FRA NewsBytes June 6, 2014

NewsBytes 06/06/2014

NewsBytes 06/06/2014

Stop Prescription Co-pay Increases!
New USMC Commandant Selected
New Coast Guard Leadership
D-Day 70 Years Ago


Stop Prescription Co-pay Increases!
As noted in the May 23, 2014 NewsBytes, the Senate National Defense Authorization Act (S. 2289) dramatically increases pharmacy co-pays for retirees, reduces the FY 2015 active duty pay increase, and increases out-of-pocket housing costs for active duty service members and their families. The bill now goes to the Senate floor for consideration by the full Senate. Members are urged to use the FRA Action Center (action.fra.org/action-center) to ask their Senators to oppose these provisions.

The House has already passed its version of the FY 2015 NDAA (H.R. 4435). After the Senate approves its version of the bill, a conference committee will be appointed to resolve the differences between the two bills. The resulting bill will be approved by the House and Senate and then sent to the president to be signed into law or vetoed.

New USMC Commandant Selected
Four-star General Joseph Dunford, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, has been nominated by the president to be the next (36th) Commandant of the Marine Corps. The position of commandant has a four-year term and requires Senate confirmation.

Dunford was raised in Quincy, Mass. He graduated from Saint Michaels College in June 1977 and earned his commission after college graduation. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, the Ranger School and the Amphibious Warfare School. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Government from Georgetown University and a second Master of Arts in International Relations from Tufts University. He is noted for leading the 5th Marine Regiment in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

New Coast Guard Leadership
There have been recent changes in U.S. Coast Guard leadership. Coast Guard Commandant Robert Papp retired as 24th Commandant of the Coast Guard and has been replaced by Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, who will serve as the 25th Commandant of the Coast Guard. Prior to his selection as Commandant, he served as Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, and concurrently served as Commander, Defense Force West and provided U.S. Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense.

Zukunft’s previous flag assignments include Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship; Director of Response Policy, Assistant Commandant for Capability; Commander, Eleventh Coast Guard District; and Director, Joint Interagency Task Force West.

Steven W. Cantrell also assumed the duties of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard from Michael P. Leavitt to become the 12th MCPOCG. Leavitt assumed duties as the 11th MCPOCG on May 21, 2010, and retired this year after 32 years of Coast Guard service. He plans to relocate with his family to his home state of Idaho. National President Virgil Courneya and NED Thomas J. Snee attended these change-of-the-watch ceremonies.

Master Chief Eric L. Johnson, who has served 33 years in the Coast Guard Reserve, is the sixth person selected to serve as the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Reserve Force. He relieved MCPO-CGRF Mark Allen, an active and long-time FRA member who has served as Vice President of Branch 182 (Rockville,Md), Chairman of FRA’s Central Liaison Committee (CLC) and as Chairman of the Navy Memorial’s Memorial Day Ceremony. Mark Allen’s previous assignments include Coast Guard Leadership and Professional Development and Coast Guard Reserve Affairs, Washington, DC; Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes, MD; Coast Guard Station Washington, DC; and Coast Guard Station Alexandria, VA. In addition, Master Chief Allen has been recalled to active duty in response to Coast Guard operations that have ranged in size and scope from the Mariel Boat Lift to the Air Florida Flight 90 crash to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Reserve Force (CGRF-MC) was established in June 1991. FRA staff attended this change-of-the-watch ceremony.

D-Day 70 Years Ago
Today marks the 70th anniversary of the World War II invasion of Normandy, France, by Allied troops. Commonly referred to as D-Day, it was the largest naval invasion in history and eventually led to the end of the war in Europe. FRA salutes all WWII veterans on this special anniversary, particularly those who fought on June 6, 1944.