Jan 29

The Official MCRMC Report and Legislative Recommendations

Looking for the official MCRMC Report? We’ve got it here as well as the Legislative Recommendations from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission.

Click to download the MCRMC Final Report released on January 29, 2015.

Click to download the MCRMC Legislative Proposals released on January 29, 2015

Don’t forget to contact Congress today with our quick email system and let them know to protect military pay and benefits and remind them that we’re watching the HASC and SASC hearings. Read the Op-Ed to learn more why it’s so important.

Some of the initial findings from our friends at NFMA:

Of the Commission’s 15 recommendations, several focus on issues raised by NMFA and the families we serve:

  • Make quality child care more available. The Commission recommends building more child development centers.
    Improve access to quality health care while keeping costs low for troops and their families. The Commission recommends significant changes to the military health system, including a new health care allowance to cover some health care costs and allowing military families to use the same types of insurance plans offered to federal civilians.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 29

Gunmen storm luxury Libyan hotel, killing U.S. Marine veteran, 9 others

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — In the latest sign of Libya’s descent into chaos, gunmen stormed a luxury hotel used by diplomats and businessmen in the capital Tuesday, killing 10 people, including an American, a French citizen and three people from Asia.

Two attackers were killed following an hourslong standoff that included a car bomb that exploded in the parking lot of the seaside Corinthia Hotel. It was unclear if other gunmen were involved in the attack, which also killed five Libyan guards.

Twitter posts and a statement on social media purported to say a Tripoli affiliate of the Islamic State group was behind the attack. However, there was little evidence outside of that to back up the claims in a country awash in armed extremist groups who would be equally suspect.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 28

New Sergeant Major of the USMC and SgtMaj Green’s CARntroversy

SgtMaj Green New Sergeant Major of the Marine CorpsThe selection of Sergeant Major Ronald Green as the next Sergeant Major of the Marine Corp (SMMC) has once again stirred up controversy about combat experience and the somehow fanatical belief that to be a great leader, one must be an 03, AND must have earned a Combat Action Ribbon.

As the Corps is winding down two wars lasting 14 years, one can reasonably ask, how does a Marine serve for 30+ years, covering the Gulf War, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and NOT be a combat vet? The answer? Marines do not get to choose their duty stations; you go where you are assigned.

Sgt Maj Green’s 30 plus year career in the Marine Corps was primarily as an 08, in Field Artillery Operations. Aside from a stint as a DI at Parris Island, he maintained this MOS for the first 18 years of his career. As the SMMC, Sergeant Major Green’s primary responsibility is to advise the Commandant and be his eyes and ears of the enlisted ranks. As we wind down our nation’s longest period at war, the Corps is facing many challenges; two of the biggest are dealing with the overall military drawdown and more importantly, dealing with returning vets and PTSD. Can he concievably do this without that precious ribbon? I believe so.

Since the Combat Action Ribbon was established in 1961, only two SMMC have not received the CAR: Sgt Major McMichael and Sgt Major Estrada, both who served in the past 16 years during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. One could make the argument that anyone would be better than our outgoing SMMC, Sergeant Major Barrett. As a highly decorated vet with two combat tours, Barrett made controversial remarks on April 11, 2014 to a Senate Armed Services Committee panel that Marines should be paid less and that “I truly believe it will raise discipline. You’ll have better spending habits. You won’t be so wasteful.” Well, I remember my paychecks as a lowly E-3, I never remember having money to waste.

Ever since air winger General James Amos was appointed as the Commandant of the Marine Corps without a CAR, the internet has been abuzz with memes, “Dude, where’s your CAR?”. With General Dunford taking the reins as Commandant whose an infantry officer with a highly decorated career, perhaps Green’s lack of actual combat experience is not necessary.

Dunford’s nickname of “Fighting Joe” Dunford given to him by General “Mad Dog” Mattis, gives him enough street credibility to offset any perceived weakness anyone can throw at Green. Sure there were there other combat vets eligible for the position; Sgt Maj Kasal is an obvious favorite among the enlisted ranks earning the Navy Cross in Iraq. Personally, I would have chosen Sgt Maj Ploskonka who was my squad leader in 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines in the 90’s, and one of the most influential leaders in my life.

All this being said, Dunford has chosen Green and Green it is… CAR or no CAR.

***

Andrew Northam Marine veteranAbout the Author: Andrew Northam is a freelance writer living in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is Marine veteran who served with 3/6 (3rd Battalion, 6th Marines) from 1990 to 1994. You can read more of his works at TheNortham.com.

Jan 27

Military families living on base must start paying cash to live there

Military families paying cash to live on baseMilitary families moving into privatized base housing will begin to pay rent that is one-percent higher than their normal Basic Allowance of Housing (BAH). This change comes from moves Congress made last month to dampen the value of BAH.

According to Stripes.com, Congress voted to allow BAH rates to be trimmed in two ways: by setting rates to cover only 99 percent, not 100 percent, of average rental costs for members’ pay grade and assignment area; also by no longer including in BAH added dollars to cover the expense of renter’s insurance in case personal property is damaged or stolen.

A Defense official, who declined to be named so he could speak more frankly about the changes, stated that military renters into housing on the economy and families moving into privatized base housing will be the ones to feel the effect of the dampened allowances. Both changes are reflected in BAH rates published Jan 1. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 26

Terminal Boots Video: Infantry Gangster or Too Gangster?

Terminal Boots: Thumbs up or Thumbs down? Warning: Language.

Jan 25

Sweeping Military Pay and Benefit Changes Coming

MCRMC 101, The Future of the All-Volunteer Force

Isn’t there a social contract, even though it’s not in writing; your kids, your sons, your daughters, individuals will not have to be drafted because others will come forward and do the job voluntarily? Isn’t that the deal?

~Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), 28 January 2014

Senator Graham’s question is about to be pondered in a way that has not happened since the draft ended 42 years ago. This will be a game changing debate. 

The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) is set to release its findings Thursday, January 29, 2015. Our nation will have to grapple with the commission’s conclusions and the implications to our All-Volunteer Force (AVF).

What is the MCRMC and Why Does It Matter?

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 24

Two Marines Identified in California Military Helicopter Crash

Two two Marines were identified who were lost when their UH-1Y Huey helicopter crashed on Friday. The two pilots were stationed at Camp Pendleton and the crash is still under investigation.

“Capt. Kealey and 1st Lt. Satterfield were both outstanding Marine Corps officers and talented helicopter pilots,” said Lt. Col. James M. Isaacs, their commanding officer in a Stripes article. “Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of our fallen Vipers, and we stand poised to support them in this tragedy.”

The article continues, “Kealey, 32, of Indiana, Pennsylvania, was commissioned in 2005 and had earned several awards and medals. She deployed twice with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and once in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Satterfield, 25, of Oldham, Kentucky, was commissioned in 2011 and supported training operations in Southern California.”

Capt. Elizabeth Kealey

Capt. Elizabeth Kealey. Photo US Marine Corps

1st Lt. Adam Satterfield

1st Lt. Adam Satterfield, photo US Marine Corps

 

The initial crash news was previously released:

Military officials said two marines died on Friday when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in southern California. The crash occurred around 4:30 p.m. local time after the aircraft took off from a marine combat center in the desert city of Twentynine Palms, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Major General Michael Rocco said “Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the two Marines we lost in this tragic accident.” Twentynine Palms is a city of some 25,000 people roughly 140 miles east of Los Angeles.

 

Jan 23

General Dunford’s Planning Guidance Available Now

The Commandant’s guidance builds on MCDP1 Warfighting. Review Warfighting here.

Jan 23

Marine chokes out another Marine

…when Marines get bored and put into practice all those skills they’ve learned.

Jan 22

A little OC spray has these Marines hurting

How did you handle the spray?

Marines work with Pepper Spray

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