifying service for Veteran status.
The cost neutral bill would not bestow any benefits other than the honor of claiming Veteran status for those who honorably served and sacrificed as career reserve component members but were never ordered to Title 10 active service. They deserve nothing less.
TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTION:
By using the “Write to Congress” feature on the NGAUS Web site at www.ngaus.org/writetocongress, you can IMMEDIATELY e-mail your elected representatives. A sample letter is included in our “Write to Congress” feature. You can e-mail the pre-written message or edit the sample letter as you desire. This is the quickest and most effective method of expressing your views to Congress. Also, contact your friends and family and urge them to use Write to Congress as well. For further information and background visit our web site at www.ngaus.org. Please direct any questions concerning this issue to Pete Duffy, NGAUS Deputy of Legislation at 202-454-5307 or via email at email@example.com.