Navy ships and Agent Orange?
April 10, 2012
Need information about Navy ships and Agent Orange?
Dear Sgt. Shaft:
One of your previous correspondents, Joe R., who requested information regarding
Navy ships and Agent Orange, might also like to know that he
can put in a request for his own service records by going online to: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/.
Also there is the following information on Archives resources:
If you are looking to do some research yourself in these interesting
records, please contact the Archives II Reference Section for logs that
are more than 30 years old at: Archives II Reference Section, Textual
Archives Services Division, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD
20740-6001. Phone: 301/837-3510. Email: Archives2reference@nara.gov.
The series is "Logbooks of the U.S. Navy Ships and Stations,
1941-1978″ (ARC Identifier 594258 / HMS Entry Number A1 118). In
your request, please include the ship name as well as the month and the
year of the particular log you would like to request.
Navy deck logs from 1980 and later are still in the custody of the
Navy. The records are held by the Naval History and Heritage Command
(NHHC) at the Washington Navy Yard. Requests can be sent to: Naval
Historical Center, Ships History Branch, 805 Kidder Breese SE,
Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C. 20374-3643.
My father became interested in Navy records when he saw names of
Japanese sailors who served on the USS Maine memorial and wrote to the
Archives to obtain their records. I thought about continuing his
research and so became interested in Archive resources dealing with ship
logs as a means of finding more information about the experience of
Japanese sailors who served in the Spanish American war.
Dear David T.
Thanks for the info. One can never have too much
• The Sarge dittos the remarks of retired Col. Steve
Strobridge, government relations director at Military Officers
Association of America (MOAA), who recently was the sole military
association witness testifying at a House Armed Services Military
Personnel Subcommittee hearing.
Col. Strobridge, who also serves as co-chair of the Military
Coalition, a consortium of 34 military and veteran associations, told
the subcommittee the Pentagon's proposals for dramatic fee hikes under
the military TRICARE health system constitute a serious
breach of faith with the military community.
He contrasted these proposals with senior defense leaders' earlier
commitments not to change the military retirement system for anyone already
on active duty.
"If keeping faith means no changes for today's troops on retirement, then it's breaking faith to raise
their retirement health fees by up to $2,000," Col. Strobridge said.
"That's no different from a $2,000 retired pay cut."
Col. Strobridge sparred in debate with Dr. Jonathan Woodson,
assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, who said a
congressional prohibition of TRICARE fee hikes would cause active duty
end strength to be cut by 30,000 to 50,000 more troops than planned. The
Surgeons General of the Army, Navy and Air Force also testified, but
were not asked any questions about the TRICARE health fee increases.
"There are ways to make our defense health system more efficient
besides raising health-care fees," Col. Strobridge said. He particularly
challenged defense and service leaders' unwillingness to restructure the
stove-piped military health-care system that includes three separate
service systems and multiple contractors that now compete for budget
"In the 1990s, the services ardently resisted efforts to make them
operate more jointly, but when Congress put a requirement in law, they
did it. And now think joint operations are great. It should be the same
way now with health care. "
Col. Strobridge said the Defense Department's recent review of
possible health system reforms made only minimal changes, in part
because the decision process gave heavy weight to how hard a change
would be. "So the first choice was to make retirees pay more, because it
He called the proposed plan to means-test TRICARE fees based on the
beneficiary's retired pay amount patently discriminatory against the
"No other federal retiree has health benefits means-tested, and it's
rare in the civilian world," he said. "Under that perverse system, the
longer and more successfully you serve, the lower your health
Further, he expressed MOAA's strong objection to the proposal to
index TRICARE fees to some measure of health cost growth.
"We believe the percentage increase in any year should not exceed the
percentage growth in military retired pay," Col. Strobridge
Finally, Col. Strobridge aggressively challenged the idea that
military retirees should have their fees raised because they pay less
for health care than civilians do.
"Whenever somebody gives me that argument," Col. Strobridge said, "I
ask them: If the military deal is so great, are you willing to pay what
they did to earn it? Would you sign up to spend the next 20 to 30 years
being deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan or any other garden spot the
government wants to send you to? That's the huge prepaid premium that's
overlooked when you only compare payments in cash."
"The reality is that military people pay far greater premiums to earn
their health care than any civilian ever has or ever will," he said.
• The Department of Veterans Affairs has released the second in
a series of annual reports from its Gulf War Veterans Illnesses Task
Force, outlining how the department will address the concerns of
veterans deployed during the Gulf War of 1990-1991. The report is
available on the Internet at http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/2011_GWVI-TF_Report.pdf.
"This report, which considered input from nearly 500 veterans who
responded to the draft report, provides a road map for our continued
enhancements in the care and services we provide to Gulf War veterans,"
said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "We will also apply
lessons learned from this task force to our engagement with veterans of
VA issued a draft version of this report for public comment on Oct.
21, 2011. During the 30-day comment period, VA received more than 450
comments through a special social media Website created for this
purpose, along with 25 other comments received through mail, email and
Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900,
Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or