Wednesday, July 2, 2014



“Old Naval Home” BRANCH 307         

Gulfport, Mississippi                            


Serving Active Duty, Reserve and Retired Enlisted Personnel of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.


President                           Vice President                   Secretary/Treasurer      Chaplain            

 Harry RHIZOR                Pete PETERSEN             Bob Rutherford           Tom BUTLER

1800 Beach Drive              1800 Beach Drive            1800 Beach Drive         1800 Beach Driv

C435                                  A617                                A320                             B434

Gulfport, MS 39507          Gulfport, MS  39507       Gulfport. Ms  39507    Gulfport, MS  39507

228 206 2356                      228 265 8143                  228 563 8143               228 265 5091


MAA –                               BOD’S

Sanders Odom C522         JPP Mike Oliver               Sanders Odom C522       Roland Warren B827

                                           Charles Jenkins A826      Charlie Smith C633         Tom Butler B434

                                           Bill Jossandal  C519


JULY 2014                        MEMBERSHIP AT 103            34  LIFE MEMBERS        


NEXT MEETING   -   Our next meeting will on Thursday, 10 July 2014, at 1400 in the James B Cooper theatre..   All branch members, MAL’s and other branch members,  are welcome to attend.   Main topic -   Activities for the coming year for the branch.


BINNACLE LIST:  Good news – no one was reported for this period.  Hope all is well.


OBIT | Chester Nez 04 Jun 2014  - The final member of the original Navajo code talkers, the group of 28 Native Americans who played a crucial role for U.S. communications during World War II, has died. Chester Nez died Wednesday in Albuquerque, confirmed Judy Avila, who helped Nez write his memoirs. He was 93. 


WEARING OF FRA HAT - Rituals Section27 (edited)  The FRA cap may be worn, upon entering the meeting hall and remain on during the meeting, except when directed to uncover, at which time, the president will give three taps of the gavel and all shipmates stand and lay their FRA caps on their left shoulder and bow their heads.  (Rituals 2703 (i)).  When attending a funeral -  (Rituals 2712 (d)  The Fleet Reserve Association cap should be held over the heart, with the right hand as one approches the casket; it is not worn at anytime in a church, mortuary chapel, except by the color guard and the guard of honor.  (e)  FRA members not in formation will uncover upon entering a church or mortuary chapel and remain uncovered during the entire service and will re-cover after leaving.  (f)  At the graveside or during Memorial Day services, the cap should be held in the right hand at the left shoulder during the entire service, except for the color guard and the guard of honor.


FOOD PANTRY -  This project is doing "Great" due to a few of the regular monthly donors.

All donations are welcome and we thanks those that buy food items and put it in the basket in front of security.  We had over 3,600 pounds of food donated to date.



NEW BRANCH OFFICERS -  See top of page.  Committee chairs are the same.  Need chairperson for Youth and Public Relation committees, see branch president, if interested.


SMILES -   One night at Cheers (TV Sitcom), Cliff Clavin said to his buddy, Norm Peterson:  "Well, ya see, Norm, it's like this... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members! ; In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine! That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers.

"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not." H. L. Mencken


DIC   H.R.4171 Would Provide Rate Increase  0EDITOR NOTE:  This is a bill in the House.  It won't reduce what the spouses get now.  I just wanted to let you know that the spouses aren't left with nothing, as many people think.)

· Add $258 if at the time of the veteran's death, the veteran was in receipt of or entitled to receive compensation for a service-connected disability rated totally disabling (including a rating based on individual unemployability) for a continuous period of at least 8 years immediately preceding death AND the surviving spouse was married to the veteran for those same 8 years. (38 U.S.C. 1311(a)(2)).

Rep. John Tierney (MA) on 22 MAY introduced H.R.4171, a bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for an increase in the amount of monthly dependency and indemnity compensation payable to surviving spouses by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The first section would raise DIC to 55 percent of what a 100% disabled veteran receives. At present a veteran with no dependents rated 100% receives $2,858.24 monthly. The second section prohibits the increased amount (the difference between what they receive now and the increase) from causing a reduction in SBP benefits. Surviving spouses as of 1 DEC 2012 are entitled to receive a Basic Monthly Rate of $1215 with the following additional allowances:

· · ·

Add $301 per child for each dependent child under age 18 (38 U.S.C. 1311(b)). Add $301if the surviving spouse is entitled to A&A,. (38 U.S.C. 1311(c)).
Add $141 If the surviving spouse is entitled to Housebound (38 U.S.C. 1311(d)).

This is a step forward in care for those who have lost loved ones due to service connected injury or illness. The bill is referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs for further consideration. [Source: NAUS Weekly Update May 23, 2014 & May 14 ++] 


NOTES OF INTEREST -   COLA. The Consumer Price Index climbed for the 5th straight month in April, rising to 233.443. It now stands 1.4 percent above the FY2014 COLA baseline of 230.327.   Enlistments. The military is getting picky in recruiting; only 20% of applicants qualify. 2014 recruiting goal  of 57,000 is lowest in 10 years. Obesity, tattoos, and minor criminal records exclude 80% of applicants.


ENDORMENTS FOR NVP -  At our last meeting we had letters from two shipmates running for the office of National Vice President, requesting our endorsement for said shipmate for that office.  A motion was made that we endorse a candidate was made an seconded.  Under discussions, both, of the candidates letters were presented.  A motion to table the motion till the next meeting was made, so the branch secretary could make copies of both letters and distribute them to the shipmates that normally attend our branch meeting and then, both, candidates names will be entered on a ballot and a vote will be tallied and the winner will be endorsed by the branch for said office.  If you have not received a copy of the letters and would like one, please call the branch secretary (228 563 8143)and he will see that you get a hard copy before the next meeting. 


MILITARY PAY - (Edited) The Virginian-Pilot | Jun 23, 2014 | by Dianna Cahn

NORFOLK -- Whether you are military or civilian, enlisted or officer -- mention military pay in this region and you are likely to hear an earful.  To some, the topic is synonymous with the nation's commitment to those who serve and sacrifice on its behalf. Others see military pay and benefits surpassing civilian wages and question whether they're too generous, especially as Congress grapples with reductions in defense spending. It's an emotional issue, especially in Hampton Roads, where military pay drives the economy.  Service members give up a lot to serve in the armed forces. They can readily be placed in harm's way and often spend months at a time away from their families, said retired Vice Adm. Pete Daly of the U.S. Naval Institute.

"You give up a lot of freedoms," Daly said. "They own you. You go where you are told to go. That's a very difficult part to quantify in pay. What's the value in that?"  Advocates on both sides have legitimate arguments, and a Pentagon proposal that includes capping pay raises, cutting 5 percent from housing allowances and overhauling military health insurance has met with resistance from lawmakers.  But experts agree that cuts are coming and reductions would directly affect the region. 

A Navy seaman or an Army private 1st class, who would typically have two to three years of service, would take home just over $1,805 a month in base pay and an additional $1,380 in housing allowance, if he or she has a family. Annual compensation totals about $45,000 on the RMC charts.

A typical E-5 -- an Army sergeant or a Navy petty officer 2nd class -- has six years in service, makes $2,735 a month and, with dependents, qualifies for a housing allowance of $1,497 (or, without dependents, $1,203). The annual compensation package is about $60,000.

An officer's base pay is higher, more comparable to a college graduate's. So an O-3 -- an Army captain or Navy lieutenant -- on average would have four years in service with a monthly base pay of $5,168 and a housing allowance of $1,893. (Or, if they're unmarried, $1,671 for housing). His or her annual package totals $93,000.



H.R.449 : Vet Amnesty Period for Gun Registration. A bill to provide an amnesty period during which veterans and their family members can register certain firearms in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Miller, Jeff [FL-1] (introduced 2/1/2013) 

Committees: House Judiciary; House Ways and Means; House Veterans' Affairs

 Latest Major Action: 2/28/2013 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, And Investigations. 





VA BONUSES -  Removal Could Hurt Vets More than Execs

Bonuses have long been a sensitive and controversial topic at the Veterans Affairs Department. A 2011 Government Accountability Office report found that 80 percent of VA’s medical care providers together received $150 million in performance pay despite “no clear link between performance pay and providers’ performance.” Since then, as VA struggled with a mounting backlog of disability claims and now a patient scheduling scandal, members of Congress have repeatedly targeted the department’s bonus program. But eliminating bonuses could make things much worse for veterans by driving out good doctors and administrators who typically make far less money than their counterparts in the private sector, former executives say.

W. Scott Gould, a former deputy Veterans Affairs secretary now in private health care, said VA confronts a 20 percent vacancy rate due to poor compensation relative to commercial hospital pay. Private-sector administrators often make $600,000 annually, three times what their VA counterparts earn, while VA medical specialists, such as cardiologists, despite making up to $400,000, are still in the bottom half of their fields in pay, Gould said. Gould said a centralized effort by the Office of Personnel Management in recent years has driven down the number of “outstanding” performance evaluations for senior executives and the average amount of bonuses. “This made an outstanding rating more valuable, because there are fewer, but it denied the ability to provide some variable compensation for top performers.”

W. Todd Grams, VA’s former chief financial officer now a director at Deloitte & Touche LLP, said complaints about VA bonuses are unfair. “When people say ‘bonuses’ it’s just pay in a recognized specialty and for years of experience. That has been a good thing. Data show that VA’s [bonuses] fall in the middle of the pack of average agencies. “I’ve been a CFO, CIO, chief of staff, and performance officer at a variety of agencies both centralized and decentralized,” Grams said. “I’ve never felt that was the be-all and end-all issue. It’s not the main driver of whether you’re successful or unsuccessful. You’ve got to set out policies and expectations people operate under, give them the tools and resources to do the job, and then have a line of sight into how they’re performing.”

The nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has advocated restructuring federal pay to make it more market-sensitive. “We want VA to compete for the very best, who would work with the added benefit that they’re serving veterans, whether that’s through base salary or bonuses,” said Max Stier, the group’s president and CEO. [Source: | Charles S. Clark | June 05, 2014 ++]


I remain in   Loyalty, Protection and Service


 Bob Rutherford, Editor,

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