Torchbearer Alerts 


Torchbearer Alerts are informational papers highlighting time-sensitive issues of importance to the Army and providing instructions on how to be a strong voice for action with elected officials. These messages are sent to the military and civilian leadership of the United States Army and the Department of Defense, selected segments of the American public, members of Congress, key congressional staff, industry and the administration.   

To order copies of Torchbearer Issue Papers, send an e-mail to or call 800-336-4570, ext. 4630. Please provide your name, address, daytime phone number, the title of the publication you wish to receive and, if you are a member of AUSA, your member number. For more information, call 800-336-4570, ext. 2627.


Torchbearer Alerts

A Crisis in Military Housing: Basic Allowance for Housing Under Attack
(Torchbearer Alert, October 2013)

This Torchbearer Alert demonstrates the irrationality and injustice of placing the nation’s financial burdens on the shoulders of Soldiers. The quality of housing has improved in recent years under new programs and initiatives; the nation owes it to her servicemembers and their families, who have already given so much, to ensure that they continue to be provided with good homes. If sequestration is allowed to stand as it is, this provision will no longer be a certainty. In addition to the responsibility owed to current Soldiers, it is important to remember that in an all-volunteer force there must be adequate incentives to attract, retain and fairly compensate new recruits. Providing quality military housing is a necessary and profitable investment.

Breaking the Faith
(Torchbearer Alert, February 2012)

This Torchbearer Alert summarizes the Defense Department’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposals to increase health care fees and reconsider the structure of the military retirement system. For many military retirees under age 65, annual fees for TRICARE Prime would triple or quadruple by 2017; TRICARE Standard and Extra would also implement new enrollment fees and increase the size of families’ deductibles. For military retirees over age 65, the administration proposes hefty new annual enrollment fees for TRICARE-for-Life. Copays for pharmaceuticals would also increase substantially. Further, the administration proposes the creation of a commission to recommend cost-effective changes to the military retirement system. This commission would have authority similar to the BRAC process, effectively limiting elected officials’ involvement. The paper emphasizes that these ideas would do very little to alleviate the nation’s fiscal crisis; however, they would severely impact the well-being of those who have already risked and sacrificed more than their fair share, and they could have serious consequences for force readiness.

U.S. Army Retirees: Retired Pay and Health Care at Risk
(Torchbearer Alert, September 2011)

This Torchbearer Alert examines current and potential legislation that may threaten military retiree pay and health care. It gives an overview of the current legislation and future possibilities, calling for readers to voice their support for the full value of military retirement and health care earned benefits (deferred compensation) and ask their Members of Congress to protect the interests of those who have served.

Time to Invest in Strategic Mobility
(Torchbearer Alert, March 2007)

Briefly describes U.S. strategic mobility capabilities and offers examples of the importance of those assets to current operations around the globe.

Army Aviation Restructuring and Revitalization: 2004–2011
(Torchbearer Alert, May 2004)

On February 23, 2004, the acting Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff announced a major restructuring of Army aviation coinciding with the cancellation of the Comanche helicopter program.

Stretched and Strained, Too: The U.S. Army's Reserve Components in the Global War on Terrorism
(Torchbearer Alert, September 2003)
Examines the operational tempo of the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve since the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

In-State Tuition: Affording Educational Opportunities to Soldiers and Their Families
(Torchbearer Alert, September 2003)
Examines the inconsistencies in higher-education tuition policies faced by soldiers and their families as they move from state to state.

Impact Aid: Providing for the Educational Needs of Military Children
(Torchbearer Alert, June 2003)

Contains brief description of the shortfalls existing in a federal program to provide funding for a portion of the educational costs of federally connected students.