Military Personnel Subcommittee Chairman Releases Details of National Defense Authorization Act
The chairman and ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel today unveiled details of the portion of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 which will be marked up by the subcommittee on Wednesday. Subcommittee Chairman Joe Wilson’s mark (R-S.C.) provides America’s military personnel a pay increase and continues the strong support the committee has always provided military families.
“Throughout my time in Congress, I have worked to make sure our men and women in uniform, their families, and veterans are adequately compensated for their selfless sacrifice and dedication to our great nation. The missions undertaken by our service members entail risk and requirements that are second to none, and few others realize this as their families do,” said Chairman Wilson. “I am proud this bipartisan legislation reflects the Committee’s commitment to our troops and their loved ones. I also appreciate the opportunity to work with other Members of the Committee and their staffs, and I recognize the work spent putting it together.”
“I want to thank the Chairman, Mr. Wilson, staff and all members of the Military Personnel for their hard work in crafting this important piece of legislation and for working in such a bipartisan manner,” said Ranking Member Davis. “Nearly ten years of armed conflict has taken a toll on our service members, and it is my goal to ensure that we are doing everything possible to ensure that they have the benefits and support that they deserve. To that end, I am particular pleased that the mark includes several provisions that I strongly support such as a 1.6 percent pay raise, apprenticeship programs to help transition of our service members back into their communities and efforts to continue to reduce sexual assault and harassment in the Services.”
As part of its efforts to bring a new level of transparency to this once closed process, the House Armed Services Committee under the leadership Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.) will make the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 available to media, interested parties and the general public prior to consideration by the full committee or one of its subcommittees. More information about the legislation is available at https://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/ndaa.
Highlights of Military Personnel Subcommittee mark include:
· Provides a 1.6 percent increase in military basic pay.
· Prohibits TRICARE Prime fee increases for one year.
· Expresses the deep concern the committee feels about the impact proposed future force reductions for the Army and Marine Corps will have on individual dwell time as well as the overall health and welfare of the all volunteer force.
· Establishes requirements for the management and measurement of dwell time—the time service members spend at home station following a deployment; personnel tempo—the time, including training time, that a service member is unable to spend time in housing in which the service member lives due to work duties; and operating tempo—the time units are involved in operational and training requirements.
· For recruitment purposes, requires the Department of Defense to treat those persons who receive a secondary education level diploma from a non-traditional secondary school program, such as on-line high schools, charter schools, home schools or a hybrid school, the same as a person who receives a diploma from a traditional high school, as long as those non-traditional secondary schools are in compliance with state or local education laws.
· Increases the allowance for Marine Corps officers serving on active duty in grades of major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel. For example, with an officer strength of 17,500, the Marine Corps could promote 485 additional officers to the grade of major, 286 additional officers to the grade of lieutenant colonel, and 37 additional officers to the grade of colonel.
· Makes health professional students who are enrolled in a course of study that results in a degree in clinical psychology or social work eligible to receive a stipend.
· Reforms, consolidates, and simplifies travel and transportation authorities to enhance the utility, flexibility, efficiency, and relevancy of the law in response to a complex and changing travel and transportation environment.
· Reduces the statutory authorizations for general and flag officers by eliminating 14 joint duty pool authorizations; cutting 11 Air Force authorizations; and requiring that 10 general and flag officers who previously were exempt from being counted against service or joint duty pool limits, to now be counted.
· Establishes the position of Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau as a three-star flag officer and requires that the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, previously exempt from counting against flag officer limits, and the Vice Chief be counted against the joint pool limits.
· Establishes and clarifies the authorities and responsibilities of the Secretary of the Army to develop, operate, manage, administer, oversee, and fund the Army National Military Cemeteries, including Arlington National Cemetery. Clarifies the roles of the Congressional oversight committees with regard to the Army National Military Cemeteries and provides for continued inspections of them by the Department of Defense Inspector General.
· Makes mental health assessments available for members of the reserve components at the location of their unit during unit training and assemblies.
· Provides legal council to servicemembers who are victims of sexual assault.