National Defense Authorization Act
ROA worked with the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, as well as with the House Reserve Component Caucus and Senate Reserve Caucus during conference, leading to 44 of the issues ROA supported being passed. Of those 44, particular attention was given to 12 items that were considered at risk for support by Congress; ultimately ROA was able to affect their passage. A more detailed explanation can be found from H.R. 108-767 or the ROA Web site at http://www.roa.org/legislative_affairs/leg_summaries.asp.
* End Strengths for Military Technicians (dual status). Provides limits.
* Mandatory Retention on Active Duty to Qualify for Retired Pay. Clarifies that Reservists on active duty are protected by sanctuary provisions.
* Distribution in Grade of Marine Corps Reserve Offices in an Active Status in Grades below Brigadier General. Lifts limits on the number of officers authorized in each grade below brigadier general.
* Recognition Items for Certain Reserve Component Personnel. Authorizes the use of official funds to recognize and retain individuals who have served and supported members of the National Guard and Army Reserve.
* Federal Civil Service Military Leave for Reserve and National Guard Civilian Technicians. This is the 44 days of military leave provision.
* Effect of Appointment or Commissions Officer on Eligibility for Selected Reserve Education Loan Repayment Program for Enlisted Member. Allows the secretary of Defense to repay education loans for enlisted members subsequently commissioned.
* Comptroller General Assessment of Integration of Active and Reserve Components of the Navy. Directs GAO to review the plan of the secretary of the Navy for integration of the Active and Reserve force.
* Separate Campaign Medals for Iraq and Afghanistan. This provision was extracted and passed as separate legislation May 23, 2004, as H.R. 3104 and then was enacted as Public Lau 108-234.
* Re-designation of Inactive Duty Training. The effort to change IDTs to operational support was not supported, nor was the companion piece to change funeral honors duty that would have removed reimbursement for travel and transportation.
* Permanent ID Cards for Retirees over 75 Years of Age. Includes ID cards for dependents and survivors of military retirees.
* Military Recruiter Access to Institutions of Higher Education. Given same access as other employers.
* Increase in Basic Pay for FY05. Authorizes a 3.5 percent pay raise.
* Bonus Provisions for Recruitment and Retention. Includes pay for foreign language proficiency critical skills, affiliation, conversion incentives, imminent danger, and family separation.
* Full Survivor Benefits for Surviving Spouses. Eliminates the social security offset by 2008 for spouses 62 or older. It would also eliminate the need for supplemental pay by 2008 but allows an open enrollment for those retirees who want supplemental coverage during the next four years.
* Special Rule for Computing the High 36-Month Average for Disabled Members of Reserve Components. Permits more equitable treatment of certain members in calculating their average pay.
* Concurrent Receipt. Repeals the phase-in for veterans with a 100 percent service-connected disability.
* Commissary. Requires consideration of Reserve patrons when establishing or closing a commissary.
* Basic Allowance for Subsistence while Hospitalized. Repeals the required-to-pay subsistence charges when hospitalized.
* Health Profession Officers Education Loans. Qualifies loans for repayment.
* Federal Agricultural Loan Obligations. Provides relief for mobilized Reservists.
* Survey. Requires the secretary of Defense to conduct a study of income loss by mobilized Reservists.
* Comptroller General Report on Private Health Insurance. Directs a study on the cost and feasibility to maintain continuity of health care.
* Pre-Mobilization Health Care. Makes permanent TRICARE up to 90 days before mobilization and ensures timely notification.
* Waiver of Certain Health-care Deductibles. Authorizes the secretary of defense to waive TRICARE deductibles for Reserve Component members called to active duty for more than 30 days.
* Protection of Dependents from Balance Billing. Protects Reservists from additional billing by civilian providers in excess of the authorized TRICARE payment.
* Extension of Transition Health Care. Extends Transition Assistance Medical Program for up to 180 days following separation from active duty and requires a separation physical.
* TRICARE for Reservists. Authorizes a 90-consecutive-day active duty payoff of 1 year of TRICARE Standard with 28 percent premium.
* Young Children TRICARE Dental Plan Coverage. For survivors of deceased military members who were on active duty.
* Prescription Drug Benefits for Medicare-Eligible Enrollees. Provides protection for the TRICARE Senior Pharmacy program.
* Commission on the National Guard and Reserves. Directs a review of the roles and mission of the Reserve Component.
* Comptroller General Analysis of Transitional Benefits. Will include VA programs.
* Receipt of Pay by Reserves from Civilian Employers. Previously, this was characterized as a criminal offense; now it is allowed.
* Coordination of USERRA with the IRS. Requests additional guidance of IRS regulations.
* Payment of Federal Employee Health Benefit Premiums for Mobilized Federal Employees. Expands authority from 18 months to two years.
* Improved Medical Readiness. Includes several provisions for a study on the health of the Reserves.