Rao bulletin 1 June 2016 html edition this bulletin contains the following articles

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1 June 2016
HTML Edition
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* DOD * .
04 == Memorial Day 2016 ------- (Remember and Celebrate Decoration Day)

07 == DARPA [02] --------------------------------------- (Demo Day May 2016)

08 == NDAA 2017 [05] -------------------- (SASC Releases $602M Draft Bill)

10 == NDAA 2017 [06] ---------- (House Removes Woman Draft Provisions)

11 == NDAA 2017 [07] ------ (House Bill Includes Temporary War Funding)

11 == Military Pay & Benefits [05] --- (Pay Gap to Get Considerably Worse)

15 == Exchange Fraud, Waste & Abuse ----------- (Credit Card-Bitcoin Scam)

15 == POW/MIA [73] ------ (National League of POW/MIA Families Report)

18 == POW/MIA Recoveries ---- (Reported 16 thru 31 May 2016 - Nineteen)
* VA * .
24 == VA Health Care Access [39] --------- (Disney Wait Time Gaffe Impact)

26 == VA Deaths [02] --------- (70+ Vets Mistakenly Declared Dead Monthly)

26 == Traumatic Brain Injury [51] ---------------------------------- (Smart Home)

27 == VA Medical Marijuana [20] --------------- (Authorization in Budget Bill)

28 == VA Medical Marijuana [21] --------------- (PTSD Bill Passes RI Senate)

29 == VA Fertility Services ----------------- (Wounded Vets Press for Services)

30 == VA In Vitro Fertilization [08] --- (Passed Senate Bill Includes Funding)

31 == VA Hepatitis C Care [13] ---------------- (Get Tested at your VA Center)

32 == VA Vet Choice Program [40] ---------- Mix-Ups at Fayetteville VAMC)

33 == VA Vet Choice Program [41] --------- (VA Opposes Expansion Efforts)

34 == Vets First Act [02] ----------------- (Federal Employee Group Blasts Act)

35 == VA Cemeteries [13] ------------- (Flagpole Confederate Battle Flag Ban)

36 == VA OIG [07] --------------------- (19 May Denver CO Wait time Report)

36 == GI Bill [205] ---- (Vet Groups Seek Crackdown on Deceptive Colleges)

37 == Vets.gov [01] ---- (Consolidates 1,000+ Sites into One Online Location)

39 == VA Fraud, Waste & Abuse ------------ (Reported 16 thru 31 MAY 2016)

40 == VAH Chicago [01] --------- (Edward Hines, Jr. | Black Mold Infestation)

42 == VAMC Grand Junction CO [02] ------- (Inadequate Treatment Vet Died)

43 == VAMC Long Island NY ------ (Facility Deterioration Impacts Surgeries)

44 == VA HCS Palo Alto CA ---------------- (CVS MinuteCinic Pilot Program)

* Vets * .
45 == As I See It ------------------------------ (MOAA | Adding Insult to Injury)

46 == Military Handbooks ------- (2016 Editions Available for Downloading)

47 == Vet Charity Watch [59] - (2% of NVVF 2014 Donations Went to Vets)

48 == Vet Charity Watch [60] ------------- (WWP’s 80.6% Funding Assertion)

49 == Vet Fraud & Abuse --------------------------------- (16 thru 31 May 2016)

49 == Famous Vets ------------------------------------ (USMC | Steve McQueen)

50 == Vet Toxic Exposure | Lejeune [59] --------------- (VA to Accept Claims)

51 == WWII Vets 109 ---------------------------------------------- (Shifrin~Edwin)

52 == Obit: Tabor~Donna Barr | Pioneering Paratrooper ------- (19 May 2016)

54 == Obit: Melvin Rector | Memphis Belle Gunner ------------ (6 MAY 2016)

55 == Retiree Appreciation Days -------------------------- (As of 28 MAY 2016)

56 == Vet Hiring Fairs --------------------------------------- (1 thru 30 JUN 2016)

57 == Vet State Benefits & Discounts --------------------------- (Arkansas 2016)
* Vet Legislation * .
57 == Arlington National Cemetery [59] -- (WASP | H.R.4337 Becomes Law)

58 == NDAA 2017 [08] --------------------------------- (House Passes H.R.4909)

58 == NDAA 2017 [09] --------------------------------- (SASC Approves S.2932)

59 == Veterans Omnibus Bill ------------- (S.2921 | Reforming VA Operations)

61 == House Vet Bill Progress ------------------------------------- (24 MAY 2016)

61 == VA Agent Orange Benefits [01] ------------------------ (H.R.969 & S.681)

62 == Vet Student Loans [01] ------ (H.R.4974 Loan Forgiveness Amendment)

63 == VA Health Care Management --- (Stability/Improvement Act H.R.3956)

63 == State Veterans Home Program [05] -------------------- (ADHC H.R.2460)

64 == Vet Bills Submitted to 114th Congress ------------ (160516 thru 160531)

66 == Military Widows ------------------------------------- (Remarriage Penalties)

67 == West Point [01] -------------------------- (2nd Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache)

68 == Filipino Amerasians ---------------- (U.S. Servicemen Offspring’s Plight)

70 == USAF Painted Aircraft ------------------------------- (Making a Comeback)

72 == Warrior Web --------------------------------- (DARPA Walking Assist Suit)

72 == MCAS Futenma Okinawa [08] ---- (Arrest Fuels Relocation Opposition)

73 == Military Portrait -------------------------------- (Airman’s Fitness Training)

74 == Air Force One -------------------- (Replacement | Modified Boeing 747-8)

75 == Anderson AFB Guam ------------------------- (B-52H Crashes on Takeoff)

76 == POSYDON --------------------- (DARPA Underwater Navigation Project)

76 == USMC Occupational Titles ----------------- (Gender Neutral Assessment)

77 == USCG Icebreakers --------------- (U.S. 1 | USSR 41 + 14 under Contract)

79 == USCGC Donald Horsley ------------ (17th Cutter Welcomed to the Fleet)

80 == Military Bands ---------------------- (House NDAA Calls for GAO Study)

80 == U-858 Post WWII ------------------------ (Chuck Kline’s Service Aboard)

82 == Army Jeep No. 1---------------------------------------------- (Icon of WWII)

84 == Military History --------------------------- (WWII Home Front War Effort)

86 == Hiroshima ------------------------------------------ (Atomic Bomb Decision)

88 == Nagasaki ----------------------------- (20 Minutes after Bombing | Leaflets)

89 == Military Trivia 122 --------------------------------- (Operation Santa Claus)

91 == WWII Battles Q&A [2] ------------------------------------------- (Questions)

92 == Military History Anniversaries ----------------------------- (1 thru 15 JUN)

92 == WWII Battles Q&A [1] -------------------------------------------- (Answers)

93 == Medal of Honor Citations -------------------- (Barrett~Carlton W | WWII)

95 == TRICARE Reform [02] ---------- (House/Senate Committee Proposals)

96 == TRICARE Reform [03] --------------------- (Senate Package Highlights)

98== CMI ----------- (Chronic Multisymptom Illness | Iraq/Afghanistan Vets)

99 == NDAA 2017 [10] ------------- (SASC Defense Health Agency Proposal)

100 == TRDP [18] -------- (Program Eligibility Includes "Gray Area" Retirees)

100 == UV-A Radiation ---------------------------------- (Car Window Protection)

101 == TRICARE Help ---------------------------------------------- (Q&A 160515)

102 == Penis Transplant - (Groundbreaking Operation Could Help Some Vets)

104 == Blood Pressure Guidelines [03] -------------------- (Potato Consumption)

105 == Osseointegration ------------ (Titanium Rod Implantation for Amputees)

106 == Saving Money --------------------------------- (Buying Used | 10 No-No’s)

107 == Military Retiree State Tax | SC -- (Tax Deduction Bill 2 JUN Deadline)

108 == Life Insurance [02] --------------------------- (PTSD Impact on Eligibility)

110 == Bargains ---------------------------------------------- (50% Off – Not Really)

111 == Senior Discount [06] -- (Accommodations/Activities/Entertainment ++)

112 == SNAP [04] ------------------------- (Are you Eligible to Receive Benefits)

112 == Retiree States ------------------------------------ (10 Worst to Grow Old In)

114 == Retiree States -------------------------------------- (10 Best to Grow Old In)

116 == Skimmer Scam ----------------------- (Card Reader Machine Attachment)

116 == Tax Burden for Iowa Retired Vets ---------------------- (As of May 2016)

118 == Notes of Interest ----------------------------------- (16 thru 31 MAY 2016)

120 == North Korea Defector ------------- (U.S. James Joseph Dresnok & Sons)

122 == Marijuana [01] -------------------- (Reclassification under Consideration)

123 == Military Service Cross Stamps -------------------- (New Forever Stamps)

124 == Election Betting ---------------------------- (Illegal With Two Exceptions)

124 == Hurricane Preparedness [01] --------------------------- (Protection Myths)

127 == Baby Oil -------------------------------------------------- (33 Alternate Uses)

129 == JASTA ------------ (Legislation Authorizing Saudi Arabia 911 Lawsuits)

130 == National Security ----------------------------------------------- (EMP Threat)

131 == Remember When ----------------------------------------------- (Nostalgia (6)

134 == Help!!! ---------------------------- (Things that might make you say it (09)

134 == Brain Teaser ------------------------------------------------- (Odd Name Out)

134 == Have You Heard? ----------------------------------------------- (Questions 2)

135 == Brain Teaser Answer --------------------------------------- (Odd Name Out)


1. The page number on which an article can be found is provided to the left of each article’s title

2. Numbers contained within brackets [ ] indicate the number of articles written on the subject. To obtain previous articles send a request to raoemo@sbcglobal.net.

Attachment - Veteran Legislation as of 1 JUN 2016

Attachment - Arkansas Vet State Benefits & Discounts May 2016

Attachment - Military History Anniversaries 1 thru 15 JUN

Attachment – VA OIG Wait Time Reports as of May 2016

* DoD *

Memorial Day 2016 Remember and Celebrate Decoration Day
The Beginning - Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead"

Orphans decorating their fathers' graves in Glenwood Cemetery, Philadelphia, on Decoration Day 1876
While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
It's Official! - Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays).
Red Poppies - In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:
We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms. Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms. Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.
Confederates recognized as U.S. Veterans - On September 02, 1958, the following was passed recognizing Confederate Veterans as UNITED STATES Veterans: U.S. Code Title 38 - Veterans' Benefits, Part II - General Benefits, Chapter 15 - Pension for Non-Service-Connected Disability or Death or for Service, Subchapter I - General, § 1501. Definitions: (3) The term "Civil War veteran" includes a person who served in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, and the term "active military or naval service" includes active service in those forces. However, fourteen States provided pensions to Confederate Veterans long before the Federal Government did so:

  • Alabama - 1867, CS Veterans granted pensions for lost limbs. 1886, Pensions granted to CS Widows, 1891, Pensions granted to indigent veterans or their widows.

  • Arkansas - 1891, Indigent CS Veterans granted pensions, 1915, Pensions granted to their widows and mothers.

  • Florida - 1885, CS Veterans granted pensions, 1915, Pensions granted to widows.

  • Georgia - 1870, CS Veterans with artificial limbs granted pensions, 1879, Disabled CS Veterans and their widows residing in the State granted pension, 1894, pensions expanded to include old age and poverty.

  • Kentucky- 1912, CS Veterans or their widows granted pensions.

  • Louisiana - 1898, Indigent CS Veterans or their widows granted pensions.

  • Mississippi - 1888, Indigent CS Veterans or their widows granted pensions.

  • Missouri - 1911, Indigent CS Veterans granted pensions and a home established for disabled CS Veterans.

  • North Carolina - 1867, CS Veterans granted pensions who were blinded or lost a limb during service, 1885, Pensions granted to all other disabled indigent CS Veterans or widows.

  • Oklahoma - 1915, CS Veterans or widows granted pensions.

  • South Carolina - December 24, 1887. State law enacted permitting financially needy CS Veterans or widows to apply for pensions.

  • Tennessee - 1891, Indigent CS Veterans granted pensions, 1905, Widows granted pensions.

  • Texas - 1881, 1,280 acres set aside for disabled CS Veterans. 1889, Indigent CS Veterans or their widows granted pensions.

  • Virginia - 1888, CS Veterans or widows granted pensions.

True Meaning - To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps." The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.
But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."
[Source: The Regimental Quartermaster | May 26, 2016 ++]


DARPA Update 02 Demo Day May 2016
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency filled the courtyard at the Pentagon on 11 MAY with a variety of exhibitions at its annual DARPA Demo Day, giving the defense community and media a chance to see the next steps to maintain supremacy on the battlefield. Here are some highlights:
The Robotic Arm -- Johnny Matheney, a civilian who lost his arm to cancer in 2008, demonstrated his one-of-a-kind prosthetic. He was a highlight of the DEMO Day, drawing a crowd with his ability to move his mechanical elbow, wrist and five fingered-hand. He shook hands with a gentle touch. He said he has enough control to gently hold a toddler's hand one minute, and exhibit significant strength the next. This DARPA prototype is integrated directly onto the bone and uses sensors to pick up nerve signals from the brain to generate movement.
image result for arm http://www.tandemnsi.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/darpa-exosuit-640x360.jpg

  Robotic Arm Warrior Web
 Warrior Web -- This soft robotic exoskeleton runs a series of cables that helps legs to walk. With soldiers carrying heavy loads over long distances, DARPA has funded work at Harvard to try to reduce fatigue. The current prototypes weigh 10 pounds total, with the motor mounted above the rucksack. Sensors help the machine understand walking patterns and adjusts to pace and movements, and the motor pulls the cables to reduce the effort the wearer has to put into it. Three remains years of work to optimize and economize it.
Sea Hunter -- An entirely new class of unmanned ocean-going vessel. Last month, the Navy christened its prototype unmanned Sea Hunter. The submarine-hunting, 132-foot vessel, is designed to be at sea for months, with the ability to float autonomously while obeying all the rules of the sea; in effect a Google self-driving car for the sea. This autonomous capability could ultimately be used for patrolling for submarines or other tasks, like venturing into dangerous waters to detect sea mines.
http://cdnph.upi.com/sv/b/i/upi-9811460132979/2016/1/14601432405184/darpa-christens-sea-hunter-anti-submarine-drone.jpg https://sp.yimg.com/xj/th?id=oip.m09665a8ee355e1d6dd9a5316646582dco0&pid=15.1&p=0&w=300&h=300

Sea Hunter DASH
DASH -- Distributed Agile Submarine Hunting, or DASH, is a tube-like, unmanned submersible. It has been tested at below 5,000 meters deep, which could enable the Navy to detect enemy subs and ships from miles away. The next step is to improve power: currently a lithium battery limits operation to about an hour.
darpa’s vertical takeoff and landing experimental plane (vtol x-plane) program seeks to provide innovative cross-pollination between fixed-wing and rotary-wing technologies and by developing and integrating novel subsystems to enable radical improvements in vertical and cruising flight capabilities. in an important step toward that goal, darpa has awarded the phase 2 contract for vtol x-plane to aurora flight sciences. click below for high-resolution images.

VTOL X-Plane
VTOL X-Plane -- The full-sized prototype of the Vertical Takeoff and Landing Experimental (VTOL X)-Plane has been cleared for construction. It will have a 60-foot wingspan and weigh 12,000 pounds, with a 1,500 payload. It has a distinctive design with more than a dozen engines inside that make up the wings. If aimed up, it can achieve vertical lift, then shifting for forward motion at 400 knots. A miniature version has achieved a vertical takeoff.
Squad X -- This program is working on a bevy of tools for dismounted soldiers to understand and dominate the battlefield. Roughly a dozen different projects are working on everything from robotics to electromagnetic sensors to a guided M320 grenade.
Digital night vision - The Army has recently seen important advances in night vision; this would go a step further and several degrees lighter. PIXNET is a helmet-mounted camera that digitizes infrared capabilities. That saves a ton of weight; while an Enhanced Night Vision Goggle weighs around two pounds, the PIXNET camera weighs a fraction of a pound. It also would offer more settings, and be set up with a transmitter that could someday connect its signal to any of a series of devices, from a goggle to Family of Weapon Sights to a broader information technology platform like Nett Warrior.
Mini-manufacturing -- DARPA is working on a number of micro-technologies; one example is the effort to build a machine that can assemble nano-structures. The incredibly-intricate structures made of carbon fiber can be very strong, yet very light.
What's next? Not all projects displayed have reached a prototype stage, or are even close to it. Often the goal is to develop the technology to achieve a particular capability, rather than develop an operable military system or to achieve a tangible military goal. Down the line, it will be up to other organizations to seize what’s been developed and develop programs of record. [Source: Army Times | Kyle Jahner | May 16, 2016 ++]
NDAA 2017 Update 05 SASC Releases $602M Draft Bill
The Senate Armed Services Committee released its $602 billion draft of the annual defense authorization bill 12 MAY that goes along with White House funding plans for the military next year but sets up a budget showdown with House lawmakers later this summer. The measure includes a 1.6 percent pay raise for troops in January and includes major overhauls of the military health and justice systems, both designed to modernize those bureaucracies. It reduces military leadership staff and trims the number of general and flag officers by 25 percent. And the measure would for the first time require women to register in the Selective Service System, should the nation ever require a return to a military draft.
Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said the measure amounts to “the most sweeping reforms of the organization of the Department of Defense in a generation.” But despite similarities with House reform efforts, the funding difference will be the key fight in the weeks ahead for congressional negotiators. The Senate bill generally stays with funding levels laid out in last year’s budget deal, totaling about $543 billion for base defense functions and $59 billion for overseas contingency operations. House lawmakers matched that total but shifted about $18 billion from the temporary war spending assignments into the base budget, providing funding for overseas operations for only seven months of fiscal 2017.
House Democrats called that Republican plan risky and irresponsible, and McCain signaled weeks ago he did not support that approach. But he also acknowledged on Thursday that his committee’s plan, passed by a 23-3 vote, still falls woefully short of the money needed to fully prepare and equip the military. He is expected to offer a funding boost amendment during debate on the Senate floor later this year, a move that the White House and Democrats have refused unless it’s met with equal non-defense spending hikes.

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