PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE - January/February 2017

          Under Attack:  “Concurrent Receipt” of Retirement Pay and Disability Compensation for Disabled Veterans in the Congressional Budget Office deficit reduction options.  Option 11 under the Mandatory Spending section is entitled, “Eliminate Concurrent Receipt of Retirement Pay and Disability Compensation for Disabled Veterans.  Prior to 2003 military retirees had to choose between receiving their full retirement annuity from DoD, or receiving their disability benefit from the VA and forgoing an equal amount of their DoD retirement annuity, commonly referred to as the “VA offset.”  Since 2003 eligible military retirees have been able to draw both their full retirement annuity and their disability compensation. 

If approved, beginning in 2018 military retirees now drawing either Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC), or Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP), would no longer receive those payments.  In 2015 fifty five percent of the nearly 2 million military retirees were subject to the VA Offset; nearly 575,000 retirees received concurrent receipt payments totaling nearly $10B.  On the one hand, spending for “concurrent receipt” has climbed sharply, “because of both an expansion in the program’s parameters and increase in the share of military retirees receiving disability compensation.”    
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Texas sate legislators recently passed legislation that expanded the list of acceptable military medals which allow vehicle registration fees to be waived. Read More

Chapter Member Selected to Chief of Staff, Army Retired Soldier Council

Op Freedom’s Sentinel ‘Ready First’ Soldiers are organized, prepared for deployment

As the sun rose high in the sky, and the 1st Armored Division Band played in the background, Soldiers assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, spanned the length of the “Ready First” parade field awaiting the casing of the brigade colors Jan 6. The casing of the colors was the final ceremony before the brigade deploys to Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Read More

Harlem Globetrotters bring their 2017 world tour to El Paso

Families and fans gathered at the Don Haskins Center at the University of Texas at El Paso on Jan. 8 to watch the awe-inspiring basketball skills of the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters.

As one of the first stops on the team’s 2017 world tour, the Globetrotters and allowed families to meet and speak with some of the players before the game. Read More

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Fort Bliss Access Control Points

A 100% identification card check of all personnel will be implemented at all Fort Bliss access control points.

All Department of Defense and non-DoD vehicular occupants, including the driver and all of-age passengers, will have to present an ID card - valid state driver's license, government/federal ID card, passport, etc. - for authorized access to Fort Bliss. Read More

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Legislative Updates

MOAA Top Issues

Are you aware of the major issues and MOAA's legislative initiatives? Educate yourself on the issues that affect you and your family. See what MOAA is really doing for you on Capitol Hill. View Details

MOAA Action Alerts

Check your Legislators' positions on key issues and urge them to support MOAA's goals. View Details

COLA Watch

Military retiree COLA is calculated based on the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), not the overall CPI. Monthly changes in the index may differ from national figures reported elsewhere. Read More

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Texas Vet: Hazlewood Act

The Hazlewood Act is a State of Texas benefit that provides qualified Veterans, spouses, and dependent children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption, including most fee charges, at public institutions of higher education in Texas. This does NOT include living expenses, books, or supply fees. Read More

TRICARE, Survivor, Other Changes Coming

We'll have to wait at least another six weeks before Congress makes final decisions on the force levels, pay raise, TRICARE fees, and other changes in the FY 2017 Defense Authorization Act.

But we can be pretty sure of at least some of the new changes because they were included in both of the bill versions passed by the House and Senate. Read More


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