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AUSN Blogs

19
Irons in the Fire continues to evolve. Originally begun three years ago as a vehicle for HQ to communicate with the elected officers, Irons expanded to include conference attendees and others with an interest in the internal working of AUSN. With this issue Irons becomes a part of our routine e-newsletter communication with all of AUSN’s members. It will appear once a month on our Thursday e-newsletter schedule. While Navy has continued to move to a broadly focused journal, Irons is now where we discuss association business.

As we close out 2011 I want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukah as the case may be. Our wish from headquarters is that you find some quiet time with those who matter most to you and arrive in January ready for another challenging year. While you are appreciating the reason for the season, perhaps a moment of prayer for Bob Lyman as he continues his battle with cancer.

And challenging it will be. We expect further assault on TRICARE and will be actively engaged thusly:
  • Resist enrollment fees for TRI CARE for Life and increased fees for TRICARE Prime for retirees.
In the Reserve corner:
  • We have yet to prevail on the Veterans status initiative for all those who have served for twenty years but are not officially veterans.
  • We must also continue to press for full retroactivity to 9-11 for the early retirement provisions that were signed into law in 2009.
In the Active Duty corner:
  • We expect to see formal proposals to change the military pay and benefit system. This will be exacerbated or at least informed by the need to reduce defense spending overall and the large numbers of people who will be involuntarily cut as the post war manpower requirements come down. We are going to have to be very engaged in the debate throughout the year.
On the equipment side we will continue to inform Congress to ensure that our Sailors have the best equipment possible in the necessary quantities. C-40A, F-35C, P-8A, and LCS remain priorities.

Temporary Early Retirement Authorization: Last week when Congress approved the NDAA they include authorization for early retirement for those with at least fifteen years of service that will be forced out of the services due to draw downs. They also included incentives for voluntary separation and voluntary early retirement. At present none of the services have indicated that they plan to offer these programs so we will keep our eye on this throughout the next year.

AUSN’s USAA Master Card:
  • Dues alone will not carry an association like ours.
  • We are expanding corporate partnerships but that is tough in this economic climate.
  • You can help without feeling the pinch. If you don’t have an AUSN USAA credit card – GET ONE! Every time you use it AUSN benefits. USAA cannot convert your previous USAA master card so you need to get a new account with the AUSN card. I did! It’s easy and you help us protect your benefits with every purchase you make. What could be simpler?
Tuesday this week Rear Admiral Moon interviewed VADM Debbink in his Pentagon office. Look for this in our Feb/Mar edition of Navy.

On 10 December I was privileged to speak at the Charlotte NOSC to a conference of Navy Reserve medical folks. We explained the benefits of belonging to a professional association and the need to be counted as we work with the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) and Congress to ensure that our Navy is properly manned, trained, and equipped. We have fifty-two new members now in our expanding list of medical folks, officer and enlisted. Welcome aboard.

AUSN’s flagship magazine Navy:
  • Now produced bi-monthly
  • Regular contributors please continue to write 12 articles. We will use them here in the newsletters, on the web, and in the magazine
  • Next issue Feb/Mar will feature both versions of LCS and an interview with VADM Debbink, CNR
AUSN 2012 conference: Our next conference will be held in October 2012 in the Norfolk, VA area. We are close to choosing a hotel and should have place and dates for you in the next Irons.

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