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"Latest Update from National Headquarters"

 February 172023

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.



Newsbyte's is FRA's weekly legislative update. If you received this through a forward and would like to subscribe, please e-mail us and include your name and contact information in the body of e-mail. If you are a member of FRA or LA FRA, please include your member number as well. To unsubscribe, please respond to this email with "unsubscribe" in the message line.

Members are encouraged to voice their opinion on pertinent issues by visiting our FRA Action Center.

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FRA has represented the interests of current, retired, reserve and veteran Sea Services personnel and their families for over 90 years. If you are not a member and are eligible, please click here to head to our website. The larger the membership base, the louder your voice is heard on Capitol Hill.


At the request of FRA, Representatives Gus Bilirakis (FL) and John Garamendi (CA) introduced legislation (H.R. 6663) that will create a 100th anniversary commemorative coin for the Fleet Reserve Association. This bipartisan legislation would direct the Department of Treasury to mint a coin to commemorate the centennial of the foundation and charter of the FRA in 1924, all at no cost to American taxpayers.

  "For one century, the FRA has served as a strong voice in Washington," said Congressman Gus Bilirakis.  "The organization has been instrumental in advocating for Sea Service Members and their families, including successfully fighting back against proposed cuts to benefits and supporting enhanced eligibility and benefits for veterans.  The organization has been a valued partner in my fight to rectify the injustice of concurrent receipt.  Together, I am optimistic that we will be able to ensure all veterans finally receive the full benefits they've earned and deserve.  I am honored to help commemorate this prestigious organization's tireless work and legacy of success."

"National Headquarters Staff Listing"

 General FRA E-mail - news-fra@fra.org

1 National Executive Director - Christopher J. Slawinski: nedfra@fra.org, ext. 101

2 Finance Officer - Phillip Reid: finance@fra.org, ext. 102

3 Accounting - Misrak A. Zeleke, Senior Accountant: misrak@fra.org, ext. 114

4 Administration - Teresa Wiener, Director: adminfra@fra.org, ext. 103

5 Call Program Rep- Amanda Boehm: amandab@fra.org,ext 112

6 Communications & Marketing - William D. Stevenson, Director: williams@fra.org, ext. 126

7 Database Manager - Sameer N Mulla: sameer@fra.org, 109

8 IT Operations - Sami A Alsamawi, Manager: IT@fra.org, ext. ?

9 Legislative Programs - John Davis, Director: john@fra.org, ext. 110

10. Social Media Coordinator - Victoria Duran, Manager: victoriad@fra.org, ext. 115

11. Member Services - Shirley Moore, Manager: shirley@fra.org, ext. 120

12. Membership-Christina Hitchcock-Director-Christina@fra.org, ext.123

13. Scholarship Administrator: scholars@fra.org

Recruiting Materials:

13. Member Services, fra@fra.org, (800) FRA-1924

FRA Ship's Store

14. Donna Simms: DonnaS@fra.org, ext. 117

FRA National Headquarters
125 N. West Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-2754

Send questions and comments to news-fra@fra.org or call (800) FRA-1924.


**~**Virginia Beach Branch 166 **~**