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STAND-TO! Edition: Thursday, May 19, 2011

Today's Focus:

Army Chief of Staff's Retiree Council

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"We must reject the traditional approach of applying across-the-board cuts -- the simplest and most politically expedient approach, both inside this building and outside of it. That kind of an approach preserves overhead and maintains force structure on paper. But it results in a hollowing out of the force from a lack of proper training, maintenance and equipment."

- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, at a Pentagon news briefing, May 18, announced the framework for a comprehensive review of military spending designed to put national security needs ahead of arbitrary budget cuts.

Gates budget review to 'force discussion' of risk analysis

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"Working with different forces, you get to learn all kinds of new things. We got to know each other very well, and we made very good friends."

- Spc. Masami Yamakado, speaks about the South African National Defense Force 2011 Regional Combat Rifle Competition held in in Bloemfontein, South Africa, May 2-8, 2011, where a team of eight New York National Guard Soldiers competed against soldiers and police officers from South Africa, Great Britain and New Zealand

On target for partnership: New York Guard Soldiers form bonds in South African rifle match

A CULTURE OF ENGAGEMENT

CALENDAR

2010-2013: 60th Anniversary of the Korean War

150 Years: The Battle of Gettysburg: The American Civil War

May:
National Military Appreciation Month

Mental Health Month:
- Army Behavioral Health

Asian Pacific Heritage Month:
- Asian Pacific Americans in the US Army

Monday, May 30: Memorial Day

TODAY'S FOCUS

Army Chief of Staff's Retiree Council

What is it?

The Army Chief of Staff's (CSA) Retiree Council is made up of 14 retired Soldiers who are nominated by their installation retiree councils, approved by the CSA, and serve four-year terms, representing more than a million retired Soldiers, surviving spouses and family members worldwide.

These retired Soldiers are recalled to active duty annually for a meeting. At the meeting, DoD and Army leaders brief their programs, address retiree concerns and ask for the continued support of retired Soldiers and families. Armed with this knowledge and their research before the meeting, the Council addresses retiree issues submitted by installation councils. At the close of the meeting, the Council co-chairs, meet with the CSA to report the council's recommendations on these issues and to reinforce retired Soldiers' and spouses' continued support for the Army.

What has the Army done?

The CSA Retiree Council, once separate officer and enlisted councils, met for the first time from June 5-9 , 1972, and was welcomed by the retired CSA Gen. William C. Westmoreland. Since then, council recommendations have contributed to the Retiree Dental Plan; Direct Deposit for retirees and Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuitants living overseas; compensation for retirees whose retired pay was reduced by VA disability compensation; and phasing out of the reduction of the SBP annuity at age 62. This year, the 2011 Army Chief of Staff's (CSA) Retiree Council met from April 18-22 at the Pentagon.

Why is this important to the Army?

Retired Soldiers and families are important to the Army. They have given literally millions of years of service to our Army and our nation. They continue to serve not only as volunteers on and off post but as the face of the Army to the majority of the nation who are many miles from a military installation and have no military background. The council is the voice of retired Soldiers and families, raising retiree issues to Army leaders and taking the leaders' messages to retired Soldiers and families who carry them to their communities.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The CSA Retiree Council and installation retiree councils will continue to serve retired Soldiers and families and the Army itself. The CSA Retiree Council will continue to meet annually and installation retiree councils will meet at least semiannually.

Resource:

Army Retirement Services

STAND-TO! NEWS

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