FLEET RESERVE ASSOCIATION
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"Latest Update from National Headquarters"
February 17, 2023
Allow Retirees to Take Civilian DoD Jobs Without Delay
Sens. James Lankford (Okla.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) have introduced FRA-supported legislation (S.334) in the Senate and Reps. Blake Moore (Utah) and Derek Kilmer (Wash.) have introduced companion legislation (H.R.939) in the House. These bills will repeal the requirement for those retiring from military service to wait 180 days before entering the Department of Defense (DoD) civil service General Schedule (GS) positions for GS13 and below. The FY2021 NDAA included a temporary 3-year pilot program for depots and industrial activities. The FRA welcomed this improvement, but more work needs to be done.
The 180-day waiting period has resulted in a talent management problem for hiring officials who are grappling with an antiquated hiring process that takes too long to hire a qualified candidate with a current security clearance. Members can weigh in on this issue by going to the FRA Action Center.
Veterans Homelessness Decreasing
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness released a report, “The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness” (Jan. 26, 2023) with encouraging data on veteran’s homelessness. The report indicates that the total number of veterans who are experiencing homelessness has decreased by 11 percent since January 2020. The VA claims this is the biggest drop in homelessness in five years. In total, the estimated number of veterans experiencing homelessness in America has declined by 55.3 percent since 2010.
The report claims that this success is a result of VA efforts to reach out to every veteran experiencing homelessness, understand their unique needs, and address them. These efforts are grounded in the evidence-based “Housing First” approach, which prioritizes getting a veteran into housing, then provides the veteran with the wraparound support they need to stay housed — including health care, job training, legal and education assistance and more.
During 2022, the Department of Veterans Affairs permanently housed 40,401 homeless veterans, providing them with the safe, stable homes that they deserve. This exceeded the department’s goal to house 38,000 veterans in 2022 by 6.3 percent.
The FRA has supported initiatives for the VA and other agencies to enhance and invest in efforts to ensure that veteran’s homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring.
Open Enrollment for VA Healthcare
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has expanded health care eligibility for certain veterans who were discharged after Sept. 11, 2001, and before Oct. 1, 2013. The open enrollment period ends on Oct. 1, 2023, for this group of veterans depending on their dates and locations of service, regardless of disability claim status. Once the open enrollment period has closed, veterans from this group will be eligible for VA health care as part of a phase-in process depending on discharge date. Apply today online.
Happy Birthday USCGR and Women Marine Reserves
Monday, February 13 was the 80th anniversary of women in the Marine Corps Reserves. The Marine Corps created the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve in 1943, during America’s involvement in World War II. More than 20,000 women Marines served in World War II, in over 225 different specialties.
This Sunday, February 19, marks the 82nd anniversary of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. The Coast Guard Reserve is a flexible, responsive operational force that exists to support the Coast Guard roles of maritime homeland security, national defense (domestic and expeditionary), and domestic disaster operations.
FRA NHQ Closed on President’s Day
On Monday, February 20, the FRA national headquarters will be closed in observance of President’s Day.
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