AUSA Asks Congress to Support Guard, Reserve
The Association of the U.S. Army has joined six other organizations to get congressional support for the reserve component, including expanded health care coverage, eliminating equipment shortfalls and an increase in full-time personnel support.
Along with the Adjutants General Association of the U.S., Air Force Association, Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the U.S., National Governors Association, National Guard Association of the United States and Reserve Officers Association, AUSA wrote to leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees seeking support for legislative priorities that “directly correspond with the National Defense Strategy to restore readiness and build a more lethal force” and “will enhance reserve component operational readiness while continuing to promote the goals of Total Force integration.”
One request asks to expand Tricare Reserve Select, a worldwide premium-based health insurance benefit for Selected Reserve members. “Although TRS is a successful program for reserve component medical readiness and retention, more than 20 percent of our reserve component service members remain uninsured,” says the letter, which notes that there are problems with continuity of care for reservists whose duty status changes, particularly those who deploy.
The associations ask Congress to consider expanding the Tricare program to federal employees, who are now excluded, and study the feasibility of eliminating premiums.
Additionally, the associations ask for an increase in authorized full-time National Guard and Reserve personnel that keeps pace with increases in the size of the reserve component. They also ask for continued congressional support for “robust funding” of equipment and platforms to ensure the reserve component keeps pace with active forces, and funding to address equipment shortfalls and compatibility issues.