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MILITARY OFFICER


DECEMBER 2011 $4.75 THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF MOAA | ONE POWERFUL VOICE®


Let It Snow


In this 2008 painting, the USCGC Morro Bay leads tugs up the frozen Hudson River.


BENEFITS AT RISK Committee endorses proposal to civilianize military health care 29


IDENTITY THEFT Learn about 6 keys to fraud prevention 56


WWW.MOAA.ORG


limb … without an adequate compensation package.


members to risk life and


expect our service-


—Lt. Col. James T. Delisi, USAR-Ret.


” You can’t


Benefits Under Attack I do not recall recently reading in Mili- tary Officer the method used to furnish TRICARE For Life [TFL] to eligible re- tirees in lieu of the promise made when I enlisted many years ago. We were told then that after serving 20 years we would be furnished full health benefits for both the retiree and spouse at no cost. How- ever, when that time arrived, Congress said not so. Col. Bud Day, USAF-Ret., took Congress to task, but Congress prevailed, naturally. I hung around for 43 years — active, Nation- al Guard, Reserve, and hip pocket — but did receive TFL as a supplement to Medi- care. Now there seems to be an element who believe we are still receiving more than we deserve. —Col. DeWayne Schwanke, USA-Ret. via email


My nephew entered the U.S. Air Force approximately six months ago. [He] is currently enjoying his experiences and contemplating making it his life’s work. I’m concerned that the military will no longer be able to provide any certainty of a career to solid performers. It appears that DoD will face even


more significant budgetary reductions since the congressional “super commit- tee” failed to reach any compromise. I can’t envision how our military can pro- vide current and future servicemembers, who perform well, any guarantee they can remain on active duty until qualify- ing for retirement. Proposed future force reductions and other policies are aimed at reducing the number of [service]members who qualify for a military retirement. Raising the receipt of retirement pay to age 60 or 62 and/or converting the cur- rent system from a defined compensation package to a defined contribution package will also adversely affect recruitment and


16 MILITARY OFFICER FEBRUARY 2012


retention. One has to look at the REDUX experience to understand that point. Compensation for some positions is based upon the risk/reward concept. You can’t expect our servicemembers to risk life and limb, relocate frequently, and be away from their families for a prolonged period without an adequate compensa- tion package. This includes retirement eligibility at 20 years of service, adequate medical coverage, and some certainty they will be able to remain on active duty, pending solid performance, until qualify- ing for retirement. They need not be at the whims of those who want to impose force reductions because it is an expedi- ent way to trim the budget. —Lt. Col. James T. Delisi, USAR-Ret. Morgantown, W.Va.


Follow the Money I found … “Whacking People Because It’s Easier” [Washington Scene, Decem- ber 2011] disappointing and infuriating. When I read that “billions [of dollars] go down the drain every year” and that ex- perts contend we “could save 30 percent or more on the military health care bud- get,” I wonder why no one is really work- ing to solve these issues. I find it intolerable as the article con- tends that defense leaders have not and apparently will not address them. In this time especially, it appears that we need bold leaders to make a difference. Thanks to [MOAA President Vice


Adm. Norbert R. Ryan Jr., USN-Ret.] and all the MOAA folks who work so hard for all of us.


—Col. John Strange, USA-Ret. via email


I find serious fault with your article “Whacking People Because It’s Easier.” With [my] 30 years of combined civilian and military experience with naval intel-


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