Commentary

January 17, 2014

Air Force Sergeants Association—united we stand

Master Sgt. Javier Murillo
452 Security Forces Squadron

As the President of the March Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) chapter, I am taking this opportunity to ask you to read the information below. We are all aware of the budget crisis we are facing as a nation, but do you know what cuts are being proposed and how they will affect our benefits? There are a number of our benefits on the chopping block, but I would like to shed some light on two of them; commissaries and retirement pay.

Commissaries

As a cost-saving measure, the Pentagon is taking a look at closing all stateside commissaries in 2015. The proposal was part of recent preparations for the fiscal 2015 Department of Defense budget request that is due out in February, which is a sign of the budget pressures weighing on the Pentagon because of sequestration.

Retirement Pay

The budget deal announced Dec. 17, 2013, reduced the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for retirees under age 62 by one percent each year. A bipartisan budget deal that passed on Dec. 18, 2013, significantly slashed retirement benefits for current and future military retirees, up to the age of 62, by one percent every year for the next 20 years, which does not keep up with inflation. The cuts will have a devastating and long-lasting impact, reducing retired pay for those who serve a 20-year career by nearly 20 percent over their lifetime. The proposed COLA cut is far worse than the 1986 retirement cuts that had to be repealed after it undermined retention. 

Of all the cuts being proposed, there seems to be an ominous immediacy around these two proposals. Closing commissaries would have an immediate effect on our families and result in the loss of yet another great benefit we may sometimes overlook. Commissaries are also a valued part of our total compensation package. Closing them could adversely affect recruitment and retention efforts. Cutting retired COLA means that pay will not keep up with inflation. I am sure we can all agree that, with all the proposed cuts, the last thing we want is to lose money we have earned. If this budget provision is accepted by the House it would be phased in starting in December 2014.

The Air Force Sergeants Association

The AFSA is the only association solely dedicated to representing our needs and the needs of our families. The Association lobbys Congress on our behalf and has a by-name seat at the influential tables in Congress and at the Pentagon. The AFSA does more than just fight to maintain our existing benefits and allowances. They contribute to the discussion in a way so that lawmakers can better understand our needs. Consider this: only 20 percent of the current members of Congress have ever served in the Armed Forces, which means that 80 percent of the lawmakers who are making the decisions about our pay and benefits have never served. This is why the AFSA is such an important organization; they help that 80 percent gain an inside perspective on the impact of their decisions.

Membership

The more members we have here at March, and across the entire Air Force, the stronger and more influential our association is. If maintaining your benefits and pay are important to you, I urge you to take action and join the AFSA. Once you are a member, you will have access to a powerful tool that will allow you to send pre-drafted letters to elected officials with just a few clicks of a mouse. The more letters we send the better our chances of retaining our hard-earned benefits. You can sign up for the AFSA at www.hqafsa.org by clicking on “Join AFSA.” Dues are $25 for each year, $44 for two years and $64 for three years. Airman Basic through Senior Airman, or E-1 through E-4, can receive two years for $25. If you live out of the area you will be assigned to the nearest installation, so ensure you select our chapter from the drop down menu, March ARB, Chapter F1360. Under recruiter ID ensure you enter 98366 so our local chapter can get a rebate on your dues. If you have any questions or need assistance with signing up, do not hesitate to call me on my cell at 951-842-9727. Remember these mottos, One Team One Fight and United We Stand. The basic concept is that united we can accomplish great things but if we don’t stand together and get involved we can be easily defeated.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

Native American legacy of honor, dedication

Courtesy photo Pfc. Charles George is the most recent Native American to receive the Medal of Honor. He was recognized for saving members of his unit during the Korean War by throwing himself on a grenade and absorbing the expl...
 
 
power-of-Airmen

Airmen Powered by Innovation program launches new site

graphic courtesy/Defense Media Activity Fellow Airmen, Your enthusiasm and ingenuity continues to be our Air Force’s number one weapon system! In April of this year we launched the Airmen Powered by Innovation program aimed a...
 
 
NAIHM_14_Poster_square

DEOMI releases National American Indian Heritage Month observance products

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – In observance of National American Indian Heritage Month, celebrated each year from November 1-30, the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) proudly announces the availability o...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Perry Covington

Force Support Squadrons integrate, effectiveness increases

U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Perry Covington Airmen from 452nd Air Mobility Wing and the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing’s Force Support Squadron have integrated as part of the 3 to 1 Total Force Personnel Management Initiative, allo...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Matt Proietti

War’s end meant 452nd’s demise…for 20 months

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Matt Proietti Technical Sgt. Ed Hinrichs, left, and Staff Sgt. Harvey A. Shaw share memories of their time as B-17 Flying Fortress gunners at a 452nd Bomb Group Association reunion. (F...
 
 
ncsam-graphic

Online vigilance helps reduce security risks

I received at least five emails last week warning me to secure my social media settings and be aware of what I post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Why? Do you not like to see what I had for dinner last night? Too many #sel...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin