Firing Line: Conversation Week #2 July 2016

Thursday, July 07, 2016

a.  AUSA Five Things - “What is the most accurate way of determining a service member’s stateside residence?

AUSA Five Things:  A Weekly Tip Sheet for AUSA Members, dated July 4, 2016:  “When a Soldier’s Residence Counts.”  

The U.S. started including U.S. service members overseas and their dependents in the 1970 U.S. Census, and including them in apportioning congressional districts. The 2010 census determined there were 410,700 uniformed service members and 592,100 armed forces dependents overseas. In determining their congressional district, the service member’s home of record usually was used. If they didn’t have one, their residence for state tax withholding or their last duty station was used.

What to watch: As the 2020 census approaches, debate continues over the most accurate way of determining the most likely stateside residence of a soldier and family living overseas. No method is entirely accurate because even a soldier isn’t entirely sure where he or she will live next.

b.  NCO and Soldier Programs – “Army’s call for fiction writers.”

The Army’s new Future Warfare Writing Program seeks soldier-written fiction that can be published on the Army Press Online website. Reflecting on the highly popular Novels like “Ghost Fleet” how would World War III start and how would it play out in the end.  For the old soldiers in the audience, “Team Yankee” of the 1980s did the same for a playout of World War III in a fight between the United States and the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.  What are some of the technologies and advancements that might come into play in your novel if you were to describe a World War III of the future?


c.  Veterans & Retirees – “Should veteran’s preference only apply for a veteran’s first federal job?”

The annual DoD authorization bill , which has passed both chambers but with important differences. The Senate version has a provision to apply veterans preference to only a veteran’s first federal job.  Do you think this makes sense or is unfair to veterans?

d.  AUSA Moderator – “ Army returns focus to soldiering basics. “

In her July 5th article entitled “Back to basics:  Army dials up traditional soldiering once again,” Michelle Tan writes:

“After more than 15 years of war — most of it in counter-insurgency operations — in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army is returning its focus to the basics of soldiering, intent on building an Army ready to face a wide array of threats around the world.”

“This is critical as the Army gets smaller and budget cuts force the service to slow down its modernization priorities. And it is also critical as the Army works to rebuild a set of skills that have declined in the face of ever-improving technology and the Internet.”

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1)  Should Army dining facilities have a meatless Monday?

o   Yes

o   No  

o   Not sure


2)  Are 8,400 ground troops in Afghanistan enough?

o   Yes

o   No

o   Not sure