Congress Set to Overturn Unfair COLA Reductions to Military Retirees?

December 31, 2013

* In a proposed Military Retirement Restoration Act, which already has 15 co-sponsors, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., says that the $6 billion in COLA cuts could instead by saved by closing loopholes for corporations using offshore tax havens.

* Shaheen stated, "there are plenty of other ways that we can find budgetary savings rather than cutting retirement benefits for the men and women who have served our nation in uniform."

The below link in addresses this controversial subject and reports on the much sought after light at the end of the tunnel.

Link: Click here:

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Senate Passes Retirement-Trimming Budget Deal

December 18, 2013

The below information was posted on on December 18, 2013, byline Bryant Jordan.

(Underline and bold, italicized text added in editing this post for emphasis...)

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bipartisan-crafted budget that eliminates certain sequester cuts to the Pentagon, but also scales back cost of living adjustments starting in 2015 for working age military retirees.

The bill, which passed the House last week, will now go to the White House where President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law.

Backers of the bill say the package worked out between Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., say the deal gives much needed relief to the Defense Department.

The Pentagon faces about $1 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade as part of 2011 deficit-reduction legislation known as the Budget Control Act. That includes almost $500 billion in reductions already planned and another $500 billion in automatic cuts.

Of the $62 billion in sequestration relief in the pact, $44 billion would be applied in 2014 and another $18 billion in 2015, according to a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office. That means the Pentagon would receive an additional $22 billion in 2014 and another $9 billion the following year, according to the office.

But a provision will reduce by 1 percent cost of living adjustments to the retirement pay of working age retirees. The reduction has drawn criticism from 30 veterans groups and military associations, as well as members of Congress.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Roger Wicker of Mississippi blasted the military retirement provision.

"We want Congress to pass a budget, address defense sequestration, and restore military readiness, but it is wrong to try to achieve these goals on the backs of our military retirees-who have risked their lives to defend our country and who have already sacrificed so much," the three said in a statement.

MOAA considers the provision a breach of faith to men and women in uniform because it reduces retired pay, survivor benefit values and is an unfair cut in military career benefits, MOAA President Norb Ryan said in a statement.

Under the plan, he said, an E-7 in 2013 with 20 years of service would lose an average $3,700 per year by the age of 62, for a total of about $83,000. An 0-5 would be out more than $6,200 a year for a total, cumulative loss of more than $124,000, he said.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars late Wednesday vowed to continue fighting the plan to trim the retirement.

"We know the federal government needs to curb its spending, balance its budget and put an end to the sequester," VFW National Commander William A. Thien said. "But to penalize military retirees, especially those who have been medically retired as a result of wounds received defending this nation, is totally unacceptable."

Thien said the group will now work with allies in both the House and the Senate to find a solution to overcome what he called "the COLA penalty" and mobilize its membership and supporters to press Congress to support the solutions.

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Major General Cornell A. Wilson, Jr., US Marine Corps (Retired) Governor McCrory's New NC Military Advisor

Major General Cornell A. Wilson, Jr., US Marine Corps (Retired)

Governor McCrory's New NC Military Advisor

* The new Military Advisor appointed by Governor McCrory is retired MajGen Cornell Wilson, USMC.

* Contact information for the general and his scheduler is as follows:

- MajGen Wilson:

- Major Bobby Lumsden:

- Duty Phone: (919) 814-2014

- Mailing address: 116 W. Jones St., 20301 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-0301

Link: Click here for General Cornell's bio:

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Executive Order No. 34 November 22, 2013

Executive Order No. 34

November 22, 2013

* Governor McCrory's Executive Order committed to protecting military installations in North Carolina was signed on November 22, 2013 and pledges:

- to have the Secretaries of each Cabinet to designate a Military Affairs Awareness Coordinator;

- to cooperate with military installations and missions; and

- to identify issues that could affect the compatibility of development with military installations and operations.

* Open the below downloadable file to read the entire Executive Order.

► Download:
⇑ Click to close
McCroryEO34 (pdf 277.9 Kb)

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"A Bargain, Not a Liability" MOAA Publication

"A Bargain, Not a Liability"

MOAA Publication

The MOAA publication referred to in VADM Ryan's opening remarks to the Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, CO, is made available via the below link.

Open and read this important resource that our national organization - representing retired and former servicepersonnel, currently serving members of the armed forces and the military community at large - has developed to convince our nation's legislators that the 1% of Americans who serve are not the problem when it comes to fixing the deficit spending of our government.

Link: Click here:

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Lt. Col. James T. "Tom" Vance, USA-Ret. - In Memoriam

November 19, 1925 - July 8, 2013

News of the passing of LTC Vance, the first president of the North Carolina Council of Chapters (1978-1980), was recently shared with the Council.

Tom was a member of the Western North Carolina Chapter of MOAA. Follow the link below to open the obituary notice published in on July 10, 2013 regarding LTC Vance.

Link: Click here:

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High Country Chapter Officer Installation Ceremony September 20, 2013
High Country Chapter Officer Installation Ceremony

High Country Chapter Officer Installation Ceremony

September 20, 2013

* The High Country Chapter (NC21) held a monthly meeting along with their annual installation of new officers on September 20, 2013 in the Club-Level Suite, Athletic Center Complex on the Appalachian State University campus overlooking the stadium.

* The 2014 slate of officers for the High Country is shown (pictured L to R): COL John Alley, USA, LTC Gunther Doerr, USA, Maj Dinah Pinney, USAF, LTC Dave Garvin, USA, LtCol George Brudzinski, USMC and CAPT Fred Schmitt, USCG.

* NOTE: When viewing thumbnails, use your mouse to left click on the (F)ast, (M)edium or (S)low controller found in the upper right corner of any image displayed...doing so will run a slide show of all the images at the rate of speed selected.

Thumbnail photos (right):

COL Jeri Graham, USA, North Carolina Council of Chapters 1st VP and next President, was the guest speaker for the evening and administered the oath of office to the new officers.

Before the ceremony, Chapter President, LtCol George Brudzinski presented a $500 check to the Watauga High School Principal, Marshall Gasperson (2nd from left), to support their newly established USMC Junior ROTC program. Also pictured (L to R) are Col Dennis Ray, USMC, LtCol Jerry Harper, USMC and LtCol Brudzinski.

President Brudzinski presents a certificate of appreciation to Chapter Secretary, LTC Dave Garvin, USA, for long-standing support to the chapter.

COL Graham presented a certificate and an American flag that was flown over a base in Afghanistan to the Chapter's USMC officers (L to R), Capt Doug May, Col Dennis Ray, LtCol Jerry Harper and LtCol Brudzinski, which was in turn given to LtCol Harper to recognize the collaborative support the High Country Chapter will have with the JROTC program at the Watauga High School.

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