posted on November 15, 2011 17:23
Last week we had a great series of events surrounding Veterans Day. On Thursday afternoon a few of us attended the first annual Veterans Day concert on the street at the VA headquarters in the District. Friday morning President Moon and Master Chief Featherstone attended the White House Breakfast and then joined more of us at the Arlington Amphitheater for the annual program. We had invited guests in our box, RADM Chris Cole from the Board of the Navy Safe Harbor Foundation, and CDR Nicole Shue, President of the Sea Services Leadership Association. RADM Moon and his father, sons, and Robin placed our wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. You can find pictures taken by Danny Camp on our web site by Wednesday. After Arlington a group of us attended the VA Reception at the Crystal City Marriott. As I mentioned before, now that we are an Associate Member of the Veterans Day Committee we have more options to participate like this. This is all a part of the strategy to improve our recognition and stature in Washington.
This week our Board will meet on Friday. I anticipate that they will approve our budget for next year among a few other issues. The day before that meeting we will have our third Navy Now Forum and our second at the Ronald Reagan Building on Pennsylvania Avenue. We anticipate a good turnout and several board members will be in attendance.
I’m pleased to announce that DRS Technologies has come aboard as a Corporate Partner. Congratulations to Kenya Houston for closing this deal and thanks to VADMs John Cotton and Phil Balisle of DRS Technologies.
As I am writing this we await the report of the “Super Committee of Twelve.” Every day Captain Puzon and I pay attention to what is being said about potential cuts to the military. This morning the news was that the committee was looking for ways to pass on the details for new revenue to the House and Senate committees responsible for our tax laws. On the 18th of October Senator McCain, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee sent a letter to the “Super Committee” suggesting that he would not oppose an enrollment fee for TRI CARE for Life. He also suggested that a look at military retirement might be in order. We of course were not pleased and joined The Military Coalition in responding. Secretary Panetta has also said that “everything is on the table.” At the same time both of these men have spoken loudly against the kind of cuts that would be triggered if the “Super Committee” fails to reach an agreement that is passed by Congress. Personally I believe that after three separate commissions have recommended changes, this time the military retirement system is certainly closer to real change than at anytime since the current system was put in place. The all volunteer force may be at risk!
Concerning military health care we did have a very good meeting with former Maine Governor, John Baldacci. He was very interested in our suggestions concerning efficiencies but frankly I don’t have much hope that the big machine of DoD is going to change anytime soon. Increasing fees on the retired is still the easy target and one that we will vigorously defend against. As always we need your voice. Please use our CAPWIZ system to let your Congressman know what you think.
The date for our Capitol Hill Reception is now set for 17 January, the Tuesday after the Martin Luther King holiday. We will once again be in the Rayburn Foyer for an evening event from 5 to 8. Those of you in the Washington area please plan to attend and if you have business colleagues that you would like to have invited please let us know soon.
That’s it for now.