Check back here often as we bring you the latest news affecting FRA.
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  • NDAA Update Recently the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees- known as the Big Four-recently met to discuss moving forward on the FY2018 Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 2810).
  • Modest COLA Increase The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently announced a two percent increase in the 2018 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for military and federal civilian retirees, survivor benefit annuitants, disabled veterans and Social Security recipients.
  • VA Opposes Unemployabilty Cuts The Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Dr. David J. Shulkin dispatched a letter to FRA and other Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) stating the VA does not support termination of Individual Unemployability (IU) benefits.
  • USMC General Dunford Approved for Second Term as Chair of JCS The Senate recently confirmed Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford to a second two-year term as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • Happy Birthday U.S. Navy! The U.S. Navy celebrates its (242nd) birthday today (October 13, 2017) by remembering the evolution from humble beginnings to the most powerful and sophisticated sea power in the world.
  • 2017 FRA National Convention Wrap Up The FRA Annual Convention elections were held on September 20, followed by the installation of the officers and board. Here are your new FRA officers and board: National President William E. Starkey, South Jersey Branch 57 National Vice President Robert Washington, Navy Department Branch 181
  • DoD Interim Rule for TRICARE Select The Department of Defense (DoD) has released an interim rule implementing TRICARE Select, changes mandated by last year's (FY2017) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA-S. 2943, Public Law 114-328).
  • President Signs VA Authorization Bill into Law President Trump recently signed into law (Public Law 115-62) the "The Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act" (H.R.3819), sponsored by Representative Brian Mast (Fla.), that extended the authority of the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out numerous veterans programs that otherwise would have expired on October 1, 2017.
  • NDAA Conference Committee Report Coming Soon The House and Senate have passed their versions of the FY2018 Defense Authorization bill. A conference committee will be appointed to resolve the differences between the two bills.
  • FRA Discusses Legislative Process with Marines Assistant Director Veterans Program (ADVP) Brian Condon recently presented a legislative process brief to a class of Staff Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCO) attending the Marine Corps University at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.
  • Commissaries to Start Accepting Military Star Card Pursuant to last year's (FY2017) National Defense Authorization Act (S.2943 - P.L.114-328) commissary consumers will soon be able to use a Military Star credit card to purchase groceries.
  • Senate Passed NDAA This week the Senate passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA-H.R. 2810).The $700 billion defense policy bill passed by a vote of 89-8, and does exceed the statutory caps on defense spending enacted by the Budget Control Act (BCA).
  • HASC Chairman Concerned about NDAA Delay and Strained Military‚Äč Rep. Mac Thornberry (Texas), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), recently expressed frustration that defense funding will likely get sidelined this month by other legislative priorities.
  • Upcoming Changes to TRICARE The Military Health System (MHS) has been substantially changed by the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA-H.R. 2933-Public Law No: 114-328). These changes are intended to renovate TRICARE to better serve beneficiaries.
  • FRA, Auxiliary Elect National Officers This week FRA is holding its 2017 National Convention in Hunt Valley, Md. More information will be forthcoming on next week's edition of NewsBytes as to who was elected National President and National Vice President as well as other officers.
  • Passage of Senate NDAA Delayed Until Next Week Debate on the Senate version of the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA-HR2810) started with a plea from Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Chairman, John McCain (Ariz.), to repeal sequestration.
  • White House Petition: Agent Orange Blue Water Navy Issue The Blue Water Vietnam Veterans Association has put a "We the People" petition on the White House website that calls for the enactment of The "Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act."
  • HASC: Navy Is Treading Water The House Armed Services Committee recently held a hearing to review the recent naval accidents.
  • September Is Suicide Prevention Month The month of September is designated as Suicide Awareness Month.
  • Temporary Budget Deal At a meeting in the White House, legislative leaders and President Trump have agreed to extend funding the government with a Continuing Resolution (CR) that will raise the debt ceiling through December 15, 2017.

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