Author Archives: Fred Wellman

Veterans Roundup: New Ideas for Veterans Health Care, Shockingly Low Usage of Veterans Choice Cards, Manufactured Furor over McDonald SF Claims

Advocacy Groups Split Over Proposed Tricare Reforms
Patricia Kime (@patriciakime), Military Times. Leaders of the nation’s major military advocacy groups are understandably split over the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission’s recommendation to move drilling reservists, military families, and retirees under 65 to a commercial healthcare insurance program. The proposal throws the weight of the military’s healthcare monies behind those actively contributing on a day-to-day basis to the nation’s defense, and shifts the military’s Tricare commitment away from the other elements of the military “family.” During Hill testimony, the groups that testified welcomed the proposal as a conversation-starter, and then proceeded to offer a predictable variety of nuanced and noncommittal responses to…

Read More

Veterans Roundup: Liars in Ranks, a New SecDef at the Helm, and Much More

Lying in the Military is Common, Army War College Study Says
Dan Lamothe (@DanLamothe), The Washington Post. A study by two Army War College professors reveals that lying is very common in the military and may actually be encouraged by the military. The study concludes that frequent demands to meet high standards and requirements may be causing Army officers to lie and sacrifice their reputations. The study suggests an era of “ethical fading” is affecting the military as a whole. –MC
Bottom line: Needless to say more than a few folks associated with the military greeted this article with disdain. It is actually an interesting and more important story than…

Read More

Veterans Roundup: Plenty of VA Critics but Plenty of Good Happening at VA, New Boss at DOD, Nixing the 90/10 Rule

VA Reaches Out to Sexual Trauma Survivors via Facebook
Emily Wax-Thibodeaux (@emily_wax), The Washington Post. The VA is using unconventional efforts to address the needs of military sexual assault victims. The VA assigned an expert on sexual abuse claims to engage a Facebook group for women veterans seeking better tailored care from the VA. Military sexual assault continues to be in the news: a Defense Department report on sexual harassment and violence at American military academies found potential success in sexual assault prevention training, a model that may begin to work its way onto civilian college campuses. –MC
Bottom line: Some in Congress question whether Secretary McDonald…

Read More

Veterans Roundup: Report Recommends Abolishing Tricare, Obama Requests More Money for VA, Brian Williams in Hot Water

Army Revokes Silver Star Award for Green Beret Officer, Citing Investigation
Dan Lamothe (@DanLamothe), The Washington Post. Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn was recently stripped of the Silver Star he received for actions during an attack in Afghanistan in 2010. Golsteyn was allegedly interviewing for a CIA job when information about an undisclosed violation surfaced, which led to an investigation and the revocation of his award and his Special Forces tab. Golsteyn was reassigned from 3rd Special Forces Group and is now an infantry officer. His lawyer says he is in the process of determining his future career in the military. –MC
Bottom line: It is remarkably rare for a…

Read More

Veterans Roundup: We Made it to 200 Editions! Plus VA Construction, Whistleblowers, the SOTU, Snipers, and More

Firing Line
Eric Katz (EricM_Katz), Government Executive. The process to fire government employees is a lengthy one. Private sector workers are three times more likely to be fired than civil servants in the federal system. Employees at agencies complain management is too complacent or lazy to take on the complicated termination process so poor performers stay on the job and civil service reform is too unsexy a cause for many in Congress to touch.  –MC
Bottom line: A few years ago a study came out that showed you were more likely to die as a Federal employee than be fired because more feds passed away each year than…

Read More