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The events of the past several months, and the turbulence and instability of financial markets and the world economy, have at their root a fundamental human failing embodied by one word: Greed. Defined as a sin of excess, in essence, greed is wanting more than we need, and taking more than we deserve, all the while not being satisfied with what we have. With an insatiable appetite, more and more is required and expected as a “right” to which one is entitled, often times without regard to the needs and cares of others. Greed, listed traditionally in Western thinking as one of the so-called “Seven Deadly Sins,” is a varied form failing to acknowledge God as God and wanting to be God ourselves.
New and existing tax law presents us with several opportunities with regard to charitable planning in 2009. Charitable gifts can be made both during your lifetime and at death. Hopefully, when contemplating these options, you will consider including the Naval Reserve Association in your charitable plans.Remember the old saying, “It is better to give than to receive.”
For a moment, think about YOUR world without a telephone or a computer. You would conclude that it would be nearly impossible to connect with anyone.
The underlying requirement is for the board to “consider carefully, without prejudice or partiality, the record of every eligible officer.” Because of this, board members, who are not disclosed until after the board has convened, are tasked to give every eligible officer “fair and equitable consideration.” For example, each board receives “community specific and competency/skill-specific information” at the start of each board. The overriding standard, however, remains to promote the “best and fully qualified.” Other guidance, provided by the Chief of Naval Personnel, will set the specific percentage to select in each competitive category of Line, Unrestricted Line, and all other categories. For the FY-10 Captain selections, these percentages varied from 30 to 70 percent. This percentage is multiplied against the number of “In Zone” eligible officers to give the board an “Authorized number to select.” The selections may come from either the “Above” or “In Zone,” but the board may not exceed this number to select. Privacy is of utmost concern, and the board is cautioned never to disclose the “proceedings, deliberations, or recommendations” of the board.
As a lifelong resident of Fort Morgan, AL, Debbie Harris knew the story of the Blue Angel pilot who crashed near her home 50 years ago. And on 17 February, on what would have been CDR Robert N. Glasgow’s 87th birthday, Harris found his dog tags in the sand outside her home. That was less than three months after she found his small Navy fighter squadron emblem in the beach nearby. Her search for information about the pilot took her to the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola and its director, former Blue Angel and retired Navy CAPT Bob Rasmussen. Rasmussen knew the story well. He and Glasgow were flying together – in separate planes – minutes before the crash in October 1958. Glasgow had been a member of the Navy’s flight demonstration team for only a few days at the time and was on an indoctrination flight.
Last month, when our NRA News column pics changed, I received an e-mail stating that I should be representing in uniform. I agree, but when lawyers get involved, stuff happens. At home, I received a letter stating that I should not wear a three-ribbon bar (this letter stemmed from the photos from last month’s interview with FORCM Wright). I agree and will not wear a three-ribbon bar again; but to my Shipmate who wrote that letter, ask, what does it really matter if I wear any ribbons at all? My preference would be to leave the awards and decorations for the dress uniform. Either way, ribbons and decorations do not make me a good Sailor or leader. It is what is in my heart and soul that makes me the Sailor I am. And, finally, I received more support for February’s column on Servant Leadership. Thank each and every one of you for the support. I appreciate it more than you may realize.
We have heard from many Association members and concerned military members about the economic situation and how it may or, indeed, effect the defense budget and thus the Navy and Navy Reserve. There can be no doubt that change is in Washington. Currently, military services and DoD are being asked to research and think the ultimate “what if,” budget drill. These have been done at the beginning of every new administration, so they are not new. NRA and other associations have long pushed for an increase of the defense budget as it relates to the GDP. With all that is happening with our GDP, financial institutions, and growth of government, it is not hard to see what will have to happen to the defense budget.
Reserve and National Guard members deserve a better retirement plan, one that pays an annuity earlier than age 60, at least for those willing to serve longer than 20 years, Reserve leaders have recently told Congress. Reservists might deserve extended health care coverage, too, in recognition of their full operational role in Iraq, Afghanistan, and future wars, said some Reserve Component commanders who testified early March before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on military personnel. Current Reserve retirement offers little or no incentive for members to serve past 20 years because longer service doesn’t change the age 60 start of annuities. A law passed in early 2008 does allow earlier retirement than age 60 for Reserve and Guard members with 20 or more years if they deploy for war or national emergency. But Congress made the change effective only for deployment time after 28 Jan 2008, leaving out many thousands deployed since 9-11. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), ranking Republican on the personnel subcommittee, a retired Army Reserve officer (and father of four children) now serving on active duty or in the Reserves, has reintroduced a bill (H.R. 208) to extend last year’s Reserve retirement change retroactively to cover mobilizations since 9/11. Another Wilson bill (H.R. 972) would allow Guard and Reserve members who earn early retirement to receive full TRICARE benefits between
the time annuities start and 60.
YN1 John Crewy of the Navy Reserve remembered hearing a briefing about Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), but he wasn’t thinking about mobilizing just then. Besides, he thought the law only applied to large businesses, not the small family run furniture store that he worked for. When his unit was alerted, he knew his employer wouldn’t be happy about it; so he didn’t tell him until two weeks before he left for his deployment. His employer was mad, not only because he was leaving, but also because there was no time to hire a replacement. When YN1 Crewy returned from mobilization, he didn’t even try to go back to the furniture store and was out of work for a long time.
It always seems that in the April magazine I should report on the conference just held.
Unfortunately, with a conference late in the month and publishing deadlines, that just
isn’t possible. Hopefully, by the time you are reading this, we all had a good time and
a lot was accomplished. San Diego is next in September and the Eleventh District is
working hard on a great event, so start making plans to attend. Hotel expense will be
considerably less than Fort Worth.
Downloadable PDF of the magazine–you must be a member of AUSN and logged in to access the file.