Newsbytes March 15, 2024

In this issue:
FRA President Urges Congress on Veteran Priorities
US Navy Memorial Announcement
Leadership Shake-Up Raises Concerns in Navy and Marine Corps 


FRA President Urges Congress on Veteran Priorities
John Handzuk, National President of the Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), recently testified before Congress, addressing key concerns affecting veterans nationwide. 

Handzuk emphasized the need for effective implementation of the PACT Act to protect service members from harmful toxins encountered during duty. He also highlighted concerns about the VA's new electronic health records system, urging prompt resolution to prevent medication-related risks for veterans. 

Concurrent receipt legislation, specifically the "Major Richard Star Act," received strong support from Handzuk, who stressed the injustice of reducing retirees' pay due to disability. 

Addressing fraudulent practices targeting veterans seeking VA benefits, Handzuk advocated for legislative action to prevent exploitation. 

Suicide prevention efforts and support for homeless veterans were also highlighted, along with opposition to burial restrictions at Arlington National Cemetery. 

In his testimony, Handzuk underscored FRA's unwavering commitment to advocating for veterans' rights and well-being, urging Congress to prioritize these critical issues.

Members can watch the full hearing at :

Please visit the FRA Action Center to weigh in on some of the issues discussed by the National President.


US Navy Memorial Announcement
The United States Navy Memorial in Washington, DC, recently completed work on the Delbert D. Black National Chief's Mess. This significant development holds special importance for the Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) as Delbert D. Black, the namesake of the exhibit, was not only a member of the FRA but also the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON). 

The Delbert D. Black National Chief's Mess is a prominent feature within the Visitor Center at the Navy Memorial. It offers an immersive experience, educating visitors about the pivotal role of a Navy Chief Petty Officer (CPO), highlighting its rich history, and emphasizing the immense responsibility and respect associated with the position. Moreover, the exhibit serves as a unique meeting place for CPOs and CPO selectees from commands worldwide. 

For those planning a visit to Washington, DC, to explore its historical sites, the United States Navy Memorial offers an additional attraction worth experiencing. The Delbert D. Black National Chief's Mess promises to provide visitors with valuable insights into the integral role of Navy Chief Petty Officers and their contributions to the nation's naval heritage. 


Leadership Shake-Up Raises Concerns in Navy and Marine Corps 
Two significant leadership changes occurred within the military, raising concerns about readiness and confidence in the overall naval and sea services. Firstly, the Navy relieved the commander of the USS Ohio, a ballistic missile submarine, and the third submarine skipper to be removed in seven months. Secondly, two commanders at the West Coast Infantry School of the Marine Corps were fired on the same day. These abrupt changes in leadership could disrupt operations, training schedules, and potentially impact the morale and effectiveness of the units involved. 

The frequent dismissal of high-ranking officers from critical positions within the Navy and Marine Corps raises questions about the readiness and stability of the naval and sea services. Such actions may erode confidence in leadership and highlight underlying issues within the respective branches. Maintaining strong leadership is vital for ensuring operational readiness and effectiveness, particularly in units responsible for strategic deterrence and combat training. 

As the Navy and Marine Corps navigate these leadership changes, restoring stability, and addressing any underlying concerns will be paramount. Clear communication and swift action to address disruptions will be crucial in maintaining confidence in the overall readiness and effectiveness of the naval and sea services. These developments underscore the importance of leadership accountability and the need for ongoing efforts to uphold high standards within the military. 


NewsBytes is FRA's weekly legislative update. If you received this through a forward and would like to subscribe, please e-mail us  and include your name and contact information in the body of e-mail. If you are a member of FRA or LA FRA, please include your member number.


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