AFSA HQ Newsletter – May 3rd

This newsletter is produced and released on a weekly basis by AFSA HQ. To read the full newsletter, as well as archived entries, visit the AFSA On Call Newsletter section of


113th Congress; 1st Session; Week of May 6-10, 2013

  • Senate: In Session – contact lawmakers via DC offices
  • House: In Session – contact legislators via DC offices
  • Capwiz: open 24/7/365 – communicate with Congress at any time on any subject

Budgets and the Impact on Retention

Current law sets the minimum military pay raise for the coming year at 1.8 percent as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Cost Index (ECI).  Nine years ago AFSA and its Coalition partners convinced lawmakers to approve the formula linking military pay rises to private sector pay growth. Its passage brought an end to compensation disparities that were causing serious retention problems for the military.  History indicates, with supporting empirical data, this important change has resolved recruiting shortfalls for all branches. When the Administration recently submitted its FY 2014 budget plan, it proposed capping military pay raises at 1 percent.  The issue will be in the hands of Congress as to what percentage the military pay raise will end up.  AFSA joins The Military Coalition in urging Congress to follow current law and continue to base annual military pay raises (1.8 percent for 2014) on the ECI.  Your AFSA advocates are working hard to retain your hard earned benefits. Lend your voice to our effort by using CapWiz and tell your elected officials to STOP THE BENEFIT CHOP!

Air Force Leadership Changing

Last Friday Air Force Secretary Michael Donley announced his intention to step down after nearly five years of leading the service.  The services’ longest serving secretary plans to end his tenure on June 21 and there is no word yet on who his replacement might be.  We do know who will fill the #2 position though.  On Monday Eric Fanning was sworn in as the new Air Force undersecretary.  He fills a position that has been vacant for nearly a year.

Guard and Reserve Veteran Status Bill Clears a Hurdle

Legislation to grant full Veteran status to Guard and Reserve members who served at least 20 years but were not called up for active duty recently cleared its first hurdle in the House.  Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN) introduced H.R. 679 in January to honor Reserve component members who by the letter of the law do not meet the definition of a “Veteran.”  For those who may be unaware, Title 38 of the US code (Veteran’s Benefits) excludes career reservists from the definition of “Veteran” if they have not served on Title 10 (active duty) for other than training purposes.  On April 25, the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs OK’d the bill by voice vote. The next step for the AFSA-endorsed legislation (and platform item) is consideration by the full Committee which we are told could come as early as next week.  Of particular note, Rep. Tim Walz will be awarded AFSA’s top legislative award, the L. Mendel Rivers Award, in August during the AFSA Professional Airmen’s Conference in San Antonio, TX.

Robb to Head New Defense Health Agency

Air Force Major General Douglas Robb has been appointed director of the newly established Defense Health Agency.  General Robb currently serves as Joint Staff surgeon, the chief medical adviser to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.

AFSA Congratulates TSgt Cecilia Cardenas

On Monday evening during the annual GEICO Military Service Awards, TSgt Cardenas was honored as the Air Force recipient of the 2012 GEICO Military Service Award for her work in drug and alcohol abuse prevention at Keesler AFB, MS.  Sergeant Cardenas is currently assigned to the 86 Wing at Ramstein AB, Germany.

Are You a New Veteran?

If you’ve recently left the military and are new to the Veterans Affairs system, do yourself a favor and check out this primer on how the VA is structured, what benefits are available, and most important, how to apply for them.


“When you take off the uniform, we will serve you as well as you’ve served us – because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they need when they come home.”

– President Obama, at his Sept. 6, 2012 DNC address.


What’s Important to You?

To get a better sense of how to answer this question, we’ve created an informal Poll on CapWiz so you can tell us what you value the most. We’ve created a list on a number of benefits that AFSA hears is important to you.  While all have value, help us dial in on what is most important by prioritizing your top 10.  Use the tabs on the AFSA web page or just click here.


Insurance: Property & Casualty

Protect what’s important to you with affordable insurance from USAA.  USAA offers top-rated coverage at low rates.  Combine that with award-winning service — in fact, USAA was ranked one of Business Week’s top two “Customer Service Champs” the last four years in a row.  To make it easy for you, you can do it all online — quote, buy, print ID cards, and much more.  Call USAA at (800) 531-8722 or go online here.

Enterprise & Alamo

Need a rental car?  Shop here and choose either Enterprise or Alamo to get a discounted rate.  Both sites have the discount embedded in them, so there is no need to enter a promotional code!


Call (800) 654-6511 and provide the associate with promotional code 10635 click here and click the I have a discount box under reservations, then enter Code 0010635 under the Discount/CDP/Club Code section and select Quote me the program my company has negotiated.

Over 20 Other Items of Interest

For a complete and detailed listing of the many benefits to AFSA membership, go to the AFSA webpage and click on the left menu listing “Member Benefits” or just click here.


Please keep AFSA informed of your new mailing address to facilitate timely receipt of your magazine.  Easy to do, just call us at 1-800-6380594 or email

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This newsletter is produced and released on a weekly basis by AFSA HQ. To read the full newsletter, as well as archived entries, visit the AFSA On Call Newsletter section of

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