VFW Action Corps Weekly – July 10, 2015
In This Issue:
1. Take Action!
2. Army to Shrink by 40,000 Soldiers
3. The 116th National Convention of the VFW
4. “Meet Them in the District” Campaign Unveiled
5. Veterans ID Card Bill
6. OPM Data Breech Update
1. Take Action!: An “Action Alert” was issued today concerning pending legislation about the largest changes to the military retirement system since its inception. For the VFW’s position and to take action, click here: http://capwiz.com/vfw/issues/alert/?alertid=67070636.
2. Army to Shrink by 40,000 Soldiers: The Army announced a two-year plan on Thursday to further shrink the size of the active force from its current 490,000 soldiers to 450,000. Its wartime high had been 570,000. The Army will also reduce its civilian workforce by 17,000. The news came as no surprise to the VFW since the Budget Control Act of 2011 had dictated the reduction. Still to come is the return of mandatory sequestration in fiscal year 2016, which would further shrink the active Army to 420,000 soldiers, and slash all military operating budgets. VFW National Commander John Stroud called sequestration the most significant military readiness and national security threat of the 21st century, and said “our military can beat any military in the world, but they can’t fight a Congress that is essentially forcing them to operate for a decade on only eight years’ worth of funding.” He is now demanding an end to sequestration. “We need both political parties to finally say ‘enough,’ not because a continued sequester will hurt civilian economies in certain congressional districts, but because a continued sequester weakens America, worries our allies and emboldens our enemies,” he said. “Our brave men and women in uniform will continue to perform and excel at every mission, but overtasking with inadequate resourcing will cost lives — American lives — which is an impending disaster the VFW will not allow.”
3. The 116th National Convention of the VFW: The VFW heads to Pittsburgh, Pa., for our annual convention from July 18-22. The National Legislative Service invites you to visit us at our booth through the week and to attend our workshop on Sunday at 10am. With 12,000 delegates expected to attend and resolutions set to be voted on, this convention will set the tone for our next year. For more information on the events, visit the VFW’s website at:www.vfw.org/convention.
4. “Meet Them in the District” Campaign Unveiled: The VFW unveiled its latest grassroots effort to contact members of Congress during the upcoming August recess. With a goal to get local VFW members to speak with one voice on core issues that the organization is fighting for, scheduling meetings with Senators and Representatives in their home districts between August 1st and September 7th will show that the VFW is the leading advocate for veterans. Contact your National Legislative Committee member for more details.
5. Veterans ID Card Bill: On Tuesday, the House unanimously passed a bill which would require VA to issue an ID card proving veteran status to any veteran who presents a DD–214 that verifies that veteran’s service. The bill cleared the Senate last week and now awaits the President’s signature. Stay tuned to the Action Corps Weekly for updates on how VA plans to issue the new ID cards.
6. OPM Data Breech Update: Personal information on more than 21 million Americans is now in the hands of cyber criminals who broke into the Office of Personnel Management database. The information obtained includes Social Security numbers and security background applications of federal government employees, applicants and contractors. What next? OPM and the Defense Department are working with a private-sector firm to provide fraud monitoring and other services for three years for free. To determine if you are at possible risk and what steps you should take, log on to:https://www.opm.gov/news/releases/2015/07/opm-announces-steps-to-protect-federal-workers-and-others-from-cyber-threats/.